Style it out

With the help of some industry experts, we are looking into how professionals can master that perfect finish after an extensions application. We’ll give the low down on which tools and treatments are recommended, and the products salons should be retailing for clients to nail extension styling at home too, as well as the overall benefits this can reap.

For some clients, having a fresh set of hair extensions applied is like being given a new lease of life. We know that stylists always give their extension clients a gorgeous finish using their handy work and precious tools after an application. 

It goes without saying that offering the ‘full package’ and doing so to a high standard whilst making a conscious effort to talk your clients through the styling and care of their new lengthy locks will benefit you greatly. This will not only build up a great rapport, but it will encourage them to a. come back and b. invest their money in the products and tools you are offering.

In the professional opinion of JOICO Artist and Educator, Meagan Gallman, all extensions should be handled delicately because just like your own hair. Extensions can be damaged if not cared for correctly: “This includes using correct products and if hot tools are involved, low heat with thermal protection.”

Meagan also revealed that communicating with your client when discussing their hair extensions journey will be of great value. It will create a huge trust factor, and building trust with clients will build your business: “The clients will tell her friend, and then her friend will tell her mum, then she will tell her sister, etc.… Communicating about the details of styling and aftercare goes a long way.” 

Colourist and Digital Schwarzkopf Ambassador, Justin Mackland, also agreed that talking through styling and aftercare with a client will only positively impact your business: “It has worked wonders for me in the salon. Relationships with my clients have gone from strength to strength because they are made to feel at ease, and therefore won’t be scared to ask any questions.

“This also is a great opportunity for you to use language such as ‘I will need to see you again in 6-8 weeks’, resulting in their next appointment getting booked as they leave the salon. Chatting to your clients about the products you’re using and why will also boost retail sales for your business.”

We’re sure you’re already aware that the options of styling tools are endless. Still, Justin explained that his go-to styling tool to finish a set of extensions would have to be the Hot Tool’s Curl Bar: “In the salon, we have all four-barrel sizes so we can specifically create a look to suit each client’s preference. The curl bar acts like a wand which means we aren’t adding any unnecessary pressure to the extensions.

“You must talk through styling techniques with your clients. In some cases, this may be the first time they have had extensions fitted, and they will always be a little anxious on how to style this beautiful new hair they have.” Added Justin.

For voluminous, bouncy hair, Justin explained that he advises clients to purchase a styling wand. Flat pin curl clips are also encouraged by the Schwarzkopf Digital Ambassador for styling at home: “Once the client has curled a section of hair, they roll it around their index and middle fingers and pin the hair in place. This will ensure they get longer last result from their look.” Retailing these two products within your salon will have a significant effect on your in-salon sales as clients will be able to mimic the looks you’ve already created, so they can see the results first-hand.

To help clients nail the at-home styling of their new, lavishly long locks, Justin believes that sharing styling tips on your professional social media channels is a perfect way to firstly, boost your reach and engagement on social, but also lend a hand to your clients who will be extremely grateful.

“If you can add some personality in the styling videos too, then it will most definitely result in potential new clients wanting to book in with you. Adding character will also set you apart from the rest – there’s a lot of noise on social media, so make sure you stand out! 

“Demonstrations can be carried out on dolls heads or your own hair with voice-overs added for extra ease for your client to understand. Also, ensure your lighting is perfect – I always have my ring light handy when filming for social.”

Now we’re in a time where hair extensions are becoming increasingly popular as the weeks go by, probably due to the fitting being so seamless. We were keen to determine whether it depends on the type of extension as to which tools should be used for the best finish.

Lea Shaw, Salon Owner at Rural Fringe Hair Salon, believes the answer to this question is in fact, no: “It’s more dependent on the length and thickness the client has had applied, and the overall finish they are looking for rather than the type of extension. I tend to use a curling iron, but would be more inclined to use a straightener if I had applied Bob length hair or just filled out the sides to put a bend in the hair rather than a curl.”

We agreed with Lea when she told us that she imagines for a client there is nothing worse than leaving the salon and never being able to recreate the same look at home, which is why encouraging your extension clients to invest in a good heat tool and professional products is a must: “We have to remember that, as stylists, we know how hair works, how to curl safely, what products to use, which tool etc… but our clients aren’t always as clued up, and it’s our job to educate them.” 

Lea sees that giving a client that little something extra, such as a mini-tutorial or a short video, will not only help them at home but see that in the long run, it will help you, as their stylist, due to their hair being in better condition when they come back: “It will make you stand out from other stylists as clients will recognise that you have gone that little bit further. If a client feels they are well looked after, they will return again and again. They will tell their friends and post on social media, all resulting in organically building your clientele.”

Lea Shaw’s tip:

Use the client’s phone to film you styling their hair in the salon so they can watch it back and replicate it whenever they like! 

Most clients won’t always wear their hair waved, so it is so important that the extensions look as good straight as they do curled. Lea said: “Stand your client up and use your best tool to check all angles, your mirror! The cutting of extensions is an underrated part of the service, and one I think is extremely important to get right.”

As innovators in hair styling tools, hur. recognise that there is a multitude of tools that can be used on human hair extensions and, when used correctly, can preserve the quality and longevity of the hair. 

The team at hur. advise opting for a styling tool where you can change the temperature so that it is best suited to your client’s hair type, style and condition: “As always, use a heat protectant and be sure not to apply direct heat to any of the bonds, tapes, glue or silks that are keeping your hair extension in place.”

Top tips for styling extensions from the team at hur.

 – Use extension friendly, good quality products; they must be sulphate and silicone-free. 

 – Always make sure your extensions are dry before styling. Use a cool shot mode to dry the root

 – Avoid oils around the root area.

 – Invest in quality styling tools.

 – Style at a lower temperature. 

*Please ensure that as a stylist, you’re recommending products to your clients that are best matched to the type of hair extensions they have applied. 

“Advising your client on the best aftercare practice will ensure that the hair extensions remain in the best possible condition and look amazing for weeks after their appointment. This will no doubt lead to referrals and repeat business. Stress the importance of keeping the condition of the extensions a priority and schedule their next maintenance appointment before they leave the salon.” Added the team of professionals at hur.

The experts continued to explain the importance of salons having revenue streams outside of their service. Retailing products, cross-selling products with services and/or upselling their service is a great way to do this and will only generate more footfall for your business and benefit the clients.

As you are the professionals, it’s not just about the service in applying and styling the extensions. Education is key and giving something back to your clients is also very important: “Step up and own the space – it is in the realms of your professional authority to act as the expert in the field. You will generate awareness about yourself and spark interest in your service. Social media is a great platform to recruit new clients and retain your existing ones.” Added the hur. experts.

So, take the advice from our experts on board to thrive during your extension appointments. Educate your clients, talk them through which products you’re using and encourage them to invest in them too – this will benefit both of you. As Justin said, adding your personality to your tutorials you share on social media will encourage you to reach a broader client base. It’s all about going above and beyond! Let us know how you get on!