Nikki Lee and Riawna Capri credit their extension business as what allowed them to open their...

Nikki Lee and Riawna Capri credit their extension business as what allowed them to open their salon, Nine Zero One in West Hollywood, California. (Photo via @riawna)

Nikki Lee and Riawna Capri built their extension business before the segment of the industry was nearly anything like it is today.

When the two were assisting together, they questioned why—unlike cut or color—nobody was really specializing in extensions, aside from the Shelia Stotts of the world. From there, they took a Great Lengths course and became hooked (they have been using the line for almost 13 years). It was also during that initial course they created their tag-team method of application—what they’re now known for—for a quicker service.

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Beauty Brunette 🎀 @leamichele Love you! #NineZeroOne #901Girl

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From there, Lee says they came up with our own patterns that allowed the hair to lay more naturally and easier for our clients to style.    “To be quite honest, we were doing Brittany Murphy's hair, and she could reach her hand in her hair and feel along and tell us if the angle was off,” Lee says. “So she actually really, really helped us figure out what works. That’s how we became known for being able to put in extensions so that other people didn't know our clients were wearing extensions, while maintaining hair health.”

Lee and Capri credit their extension business as what allowed them to open their salon, Nine Zero One in West Hollywood, California. 

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Sweet like honey. 🍯 By @lisasatornhair. #901girl #ninezeroone

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“Probably the only reason we're really able to drain our savings account in order to open Nine Zero One was because extensions was, and still is, such a big part of our business,” Capri says.

When launching an extension business, first and foremost, wear them yourself! How are you going to sell a potential client on something you’ve never tried?

Beyond that, have other stylists in your salon wear them too. Put extension in a friend’s hair. Whoever is willing to talk about it is a walking billboard for your services.

 “Anytime Riawna and I don't have extensions in our hair, I notice that we're not doing as many extensions in the salon," Lee says. “The minute we put it in, everyone's like, ‘I want that hair. I want that hair. I want your hair.’”   With social media, your marketing can go one step further. Take advantage of influencers in your area—people comfortable in front of the camera and have a large following. Offer your services to a “model” at-cost. Capri adds, make sure to post before-and-afters of the types of dramatic differences that can be achieved through extensions, and use the appropriate hashtags to attract other potential clients looking for extension services.

Create a portfolio of your work once you have a few “clients” to showcase your talents. Keep it at your station so guests can see the many different looks and uses of extensions. 

To watch Lee and Capri put their skills to work, tune into their education channel, where they're offering MODERN readers access to a free episode:

The extension business is buzzing—how can you be a resource to your hair loss clients looking for a solution.The annual HAIR+ Summit is September 30-October 2 in Atlanta. Read more about your HAIR+ business here.

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