Hair extensions - a few hours in the Salon and you have long hair that looks like a dream. It is the notion that women can achieve an instantaneous transformation that has seen demand for high-quality hair extensions hit an all-time high. This increase in demand has been aptly met with an increase in supply as salons realise that hair extension is one of the most lucrative services to offer. With so many options flooding the marketplace it can be challenging to select a hair extension salon that will be best for you.
Apart from the obvious things that need to be taken into consideration like the quality of hair used, the experience of the hair technicians, and hair attachment methodology, there are subtle observable factors that can be assessed at the consultation stage to help make the decision easier.
Probably not much needs to be said about this. The salon should be spotless from top to bottom. A clean-looking salon generally means that there is an agenda for hygiene and proper sanitation. So why does this matter? Very simply, clean salons are better structured and organised. The salon and its employees take pride in what they do with the team effort needed to maintain clean and tidy work areas. This "team effort" is very important to the overall running of the salon, including its workflow and how well all services are coordinated and performed.
Great Customer Service
Great customer service is measured by how well a salon exceeds the needs of its clients. First impressions start from when you first make contact. Is the staff helpful on the phone? Are they willing and able to listen to you and your questions? Where is the staff friendly and approachable? Did they make you feel welcome? Did they advise you of the products and techniques they are using? Staff should be professional at all times, both in their manner and dress codes. If anything proves to be unsatisfactory it is a good sign that your overall experience will likely be sub-par.
While the time requires to fit extensions can vary between 2-6 hours depending on the attachment technique (less for micro rings and more for glue) it nonetheless represents a significant investment of time. As the salon will be your “home” for the next few hours feeling comfortable, therefore, becomes quite important. The best salons spare no expenses in making sure their clients are treated like VIPs by offer amenities like a full bar, canapés, foot massages, and library of movies and TV shows shown on individual DVD glasses. By offering such amenities coupled with good conversation and glossy gossip magazines the salon is basically screaming, “You’re important and we care”.
99.9% of salons refuse to offer their clients an uncomplicated price structure. It is rare that you will have any idea of the price before the consultation stage. Once you reach the consultation stage you may have a better idea but things can still change between the fitting and when you get to the cashier if the salon charges per strand. Those few salons that do offer an uncomplicated price structure should not be overlooked as they are subtly saying that, “I have confidence in what I am doing and so should you”.
A good salon should have a well-stocked inventory of hair on hand at all times. This is important for several reasons. Firstly, it allows for the salon to offer consultation and fitting on the same day (a service that few salons offer). Secondly, it allows the client a chance to examine, firsthand, the different types of hair that potentially might be worn in their head. Surprisingly, a lot of salons demonstrate the different grades of hair they offer by using a sample ring so the hair you get might not resemble the hair you thought you chose. Thirdly, by having hair in stock the client is able to keep his eye on the chosen hair throughout the whole process. As hair is not cheap a salon that has a considerable inventory of hair and is willing to show you that inventory is a salon that is committed to the job at hand of creating a beautiful head of hair for you.
Please bear in mind that these are additional things to look for when choosing a salon. It is always recommended to do some homework. Getting a referral to a hair extension salon by family or friends could be a good way to begin your search. Great salons receive lots of referrals from their existing customers who are only too happy to recommend exceptional service, professionalism, and outstanding results. Discussion forums can be a rich source of information, as many tend to share their personal experiences and the remedies or problems they faced.
However, if the salon offers the extension attachment methodology you are looking for and ticks all the boxes listed below then you likely have found a winner.
Q & A
So, now you’ve chosen your salon, great job! But you may have some questions to ask them first and if you don’t hesitate to ask. It can be a bit unnerving for some people to ask questions though, so we decided to answer what you might want to ask.
What Kind of Hair Do You Use for Your Extensions?
Not all hair extensions are equal. Synthetic and treated human hair are cheaper than virgin hair but can be harder to manage. Virgin hair (hair that's never been dyed, permed, or otherwise treated) will behave much like your own. Make sure you always ask hair extension experts which they use. If you are after Russian hair and you are not sure if what they are offering is Russian hair, read our blog articled titled “5 Ways to Tell if Your Russian Hair is Russian”
How Long Will My Extensions Last Before Needing Maintenance?
There are a large number of hair extensions and every single one of them requires regular maintenance. Why? Because your natural hair grows, and your extensions don’t. Some styles of hair extensions last longer than others, for example, fusion bonded extensions and micro ring extensions. These are both semi-permanent styles and can last up to 4-6 months (Good quality Russian hair 2+ years) but need repositioning usually every 2-3 months. Whereas tape-in hair extensions last from 6-8 weeks. In any case, before you purchase extensions it is of utmost importance that you do your research.
Will the Process You Use Damage My Hair, Including When the Extensions Are Taken Out?
Techniques that glue the extensions to your natural hair and need chemicals to remove them have the most potential to damage your hair. Also, extensions that pull on your natural hair may cause some hair loss. The safest methods are those, like micro ring extensions, that use no chemicals and create minimal traction.
Will I Be Able to Look After My Extensions in the Same Way as My Natural Hair?
This depends both on the type of hair used and the method of attachment. In general, attachment techniques that don't use glue make it easiest to care for the extensions along with your own hair. Some styles of hair extensions allow you to treat them the same as your natural hair, such as fusion bonded extensions, whereas others like sew-in extensions that need deep-conditioning products.
How Experienced Are the Salon and Its Hair Technicians?
Unless you know and trust them, you don't want to put yourself in the hands of an inexperienced salon and barely trained hair extension specialists. Ask about the salon and its customers. A good salon is likely to have had high-profile clients who are happy to endorse them.