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The marketing of hair extensions (part 1)

Article by Leanne Molter of Marketing Solutions, May 2012

Extend Your Potential Opportunities With Unique Service Advantages!

Professional salon hair extension services are hot and getting even more popular with celebrities as well as every day salon clients! There are often more hair extension companies exhibiting at the professional beauty trade shows across the globe than shampoo and appliance companies. Whereas several five to ten years ago there were only about 25 professional hair extensions companies here in North America, today there are almost 750. There is great and challenging news with this declaration.

Hair extensions are definitely much more main stream popular with women, men and teens to the Hollywood celebrities, beauty pageant contestants and TV news anchors. There are competitive advantages and disadvantages. The good news is that more people are now aware of the benefits of professional salon hair extensions. The downside is that you really must stand out by marketing yourself as a hair extensions expert. It’s time to not only get yourself and your entire team certified on hair extension artistry, you must really learn how to create a terrific marketing, advertising, promotional and PR campaign for this highly profitable and specialty salon service.

Hair Extension MarketingHollywood celebrities, musicians, beauty pageant queens and high profile women are definitely helping to make hair extensions the best and hottest new hair fashion trend again this year. Just watch the Red Carpet. You will see them at the Oscars, Emmys, and the MTV Awards as well as on Bachelorette, bachelor Pad and all of the newest reality TV shows. Stars like Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Nicole Kidman, Faith Hill, Jessica Simpson, and others often magically go from smooth and sleek looks to long voluminous looks overnight – while wonderfully taking advantage of today’s hair extension options. You should not be surprised to know that many of the male actors and musicians also now wear hair extensions From all reports and like creative haircolor, this progressive new salon hair service trend will continue for many more years to come. Today, professional hair extension services are being promoted for much more than length. You can help your female and male clients with new volume, texture, highlights, lowlights, multi-dimensional haircolor and even fantasy hair fashion artistry.

Define Your U.S.A. With Professional Hair Extensions: Do you have a salon service that you truly specialize in? Does your salon or day spa have and promote a specialty service? Do you know what your Unique Service Advantages are? Today, there are great salons on virtually every street corner, in every shopping center and mall across the globe. Everyone may be good at haircuts and haircolor, yet now is the time to take advantage of creating a special niche for yourself and your salon with professional salon hair extension services.

Extensions for low lightsThe Advantages With Many New Choices: Most salon clients do not really know to ask for a namebrand hair extensions company, service or products. Some of the very best known professional hair extension companies include Di Biase Hair Extensions USA, Ultratress, Balmain, Cinderella, Hairlocs, Hairdreams, Great Lengths, HairUWear, SO.CAP. Euro, SO.CAP. Original, Klix, La Bella, Donna Bella Milan, Dream Catchers and the list goes on. You need to analyze the unique quality and benefits of each hair extensions’ brand, before you will be able to effectively market your specialty hair extension services and products. They really are not all the same! If you do not currently offer hair extensions in your salon, take the time to investigate these companies, while researching what comprehensive marketing, advertising and PR support they may be able to share with you. If you already do have hair extension services in your salon, make sure that your manufacturer and distributors are supporting you with both national and localized education as well as marketing programs.

Hair Extension Techniques ~ Clip On, Sticker & Fusion Bonds: You need to learn about all of the best hair extension application techniques and variables available, so that you may properly educate each of your clients. With all of the recent national media attention, most every woman understands clip on and adhesive hair pieces as well as the bonded hair extensions today. They are easy, inexpensive and temporary solutions with extremely competitive pricing. Many clients buy these synthetic hair clip-ons at their local drug stores, beauty stores and discounts stores, so you should not want to compete at that type of lower quality discount retail level.

Your hair extension consultations should begin with an explanation of the differences between clip-on, bonded and adhesive sticker techniques as well as the various warm and cold fusion hair extension bonding techniques. There are certainly plenty of options with synthetic versus human hair qualities as well as with a variety of hair extension equipment and bonding techniques. It usually stands to reason that the more expensive the equipment investment, the better quality the hair and equipment are. For example, Di Biase Hair Extensions USA offers very exciting warm and cold fusion techniques. Cold fusion bonding machines specially apply energy that softens the 100% keratin bond, forming a strong, invisible and long-lasting hold. This occurs without using any heat, which is often the preferred method for attaching hair extensions to thin, colored or chemically treated hair. It’s safe to the hair and scalp of your client, while also safe for you and your fingers. The bonds are stronger and the service is heat free.

Short hair extensionsEducation & Certification: Vikki Parman, CEO of Di Biase Hair Extensions USA, notes, “You really must take the time to become certified, so that you will be able to effectively perform and style your hair extension services while also learning how to best market them. Most professional hair extension companies offer one and two day certification classes as well as refresher and advanced workshop options. To be successful, you really must invest some of your time to educate yourselves and your clients. While researching the best available hands-on workshops, review each company’s website, background and media credentials. If you are already certified, you still really need to research reciprocity options, so that you will truly understand all of the products, techniques, advantages, benefits and options – if and when you determine to switch hair extension companies.”

Hair Extension Marketing Basics: It’s time to become respected as one of `THE top hair extensionists’ in your town, through a well supported marketing, advertising and PR campaign. If you already offer professional salon hair extensions, you now need to ensure that your local community knows this. Properly marketed, hair extension artistry will definitely make you and your salon highly respected. It will enhance staff and client recruitment. It will also make you much more profitable. You will need to create an annual hair extension marketing plan that is complete with advertising, promotions, printed merchandising materials, special events and media relations.

Hair Extension Brochures & Service Menus: Besides your traditional salon service menu, you should add one full section on your professional hair extensions. Like specialty haircolor services, consider creating a separate menu dedicated to your professional hair extension services and expertise. This menu should explain the many benefits, options and variables with your professional salon hair extensions. It should explain what to ask for, what to expect and how your client’s should take care of their new hair extensions at home between salon visits. Show off some of your best before and after hair extension makeover photographs.

Service & Pricing Strategies: There really are so many variable options to consider, when consulting with your clients. You may want to start with a portion of their heads while adding multi-dimensional haircolor highlight or lowlight accents. We recommend that you do not try to ‘sell’ hair extensions to someone. Take your time by analyzing all of each client’s personal needs and haircare desires during your preliminary haircare consultations. Determine their current haircare challenges. Offer customized hair extensions as the perfect solution to their personal hair challenges, whether it is for length, volume, texture, body or highlights. For example, if they want permanent haircolor and highlights, yet do not want bleach you can safely add multi-dimensional haircolor with hair extensions. If they have short hair, yet need long hair for a special event, prom or their wedding, you will still have the solution.

Long blonde hair extensionsDo not worry about anyone else’s hair extension service prices. You should price your hair extension services in a competitive manner like you do for your haircuts and haircolor. By being competitive, you should offer a premier price, if you are one of the best or only hair extensionists in town. You really do not need to offer low prices or discounts with hair extensions. Do not try to undercut anyone else. You really need to value your premier hair extension products, your time and to respect your own talents.

Today, a full head of professionally bonded human hair extensions by a salon professional may be offered at anywhere from $1200 to $5500+ across North America. The reality is that an average full head of salon facilitated hair extensions today should sell between no less than $1500 to about $2000. Many salons are currently at the $1500 to $2000 price. $800 to $1000 is really much too cheap, when you consider the actual costs of the hair, the required equipment, educational certifications, inventory, your personal artistry, marketing support programs and most importantly the value of your time. There are many top hair designers that sell their haircuts at $65 to $85, haircolor highlights at $150 to $250 and their hair extensions at $2000 to $3500+. Today, many professional salon hair extensionists make well over $100,000 to $200,000 by specializing in this popular service. The choice is yours! Do you want to be respected as one of the best experts at hair extensions … or just another hairstylist who occasionally offers this as an extra service. Make a statement!

We strongly suggest that you promote your hair extension services at full price. If desired, you may want to offer a $100 or $200 gift certificate discount towards any new first-time full head of hair extensions. You can also offer a ‘Gift With Purchase’ by offering a large gift of professional home haircare products, tools and special hair extension safe hairbrushes with any full head of hair extensions. Cross market a discount on your hair extensions with gift card sales for other salon and spa services.

Click here to read part 2 - Marketing & Advertising Strategies!

 

Editorial Notes:
The expert advice in this article has been provided by Vikki Parman; CEO and Director of Education of Di Biase Hair Extensions USA. Di Biase Hair Extensions USA is located at 38455 Hills Tech Drive, in Farmington Hills, MI 48331.
For more information on Di Biase Hair Extensions USA , call 248-489-8900

Photography by: The Hair Extension Guide, Di Biase Hair Extensions USA, and Marketing Solutions.
Hair Extensionist: Vikki Parman
Makeup Artist: Sigal Levine

Leanne Molter is a Marketing Coordinator at Marketing Solutions, a full-service marketing, advertising, media relations and consulting services agency specializing in the professional beauty business. For more information, contact Marketing Solutions in Fairfax, VA at 703-359-6000. Email MktgSols@MktgSols.com or visit www.MktgSols.com.

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