To Stock or Not to Stock? Extension Specialists Share How They Manage Inventory
Extensions are an extremely customizable service, and freedom to order fun colors, effects and textures allow your creativity to flourish. Photo by @blohaute.Photo By Blohaute
Extension inventory is dependent of the nature of your business. For example, Amanda Diedrich, known as by her Instagram handle @blohaute, is a freelance stylist and travels to all her clients. She requires a consultation about a week before her client needs the extensions in order to get the hair ordered after matching. In order to streamline this process, she works with a brand that she can order directly from online.
However, working in a salon, it’s a good idea to have some hair in stock—most clients who come in for a consultation want instant gratification. How much you keep on-hand depends on the size of your extension business. For stylists like Chicago-based celebrity stylist Alex Brown and Nikki Lee and Riawna Capri, co-owners of Nine Zero One salon in West Hollywood, California, extensions make up a HUGE portion of their salon services, so they always have a plethora of extensions at their disposal.
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“I would suggest having a large inventory of colors always available, as it may be a quick upcharge on a service they are already in the salon for,” Brown says. “In today’s world, people want things instantly and conveniently. The second someone mentions wanting thicker hair or a one length bob, but they have broken pieces all around their front hairline, you can then instantly grab their exact color and show them that it is possible with extensions. The more you invest in your business and kit, the more it will benefit you in the end.”
Ideally, train your clients to give you a little wiggle room. Extensions are an extremely customizable service, and freedom to order fun colors, effects and textures allow your creativity to flourish. Capri suggests a week allows you as the stylist to have zero stress when ordering extensions.
In stylist Lauren Salata’s case, her salon, SALON TODAY Salons of the Year 2017 honoree Base Salon, takes up a very small footprint in Chicago, and there isn’t room for her to keep a stock. She orders extensions to match her client’s hair exactly—color, amount of hair needed and length. Her biggest pieces of advice when custom ordering for every client are to always have a color ring on hand and to fill out an order form while your client is in your chair for her consultation.
“Most extension lines offer a color ring that includes every color that they offer, allowing you to perfectly match to your clients’ hair color,” she says. “The hair usually comes within three business days, and can be overnighted if you need it sooner. The ordering process is very simple. I have forms that I fill out every time I do an extension consultation, so that I can record the color to order, the amount of hair I need, length needed, date, price, etc. I prefer to call the extension company to place my order, and it takes less than five minutes.”
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.