Think the market for extensions is too niche? Think again. So many of us have pre-conceived ideas about a ‘typical’ extensions client but this is simply not the case according to Beverley Rosser from Rosser Hairdressing in Liverpool, who recalls how she made her extensions business a success.
‘I wanted to show how versatile they could be for clients of any age and with any type of hair, and what you could achieve by using them… Not all of our clients are 18 with a full head of 22” extensions – we have people with hair loss, stress-related hair loss, alopecia… they’re things that people don’t talk about, but which you see daily in the salon. Identifying the problems which we could solve opened a lot of doors for us.’ Jennifer Swain from Swain Hairdressing in Cumbria agrees: ‘We’re proud to do different and diverse types of hair, and we showcase that online. We do clients with medical hair loss, people who are looking for extensions after chemo – it’s really rewarding, and it’s helpful to show people you offer these kinds of extensions too.’
‘We have a good reputation in the area so people expect a certain standard’ says Jennifer Swain. ‘This quality and consistency of service, level of work and care means clients feel we’re good value – and if you do one client well, they will tell their friends. I firmly believe that if you’re good at something, people will come to you. We have clients that travel from London, Manchester and all across the North West because of our quality of service.’
‘One of my biggest fears when I started out was that people wouldn’t understand why Great Lengths extensions cost more than other brands’ says Christina Reilly, Christina Reilly Hair Make-up & Beauty, Glasgow.
‘Consultations helped play a massive part in this – they gave me time to explain the benefits and to let clients see the difference in the quality of the hair. Fortunately, they quickly understood that they get ten times the quality and the hair lasts twice as long – I always say if you buy cheap, you buy twice and most of my clients were happy to switch over because of this.’
Extensions are a premium product and can be expensive, so offering to spread that cost can be a deciding factor for the client. ‘Everything is financed now – your phone, your car – so why not your hair?’ says James Henderson of M Hair Extensions in Nottingham.
‘We offer a 0% finance plan and it’s worked really well for me…register with a reputable finance company and go through the FCA. We pay the finance company a commission and the client gets to pay the total bill back over six months with a 10% deposit and it works really well. We get clients coming in off the back of that and even if they end up not taking the finance option for whatever reason, they still get the extensions done. It’s great for cash flow because you get that lump sum straight away and the client pays back the finance company. You’re not waiting for six months – you’re guaranteed to get your money and it’s the finance company taking the risk.’
‘It’s all about building that rapport with the client – don’t just do their hair once and wave them out the door, you want to create opportunities to keep them coming back into your salon’ says James Henderson.
James recommends including a follow-up blow-dry in the cost of the service, which invites the client back a fortnight later and provides the opportunity to raise any problems, however small, which may ruin their experience if left unaddressed. The same applies to aftercare. All of James’ extension services include removal – this not only gets the client back into the salon but it also ensures the extensions are removed correctly and gives you the opportunity to get them rebooked. There’s also a strong retail opportunity, says Beverley Rosser.
‘If someone comes to the salon and has extensions fitted, I won’t let them leave without a maintenance pack or the right brush to use on their hair. It’s only going to cause me problems down the line if they’ve used the wrong thing. I explain every step of the service to clients, including why using the wrong products can jeopardise their hair. You wouldn’t have a laser session on your face and expect to leave without them telling you what to use after and why it’s important. Address it in your consultation: you’re a professional and all of these steps make up the client experience.’
To find out more and join the growing number of certified professional hairdressers and salons attracting a whole new client base by offering Great Lengths hair extensions, click here