How do you get started in the Color Takeover revolution? Stylists who have grown their business with extensions and hair color share their journeys, tips and advice.
BOBBY SUE YORK
Salon Owner and Extensions Specialist
Salon Diva K
Kansas City, MO
I went to cosmetology school just to learn extensions. I had already been wearing extensions myself for five years. After graduating, I worked one year for a large, upscale salon and spa, then went straight to a hair-extensions-only salon. We were hidden away in a nondescript office, at a time when no one wanted it known that they were wearing extensions. Our clientele was hush-hush.
Now everyone is wearing extensions, age 20-80, for so many different reasons and all very openly. Someone compliments your hair, you say, “Thanks, I’m wearing extensions.”
Our business serves a wealthy area—Overland Park County—and the extensions business is strong. But more women from diverse backgrounds are wearing extensions, often just one package for volume. Extensions are affordable, attainable. My clientele is predominantly house moms who just want to look and feel great. I also happen to see a lot of nurses. Extensions are something they do to nurture themselves.
I use all four types of Donna Bella Hair extensions but the Kera-Link fusion style is my go-to. To me, it looks the most real and is the most luxurious.
When I first started with extensions, social media didn’t exist. It was all about traditional word-of-mouth. I would do contests and events, and those are still effective. When the Royals were in the World Series in 2015, we did a lot of $5 pops of blue hair. Good trial, good exposure, clients would come back for more.
Today, social media is so important, especially before-and-after photos. I have professional (versus personal) Instagram, Facebook, and SnapChat accounts. Live video is blowing up, too, and can be really powerful. Make sure that everything you do is informative but also fun. Don’t make it too complicated. A great Facebook Live post can be someone just standing behind me and recording part of a technique.
Stylist to Stylist
My most important advice to stylists who want to build an extensions business is to be educated. I personally have invested $15,000 in hair extensions education beyond cosmetology school, and it has been worth every penny. But there are plenty of options. Donna Bella’s online course is a great way to get exposed and connect, as are all the shows they participate in.
Making a Difference
Be mindful that a lot of people who come in for extensions are dealing with damage that you can’t always see. They may be experiencing hair loss, some because of thyroid, cancer, or other health issues. Others have had a bad experience at another salon and had to do a drastic cut to overcome it, or are hitting a number in their life where maybe they don’t feel sexy anymore. They might be going through some other type of loss. These are the clients I love the most. It’s one thing when you wear extensions because you want long hair, and quite another when you’ve lost a piece of yourself and you are trying to find it.
Visit the Color Takeover Portal today to learn more about combining the art of hair extensions with the science of color in your salon!