Within the past few years, the hair extension business has really taken off. A variety of celebrities from Ariana Grande and her famous ponytail to Beyonce and her always gorgeous locks are rocking this trend, leading the way for any woman to achieve the hair that they dreamed of. As a stylist, you can take advantage of this service and expand your business and what you can offer to your clients.
Every salon has clients who could benefit from extensions, whether due to thinning hair, or from a desire to add length or volume. So, why is it so hard to make a go of it? Why do salons and stylists have a difficult time adding and keeping extension clients? Attached is an article from our COO Dale Aho, which provides insight into the cause and means to improve retention rates by only making some small changes in approach.
HOW TO GAIN AND RETAIN CLIENTS: A STRATEGY FOR REDUCING THE PAIN OF PAYING
By: Dale Aho, COO, Di Biase Hair Extensions USA
Women love hair extensions. We can walk any busy street or through a mall or into a restaurant and find countless women, young and old, who will jump at an extension makeover. There is also a need. Every salon has clients who could benefit from extensions, whether because of thinning hair, or from a desire to add length or volume. One would expect that hair extensions would be a staple of a typical salon’s business, almost a routine or mainstream service.
So why is it so hard to make a go of it? Why do salons and stylists have a difficult time adding and retaining extension clients? This article provides insights into the cause and, more importantly, the means to improve retention rates by small changes in approach.
Customers of any business are influenced by their “pain points,” i.e., specific problems that negatively influence their decision to purchase. Pain points can vary, from price to customer service to results to the time and hassle that is involved. More particularly, we know that there is a sense of pain each time we purchase something – it’s called the “pain of paying.” A customer feels considerably less pain when the charge is not seen, or the payment is small. Businesses, like Uber, remove the pain of paying by eliminating the need to pay on the spot. Among other companies, it is common to break a larger charge into monthly segments. It’s less painful (more affordable) to pay a smaller amount more often even though the total is the same.
Within the extensions world, two points of pain are obvious: 1) an application of a full head of fusion extensions can range in price from $800 to $1500 and higher and 2) it can easily take 3 hours or more at every sitting. Unless the client is well off enough to manage the payment easily, and has an abundance of time, clients will inevitably drop out or they will be deterred in the first place. While many stylists may accept these losses as inevitable, they do not have to be. Adopting a strategy to reduce the pain of paying, as well as the problem of time, can greatly increase the odds that clients will keep coming back.
Michael Baker, owner of Michael Warren Salon in Elkhart, Indiana, has maintained a thriving extension practice for over 2 decades, as well as serving as a master national educator for several extension companies. In any given week, Michael will do multiple applications, most of which involve returning clients and many of whom have been on the books for many years. Michael’s philosophy on adding and retaining extension clients is enlightening and directly pertinent to reducing the pain of paying.
Michael counsels that the biggest mistake in approaching new clients is going for a full head of hair right away. The price will frighten many clients even though they might be wonderful candidates for extensions. Rather, he uses the tactic of a few strands at a time. Typically, he will lay out his color ring and allow clients to see and feel it. Where there is curiosity, he may suggest trying a single strand to see the effect in the hair. He may ask simple questions such as what the client likes best or least about her hair. He says it all is in placement. Michael cites as an example an inverted bob, where there isn’t enough hair or volume on the side of the head. An easy solution is to use some pieces, maybe a single pack, and apply the extensions simply to get the volume desired. The key is in keeping the amount of hair and, therefore, the price within limits that are easy to digest. These clients tend to keep coming back again and again.
Of course, many clients do want to receive a full head of extensions, whether on the first occasion or after becoming accustomed to the look. For these women, who may be initially enthusiastic, it’s still important to realize that the cost will eventually begin to hit home, and that the pain of paying may become too much. A typical approach will involve using 140 to 160 strands, in a session that may take 3 hours, and result in a charge of $1000 or more.
Michael actively guards against this eventuality in two ways. First, he will use fewer bonds, perhaps 100 rather than 140 or 160. Through careful placement and from experience, he knows he can achieve a look that the client will appreciate. This allows him to keep both the time and also the hair cost to a more reasonable amount.
However, realizing that even the lower cost, when paid as a single sum, will become burdensome, Michael avoids replacing an entire head all at once. Hair grows at different rates and bonds do not need replacing all at the same time. A number of bonds will actually remain in good shape long after the date that would be used (typically 4 to 6 months) if the bonds were to be replaced as an entire set. So, to account for that circumstance, Michael will use the opportunity of the client’s regular service visit to remove and replace only the bonds that actually need it, possibly in a section where the hair has grown out more quickly. Eventually, by this rotation method, the client’s entire set of extensions will be replaced but it will happen in a way that is much more manageable financially. The added benefit is that neither the client nor the stylist has had to set aside a large portion of the day.
When performing extension services, it is not necessary for the stylist or salon to reduce their pricing or profitability. That would be self-defeating. To the contrary, it is important to keep the price at a high enough level to provide an excellent return on the investment of learning extensions. A method of multiplying the cost of the hair by 2 or 3 and adding a service fee helps to stabilize the cost and assure a fair return for the stylist. By whatever means used, the goal is to keep the cost within reason for the client but also assure that the stylist is rewarded for her or his work.
In conclusion, retaining extension clients requires recognition of what causes them to leave. In most cases, it will come down to the cost being too much to continue to absorb. In order to protect against that happening, the wise stylist will use fewer strands, at least initially, and maintain extensions on an ongoing basis, rather than getting into a pattern of replacing a full head at a time. By working in strands and sections, the stylist can keep the per session cost much more manageable. This can reduce the pain of paying and improve the chances that the client will remain on the books for an extended period.
The holidays are quickly approaching, but throughout all this hustle and bustle don’t forget to take some time for yourself. One way to spread some holiday cheer and change up your look is by adding some of our fantasy colors to your hair. These brightly colored extensions come in a variety of colors which allow you to express yourself as well as getting you in the merry spirit!
Whether you choose a red or green to show your Christmas cheer, a silver to bring out the winter goddess in you, or even just a fuchsia to add a pop of color to your hair, these extensions add a bit of flare and festiveness to your look.
Our full range of fantasy colors are: Green, Blue, Violet, Red, Yellow, Fuchsia, Red Violet, Pink, Light Pink, Dark Fuchsia, and Silver. They come in all types of extensions as well: Fusion, Sticker (tape-in), I-Tip, and Clip In
So, you can add just a few pieces for a small pop of color, or go full-on with a whole new look.
Here at Di Biase Hair Extensions USA, we offer a variety of application types so there’s fit for every extension need.
Which one is best for you?
I- Tip Hair Extensions:
I- Tip extensions can also be referred to as mircobeads and do not require any type of heat or stickers for application. Stylists will use tiny beads that are threaded in with the extension using a special device and then flattened with pliers. I-Tips must be slid back up to the scalp as they grow out and last for 3-6 months depending on how well they are taken care of. These extensions are extremely versatile and can be used on almost any type of hair.
Fusion Hair Extensions:
Ideal for all hair types, fusion hair is a perfect solution for thinning hair as it is gentle, comfortable, and virtually undetectable. Our unique flat wrap bond technique ensures that the bonds will not be felt and only seen under close inspection. These will last about 4-6 months and cannot be reused. Worn by beauty queens, models, personal trainers, and many others, you can count on fusion extensions to give you the look and confidence you desire.
Sticker/ Tape-In Extensions:
This is the only system that allows you to carry out a complete set of extensions in under an hour with no use of special equipment. It’s soft and flexible tabs make for comfortable wear and fast application. These extensions are also reusable multiple times depending on how well they are taken care of. Ultra thin double adhesive tape sticks to the natural hair and lasts about 4-6 weeks depending on client care. It’s non damaging, but should not be used on thinning hair as it is heavier than fusion hair. This convenient method is affordable for both stylist and client.
Does your swatch ring need an upgrade?! 4 new samples join the Di Biase color ring for even more options for your clients. Ombre colors 18/24, 6/1001, 14/1001 and 17/26 are all available by calling us at (248) 489-8900 or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are placing an order online, please add “color ring samples” in the notes to receive these color ring additions in your next order.
Have questions? Contact our offices Monday-Friday 9am to 5pm EST by calling (248) 489-8900 or email@example.com.
If you’ve ever sat through a certification class where you’ve struggled to stay focused, then you know the importance of a great educator. Cosmetology schools across the country are always on the lookout for the most useful information to provide their students. While honest and worthwhile certification can be hard to find, we want to take a second to applaud the team who truly go above and beyond what a stylist ordinarily expects in class. The incredible instructors at Allied Beauty Educators are the nationwide education team that provides thousands students a year the opportunity to learn hair extensions. Specializing in cosmetology school education and traveling coast to coast, Allied is a nonstop force that encourages stylists to step out of their comfort zones and experiment with different hair extension techniques. Allied uses Di Biase hair extensions to teach proper application techniques and instructs students on how to perfect their craft. With follow up classes, marketing techniques and individualized attention, Allied students can go out into the world confidently and with a passion for extensions that shines in their work.
Allied Beauty Educators is the real deal. The hands on training program they have designed is born of real world experience and a passion for teaching and encouraging people. They strive to empower future stylists not only with practical skills but also self-confidence and enthusiasm. They have trained in some of the finest schools and academies in the Eastern U.S. and are building relationships coast to coast.
We sat down with Maria Picard, head educator at Allied Beauty who helped us understand the company a bit better and everything that goes into a cosmetology school class.
How did Allied Beauty get started? Allied Beauty Educators was founded in 2011 as an independent advanced learning company. “Every advanced learning course I took seemed like an elaborate sales pitch that I actually had to pay money to hear.” Maria says. “I always came away from those classes thinking that I had to buy whatever inventory or starter package the instructor was selling in order to complete my training and I thought I could ONLY use the brand of product that I was “trained” to use. My first few hair extension jobs were not without their challenges. I quickly figured out that my training had some holes in it!” So, with help and advice from her family, Allied Beauty Educators was born. Maria’s mother Michelle, an experienced lecturer and educator, works in the company as well. “Right now our focus is on hair extensions and all that goes along with that segment of our industry.” says Michelle. “Maria is quite an accomplished extensionist and actively services clients from all over. Sometimes I have to re-arrange our training and travel schedule to allow for her busy retail business. I think that fact alone legitimizes us as a superior training company. We are always up to date with the most current processes, products, and retail trends. In other words, we practice what we preach.”
What is the history of the brand? After college was over and done, Maria saw the strong need for good education in the beauty industry! She constantly saw her friends and family receive poor hair extensions applications in their hair! She went right into beauty school, and graduated with a vision of changing the hair extension education in the cosmetology industry.
What is your favorite part about teaching? Maria absolutely LOVES connecting on a deeper level with the students and stylists. She loves to see how happy they are to be advancing their cosmetology careers by taking he hair extension certification class. Their smiles puts a smile on her face!
For someone interested in taking a class with Allied, what can they expect to get out of a class? You can expect to get the BEST education. This certification class is filled with hands on application, personal hair extension advice, and long term support from the Allied Beauty team! You will not leave the class lacking confidence! You will feel confident, and ready to do extensions!
What is the best tip you can give to someone who is still a beginner at extensions? The biggest tip that we can offer anyone who is still a beginner is PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE!!!!! It is extremely important that you are always fine tuning your technique, and always utilizing Maria and her team for advice! We also encourage everyone to take the free refresher courses that we offer anyone who has already taken a course 🙂
If you are interested in pursuing education with Allied Beauty, please contact them at the addresses below.
Allied Beauty’s Promise to Their Clients:
WE PROMISE TO ALWAYS BE PUNCTUAL, COURTEOUS, AND RESPECTFUL OF YOU, YOUR STAFF, AND YOUR FACILITY. WE WILL ALWAYS DO OUR BEST TO ADD VALUE TO YOUR SCHOOL OR ACADEMY IN THE EYES OF YOUR STUDENTS SO THEY WILL REMEMBER THEIR DAYS WITH YOU IN THE BEST POSSIBLE WAY AND SPEAK HIGHLY OF THEIR EXPERIENCE WITH YOU. WE WANT YOU TO BE SO PLEASED WITH US THAT YOU WILL OFFER OUR TRAINING TO EVERY CLASS.