During the past few months, Bellami's Head of Education, Kat Lewis (katpee_12) has been creating a lot of content on her Instagram for other professional stylists and consumers who haven't been able to go into their salon. Lewis shares with MODERN the contents of her mobile kit, with an extensive list and tips for how to prepare for each service.
MODERN SALON: Can you give us a look at your beauty background?
KAT LEWIS: Oh man, where to begin. My mother has been my hair stylist my entire life. I also have a brother who is a barber and a cousin who is a stylist so it runs in the family. When I was 13, I had my first job as a flyer girl at Cosmoprof NA for an extensions company. It was painfully boring, so I asked them if I could demo the extensions instead. They agreed, and that’s where my infatuation for extensions began. Afterwards, I was lucky enough to apprentice and assist the owner of that company until I was 18. I received by cosmetology license and began working full time and educating on the weekends.
Fast forward 15 years, and I have been lucky enough to build two separate education departments and work internationally, both as a stylist and as the head of education. Currently, I am co-owner of a studio in Huntington Beach, CA and the head of education at BELLAMI. After all my hair experience, I can genuinely say BELLAMI is hands down the most innovative, stylist driven and empowering company I have worked for.
MODERN SALON: As your business is mobile, what are the items in your professional extension kit?
- Pliers: for crimping beads or removing k tips. I also have BELLAMI tape pliers for ensuring a tight connection between the tape tabs, especially during reapplication.
- Looper Tool: for applying silicone or copper flare beads.
- K Tip Tool: for k tip install.
- Sewing Materials: for weft application.
- Reapplication Tape: for reapplying tape extensions.
- Extension Release Liquid: I use BELLAMI Extensions Release. It works to remove both tape and k tips and takes up less room, rather than buying two separate solutions.
- Beads (Silicone and Copper Flare): for weft or I tips instillation.
- Professional Brush: for removing tangles. I used the BELLAMI Boar Brush and Black Brush.
- Head Chart: for reapplications of tape in and I tips. This board keeps extension in order for maximum efficiency and alleviates the need for re-cutting.
- Various Nippers, Scissors and Cutters: for cutting excess weft and thread. Also can be used to customize your keratin bonds to make them smaller.
- Various Clips and Combs: for sectioning hair. During this time, I have increased the price of my services slightly which allows me to include a 4 pack of clips and a sectioning comb for guests to keep.
- Hair Spray and Texture Spray: for styling and to control any unruly fly aways, allowing clean sections to work on.
- 1 oz Clarifying Shampoo and Purple Shampoo: for quickly toning and matching hair, if needed. Clarifying Shampoo is great if your guest’s hair needs to be prepped.
- Curling Iron and Flat Iron: for styling hair. I love my BELLAMI Triple Shine Professional Digital Flat Iron.
- Table Clamp: this is an extensions holder for easy instillation.
- Travel PPE Kit: include a bottles of alcohol, gloves and mask for maximum safety.
- Clean Towel: for set up.
- Color Swatch: for matching hair.
- Ziploc Bags: for storage of unused hair and soiled materials.
- Extension Cord and Power Strip: to plug in tools and provide options for set up.
MODERN SALON: What are some of your top tips for building a mobile professional extension kit?
KAT LEWIS: A mobile kit is all about being prepared, especially for the unexpected. Even if you specialize in only one or two methods, be prepared with enough tools to work with multiple methods. I don’t know how many times I thought I was doing an instillation, but ended up having to do a removal or something else. If I didn’t have release liquid or pliers, I would have been in trouble!
With this in mind, you still want to make sure your kit is functional and MOBILE. I have everything I might need, but in smaller quantities or travel sizes to keep the kit lightweight. Every week, you can continue to replenish products that are running low.
- Make sure your kit has multiple drawers and each drawer is clearly labeled with tools inside. The quicker you can grab your tools, the faster and more efficiently you can work.
- Prep as much as you can prior to showing up. Get your beads loaded and make sure your k tips are pre-cut so you don’t waste time. You can even thread your needles before it’s weft time.
- Rely on your guest before you walk in. Always ask if they’re able to have an area ready for you with good lighting and a chair that will place them at a workable height.
MODERN SALON: How can someone apply extensions in a sanitary and safe way during this time?
KAT LEWIS: I always ensure that safety comes first, especially during this time. I ask my guests to come with clean hair, as this minimizes contact. Both the guests and stylists must wash hands and wear masks during the entire time. Before each guest arrives, your work station must be wiped down and disinfected. Always ensure that you have disinfecting liquid and a bottle of pre-mixed barbicide to clean all tools.
Since I miss doing my favorite method, I thought this would be a good day to do a...... @bellamihairpro I tip breakdown I tip- stands for INDIVIDUAL EXTENSIONS 💠Each strand of hair is pre tipped with polyurethane (a soft rubber like material). This allows for flexibility, additional durability, longer lifespan and a cushion against the natural hair. 💠This is applied with a small reusable bead (made of copper and colored to match your natural hair) which is crimped Down and flattened. It will stay in between 4-6 weeks until it’s time to maintenance. 💠It usually take about 100-150 gram of hair 100-180 Pieces for a full head of length and volume. That number can vary depending on your natural hair length, density and desired look. 💠The cost usually starts at about $1,000 and goes up from there. Maintenance usually are around $250 and go up from there. 💠when installed and marines correctly these WILL NOT CAUSE DAMAGE TO THE NATURAL HAIR. @bellamihair @hairextensionmagazine
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