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If you have made the decision to introduce a hair extension service to your business, you can expect your profitability and success to increase quite quickly. Expanding your skills and growing your business with hair extensions is an exciting and fulfilling time, however it could be a little overwhelming. There are decisions regarding the choice of price, brand, and fitting techniques that you will need to consider. We spoke to Charlotte Hickey, a salon owner from Manchester who has shared her experiences on how she successfully introduced hair extensions to her salon.
Charlotte has been working with hair extensions for 8 years
“Watching your client’s face light up once you have transformed their hair is the best reward, some people cry happy tears at the results”.
It’s amazing how dramatic the change in a client’s hair can be after adding hair extensions, Charlotte recalls why she made the decision to offer a hair extension service:
“Professionally fitted hair extensions became popular very quickly. My clients were asking if we could fit hair extensions and I realised I was missing an opportunity to make a great profit margin and extend my services.”
Charlottes new venture didn’t come without its challenges and she explains how nervous she felt when fitting her first client:
“My first client appointment for a full head of hair extensions was scary. I was worried if I had ordered enough hair to blend and if the colour I had chosen would be ok, but the client’s hair looked amazing when I had finished, and it boosted my confidence”
Completing your first full head of extensions can be daunting but attending a training course and receiving professional advice and live model training will prepare you enormously. Charlotte suggests what to look for when researching a hair extension training programme:
“Ensure you look for a course that will offer support to help you in the beginning. Everything will be covered on your training but it’s nice to have a brand behind you to answer any questions you might have, including choosing the right colour or the quantity of extensions needed”
Researching the right brand for your salon is also a priority. It’s important to find a brand which shares similar values to your salon. Many brands focus on price, while others believe quality is key, Charlotte shares her experiences when faced with choosing a brand of hair extensions:
“It was difficult to find the right brand for my client base, I had to balance my choice between cost and quality. Once I had completed my training, I ordered a few samples, I decided I wanted to offer two options for my clients, a higher quality option and a more affordable alternative. I soon realised that quality was more important, and the clients who valued the price more than the quality were not going to be long term extension wearers. It was better for me and my clients to only offer the higher quality option.”
Although it’s great to listen to your clients’ feedback about hair extensions, it’s vital to remember you are the expert! Providing your clients with realistic expectations and honest advice will be appreciated. Charlotte explains why you should discuss hair extension application methods openly and honestly with your clients:
“As a qualified professional, I am aware of the benefits of each application method, I will discuss the client’s day-to-day routine, lifestyle, hair type and the desired result they want to achieve, before recommending an extension method.”
Taking steps to ensure your client’s hair looks the best it possibly can is crucial. Charlotte tells us why it is never a good idea to allow a client to provide the hair extensions for a fitting:
“Clients often ask if they can supply the hair, but I always decline this suggestion as I cannot be sure of the quality of hair if I haven’t purchased it myself. I see every client as a walking advert for my next potential client and I am not willing to risk my reputation”
Another issue which may concern newly qualified extensionists, is how to deal with deposits and lower your risk when hair extensions are ordered. We asked Charlotte for some tips on how she handles hair extension deposits:
“We ask for the cost of the hair in full at the time of booking. The cost of fitting is paid on the day of the appointment, providing the security that should the client cancel, the hair is paid for. We also keep a record of hair extension orders for each client. This includes their name, the fitting method, quantity, shade and payment owed. I can refer back to this to check the details and keep track of my orders.”
Deciding on where to position your price will also need some thought. Charlotte explains how she planned her prices:
“I charge per hour when quoting for fitting extensions. Professionals charge what they feel they are worth, so there is no recommended fitting price. You should be aware what your local competitors charge and then you’ll have a rough idea where you should position your services. Also, consider how much you would earn if you were to offer an alternative service in that time, to ensure you’re not making less profit from fitting extensions”
Finally, the successful growth of Charlotte’s hair extension business has benefitted from good advertising and promotion. Social platforms are a powerful tool when showcasing your salon’s services, Charlotte explains:
“Before and after transformations are incredible for extensions, also mini videos of how they are applied are very interesting for new clients. Many people don’t realise how discrete and amazing hair extensions are now. Social media platforms work well. I also display colour rings for clients to see and feel and this works well in my salon.”
Hair by Charlotte is an amazing example of how hair extensions can help your business to become a thriving and admired salon. The increased sales that hair extensions can bring is astounding and will leave you feeling proud and confident, while providing a healthy boost to profit. Don’t get left behind, discover this for yourself!
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