Simple Ways to Transform Your Business

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It’s the end of 2016. Regardless of how your resolutions for this year turned out, it’s never too late to set yourself up for a good start next year. Today, as our last blog before 2017, we’re going to list some simple things you can do to give your hair extension business a makeover for the new year (we already know that you’re really good at makeovers). So let’s get to it!

Redecorate.
This is a fairly straightforward one—transform your salon space by moving around the furniture, adding some seasonal decorative elements, or some business-specific marketing materials and displays. Not only will this revitalize the salon itself, it’ll also clue your clients in on all the services that you offer.

Update your inventory.
Depending on your inventory management style, you may be overdue for an inventory update. In 2016 alone, Babe introduced a number of new extension methods, colors, and tools, including our Instant Hair line, Flat-Tips, Fusion Cutters, Hair Organizers, Styrofoam Mannequin Heads, and several ombre shades. With all of the new additions, you may find that you’re missing a few revolutionary items in your salon.

Master a new method.
There’s no better way to boost your extension business than to introduce a whole new method to your arsenal. Our Online Education portal is more equipped than ever to teach you the ins and outs of our various extension methods, from I-Tip, Tape-In, and Fusion to Lash extensions. Enroll today for access to the training videos, including Babe certification (if you so choose). Certification in Babe extension methods puts you on our Certified Stylist list, so potential new clients can find you easily from our site. You’ll also be able to provide your clients with more service options.

Introduce Instant Hair services.
Speaking of more service options, Instant Hair extensions provide a load of opportunities to extend new services to your clients, including extension fitting, trimming, and coloring services. We even have an Instant Hair Rewards program to give you more returns for your investment. Learn more about how you can use Instant Hair to enhance your business by clicking here.

Introduce a customer rewards program.
Take a cue from the Instant Hair Rewards program and introduce your own rewards for your most loyal clients. Enable them to collect points for attending all of their recommended maintenance appointments, collecting all of their hair extension upkeep tools, or bringing a friend into the salon. The possibilities are endless.

Reboot your enthusiasm.
Motivation is the best indicator of success, so get back in the hair extension groove by treating yourself to some live Babe events. We offer trade show classes, Mastery Tour events, and even local-level courses with certain Babe distributors, all of which are guaranteed to increase your enthusiasm and improve your extension skills! Connect with fellow Babe stylists and learn in an engaging, fun environment. You can find our next destination right here.

Get a head start on your best extension year ever by following these tips, and let us know how it goes! You can share pictures and stories to any of our social media pages.

Until then, Happy Almost-New Year!

 

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What Is a Hair Care Consultation?

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We’re all familiar with hair extension consultations—those all-too-important appointments where you and your client work out the expectations, procedures, and specifications of the hair extension installation. But the consultation format is useful for many other hair situations, too. From color jobs, hair relaxing services, and even haircuts and general hair care, meeting with a client to talk out the details of any given process is extremely useful for everyone involved. There’s no better way to build rapport, ensure satisfaction, and preserve top-notch hair quality all at once. So this week, we’re going to talk you through a potential hair care consultation, and invite you to try it out in your salon soon!

What:
A hair care consultation is an appointment where you and your client will discuss the ideal hair care regimen for your client’s hair type. You’ll help them to classify their hair based on various type scales (oily to dry, porous to nonporous, curly to straight, etc.) and to formulate their hair care goals and metrics (so they know how to track their improvement).

Why:
Hair care is important in and of itself as part of basic human hygiene, and it’s additionally important for encouraging a client’s self-esteem and confidence. Hair is a loaded topic in our image-based society, and as stylists, it’s our job to help our clients achieve their ideal hair conditions. Furthermore, good ongoing hair care ensures that our work is viewed in the best possible light, and that the products of our efforts (and our clients’ investments) remain intact long after the salon service is complete. After all, your client’s hair is your business card, portfolio, and/or resume; your business will grow when your client’s friends ask about their hair, and your client speaks affirmingly of your work.

When:
When you perform a hair care consultation will depend largely on what other services your client is seeking/receiving from you. If your client is also a hair extension user, we suggest that you conduct the hair care consultation after the hair extensions have been installed so you can more effectively direct their hair care regimen with product recommendations. Of course, hair care requirements should be touched upon during a hair extension consultation so that the client is aware of the commitment they’re making, but hair care specifics can reasonably be saved for later so as not to overwhelm the client with information that they cannot immediately use. Consider separating the hair care consultation from the installation appointment by a couple of days to encourage your clients to adhere to the 48-hour rule.

How:
Ask your client in advance to think about their hair history, hair experience, and hair goals before arriving to the consultation, and advise them to bring images of their hair inspiration and a list of their currently used or favorite products to the appointment. You can do this by providing them with a short question card for this purpose. Have an iPad or other electronic device handy in the event that you or your client need to look up images or information during the consultation.

Invite your client to describe their hair in their own words. Have them describe their hair care process, and ask whether they’re satisfied with the results they’re seeing. Get a sense for how much time, energy, and/or money your client is willing to spend on their hair care process, and develop a range of steps (say, 2-4), a loose shampoo and conditioning schedule, and a budget based on the information they provide.

Conduct a few measurements of the client’s hair, identifying its: length, individual hair thickness, overall hair volume, porosity, oiliness/dryness, level of damage or health, curl pattern, and color (shade and tone—you may use the Color Swatch for this). Modify your product and regimen recommendations based on these details, as well as your client’s hair care history and goals. If your client is a professional extension user, help them to understand the differences between their natural hair and extension hair, and alert them to products that cater to a range of hair types.

If possible, provide the hair care consultation for free, generating revenue from aftercare product sales, instead. You can set the client up with product samples if they’re on the fence, or even with an After Care Kit, which is useful for both extension clients and non-extension clients alike. This season we’re offering a special, limited edition version of our After Care Kit, complete with our Dry Spray Shampoo, Hair Extension Brush, hair care card, and a chic little beauty bag to hold it all. Visit your local distributor to take advantage of the promotion.

Have you conducted a hair care consultation in your salon? Tell us all about it in the comments below!

 

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How to Sell After Care to Your Clients

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Hair extension after care is a big deal. In a 2-month window (after the initial installation and before the next move-up appointment), roughly 99.9% of the hair extension process happens outside of the salon—because what’s a 2-hour installation to 1,462 hours of wear? That’s not to undermine the importance of that first hair extension experience; the sustainability of the hair extensions will depend in large part on the quality of the installation itself. But 2 months is a long time—enough to do a lot of good or a lot of harm. So how do you convey the importance of aftercare to your clients, and help them to follow through on it?

We’ve written some tidbits about this before. Check out “How to Make Sure Your Clients Are Taking Care of Their Extensions,” or “Demonstrating Proper Techniques to Your Clients.” This time, though, we’re going to make a more specific recommendation: the After Care Kit. Babe offers a simple, introductory after care product set—complete with a Hair Extension Brush, Dry Spray Shampoo, and a hair care instruction card—to initiate each and every client to the task of maintaining their hair extensions. We encourage stylists to carry this kit in their salons, and even to include it as part of the installation package for first-time extension wearers. With only a couple of items involved, the After Care Kit is the easiest access point to a world of varied and sometimes ornate hair care products, which can be overwhelming to new clients. This November-December, we’re even offering a limited edition version of the kit with a special (and chic!) carrying bag that’ll make the hair care process that much more appealing (visit your local distributor to check it out)!

When you’re showing this kit to a new hair extension client, be sure to mention the following:

Hair care is important even for your natural hair.
Let’s forget about the extensions for a minute and examine your ordinary hair care routine. At the very least, you shampoo, condition, and brush your hair with some regularity. You do this so you can keep your hair looking its best. It’s the same thing for hair extensions, but with a few extra rules.

Hair extensions require their own specific hair care.
Even if your natural hair does well with a common shampoo, a weekly condition, and minimal brushing, your hair extensions are a different story. They’re different from your natural hair, so they’ll need custom treatment. This usually involves scarce washing, frequent conditioning (always below the bonds), mindful product selection (NO sulfates!), and gentle, daily brushing with a hair extension-friendly brush.

You have the power to perfect or destroy your extensions.
The hair extension process doesn’t end when you step out of the salon—it proceeds throughout the duration of your hair extension wear. That’s anywhere from a couple of weeks to 3+ months, depending on your intentions. Needless to say, the after care portion of your hair extension experience easily overshadows the consultation and installation parts, so the damage you do (or prevent) during this period can make or break that initial work.

More than anything, let your client know that they are a key player in their hair extension process! You can do this from the very beginning by encouraging their input and participation during the consultation and installation phases. There’s nothing more beautiful than feeling empowered, and your client will glow a little bit brighter when she realizes that her head of hair is partially her own accomplishment. With resolve like that, there’s no doubt that the hair will stay looking great, too.

Got questions? Leave them in the comments below and we’ll get back to you ASAP!

 

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How to Make the Most of the Changing Seasons

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A new season can mean a lot more than just a change in temperature. There are different holidays on your calendar, new fashions in the clothing racks, new foods in the produce isle, and, maybe most importantly, new items on your to-do list. Because as lovely and exciting as a new season can be, it can also be pretty stressful. As a stylist, chances are you’re gearing up to accommodate a busier schedule, with every customer demanding the latest style or trend spotted on the runway. So how do you make the most of it? Here are a couple of tips:

Prep your staff.
First up, huddle your stylists or coworkers together for a strategy session. Ideally, you should be having recurring meetings anyway, but it’s 110% necessary around season-shifting time. Talk about your expected client volume, how you’ll divvy up work, whether you need a waitlist, etc. Make sure that everyone knows what to expect in the coming weeks. And, if you’re going to be doing something special—like any of the things below—make sure you talk about all that, too.

Schedule sales for anticipated services.
If things are going to be crazy anyway, you might as well go all out. Lure even the most salon-shy customers to your seat with seasonal deals and/or discounts on recurring services. Make fall-pallette color jobs just a little bit cheaper than the rest, offer discounted summer blowouts for clients who bring their friends, or instate a 10% sale on trims, move-up appointments, and/or Instant Hair! Whatever the season calls for. And, if you’re extra-ambitious, you could even make an event out of it. Anyone up for a Halloween costume party at the salon? Winners get prizes!

Update your featured products.
New weather means new hair care concerns, so make sure that your featured products—the ones that are immediately visible to clients—cater to their current needs. Pull together your moisturizing serums and anti-frizz sprays for fall and winter, and your UV-protectants and texturizing sprays for spring and summer. If you have seasonally-themed products—like pumpkin spice-scented conditioner, rosewater spray, or the like—bring those to the forefront, too (after all, we’re all suckers for that pumpkin spice).

Introduce new offerings.
A new season is a great opportunity to roll out some new salon offerings, be they products or services. Adding a new extension method to your toolkit? Wrap it into your seasonal sales to incentivize your clients to jump onboard. They’re likely already hyped by all the new seasonal developments, so a new service could send their enthusiasm through the roof!

Decorate!
Honestly, one of the best parts of welcoming a new season into your salon has got to be the decorating. You know—making it feel like autumn, winter, spring, or summer, inside and out! Bring out the jack-o-lanterns, the holiday lights, the flowers, or the seashells! It’ll be a festive touch, not just for your clients, but also for you and the other stylists! You are the ones who spend most of your time in that space. Make it a place in which you enjoy working!

What are you doing in your salon to play up the changing season? Tell us in the comments below! And don’t forget to share pictures of your decorated salons with us!

 

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How to Respond to an Unhappy Client

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Addressing an unhappy client after a lengthy hair extension appointment is perhaps the worst situation you can be in as a stylist. You’re tired from installing a full head of hair, discouraged that your client is unsatisfied with the work, and most likely uncertain of where to take the conversation from there, especially if it’s your first time dealing with this kind of hiccup. But we’re here to help. Here are the “confrontation” and “de-escalation” tips and take-aways we’ve gathered from many years of working with hair extensions, stylists, and clients. We hope that they’ll prove useful for you!

Read the signs.
Not all clients will express dissatisfaction the same way. Some will come right out and tell you what’s on their mind, but many will convey only a facial expression, or respond with vague questions or statements that traipse around the edges of their feelings. It’s important that you notice these signs, read them for what they are, and articulate them to your client. It’s easy to ignore some signs of unhappiness, whether by accident or to intentionally avoid a confrontation or the possibility of more work, but the reputation of your salon and business is in the balance, so you want to make your clients as happy as possible. That means that, when faced with cryptic messages or gestures, you should straight-out ask your client what they think of their hair (politely), and ask them if there’s anything they’d like changed. Oftentimes the fixes will be simple enough. Maybe the style didn’t suit them and they want a few more layers, or waves, or what have you. Once in a while, you might need to schedule a damage control appointment. You just won’t know until you ask.

Address yourself, first.
Let’s say the misstep is a big one, and your client is seriously upset. You can tell that they’re worked up–but what about you? If you’re feeling a little foggy or angry or off-balance, too, you’re in no position to be engaging with an unhappy customer, since it takes water to put out a fire–not more fire. So step one is to perform an internal check-in. Ask yourself, “How am I feeling right now?” “Why am I feeling this way?” and really spell it out for yourself so you can put things in perspective. If you still feel like you’re unable to balance yourself after your internal check-in, ask another stylist or administrator for support.

Put yourself in your client’s shoes.
Once you’ve sorted out your own feelings about the situation, try to see things from your client’s point of view. Did they just spend a lot of money on this appointment? Do they have a history of low self-esteem, or problems with their body or general appearance? Was this appointment for a special event that’s coming up soon? Or do they feel like they’re going to have to pay for a mistake that you made, or settle for a look that they didn’t want in the first place? Oftentimes the client’s concerns are entirely valid, even if their behavior in reaction to those concerns is disproportionate or needlessly hostile. So invite them to outline their perspective to you, and let them know that you understand where they’re coming from.

Ask questions.
Once you’ve reaffirmed to your client that you recognize and understand their concerns, ask more technical questions about the hair itself. What is it about the product that they don’t like? At what point during the procedure did they observe things starting to go south? Let the client feel like they’re in control here, as this will help to alleviate some of their negative feelings about the appointment.

Provide clarification.
Now that you know what it is your client is unhappy about, you can quickly and briefly share your own side of the story. You made this decision because…you proceeded this way because…you weren’t aware that…etc. Maybe your client will understand some of your decisions, or recognize that you were acting on something that they had miscommunicated. If so, this step can help to absolve you of the full brunt of the blame, and restore your client’s trust in you. If not, you’ll at least have shared your thought process and demonstrated to those around you that you were not careless in your performance.

Propose a remedy.
Next, you should set forth a course of action. How can you and your client work together to achieve the outcome that they want? Is a re-installation in order? A color job? Something else? Create a battle plan with specific, actionable steps to correct the problem to your client’s satisfaction.

Remember your salon policies.
Ideally, damage control services should be offered for free. So long as the client did not drastically miscommunicate their objectives, leave out important information, or simply dislike the result that they had initially envisioned (outcomes that can be avoided with a thorough consultation session), the error in these situations must be attributed to the stylist. In general, the client only has so much control over the installation procedure, so unwanted results are not really their fault. That being said, you should consult with your salon’s policies before arranging free damage control services. If additional hair is necessary, it’s possible that the client would be expected to cover a portion of it, even if the installation of said hair is free. In these cases, consider paying for the replacement hair yourself. Even if you lose money at the end of this encounter, you’ll have established professional accountability, which is vital for maintaining a respectable salon and good client relations.

Act accordingly.
This is absolutely vital: if you say you’re going to do something to counteract a problem, actually do it. Follow your battle plan to a T–and, just to be safe, ask your client how they feel throughout the process. Because the only thing worse than a bad hair extension appointment is a bad follow-up hair extension appointment.

What are your tips for addressing an unhappy client? Do you have any memorable experiences to share? Let us know in the comments below!

 

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The Secret of the Before & After Photo

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Been doing hair extension installations for a while now? Chances are you’ve taken a before & after photo or two. These puppies are a big part of marketing your hair extension services, since they make up your service portfolio (if you don’t have one, get cracking!). They show prospective clients what you’ve accomplished in the past, and give them some insight into what their hair could look like in the future. So how do you get professional-level before & after photos without the photography schooling–or without an actual photographer on hand? We’ve talked to a photographer friend to find out their secrets, and here’s the photoshoot cheat sheet they gave us:

Find the right light. Don’t worry, we don’t mean professional lighting setups. What we mean by the “right light” is a diffused light. For the same reason that overcast weather is better than sunny skies for an outdoor portrait shoot, diffused light is better than direct light because it’s gentler and more forgiving. Achieve diffused light in your salon by investing in some sheer curtains to put over your windows, or white lampshades to put over your lights.

Set up a formation. Ever wonder why you look so much better in your bathroom mirror or in the mirror backstage at a show? Even though the lights are shining directly at you (no filter or diffuser in sight) the effect is still gentle and soft. That’s probably because of the lighting arrangement. Bathroom and show lights often recreate the ring light effect–casting light evenly around all sides of the subject for an otherworldly glow. It’s that oh-so-flattering look that makes ring lights so popular in video and photography. You can recreate a ring light in your salon by adding LED lights around your salon mirrors (which will also give your clients an extra-nice reflection of themselves to look at while you’re working).

Position your subject. The area you want to photograph should be facing your lighting arrangement, not facing away from it. That means that, if your lighting arrangement is around your mirror, your client should sit with her back facing the mirror. Direct your client to look just slightly downward, so that their silhouette appears more natural, and try to keep the camera level with the base of their head so that this area becomes the center of the photograph. If you’d like to feature the added length or texture produced by your work, opt for a back-shot. If you’d like to showcase your blending work, take a photo from the back but toward one side, so you get a glimpse of the face frame.

Position Yourself. If your client is positioned with her back facing a light source that is attached to a wall (mirror lights or window), you won’t be able to get on the other side of the lights for the picture. Instead of standing in-between the client and the light source for the picture (which would cast shadows over her hair), utilize either a selfie-stick to get the camera behind the client’s head, or the mirror itself by standing in front of your client and taking a picture of her hair’s reflection (from a higher angle). Try to position yourself outside of the camera frame in these situations.

Check your camera settings. Whether you’re taking the photo with a camera or a cell phone. You’ll want to check the settings to make sure they’re ideal to your shooting environment. Check your zoom, aperture and shutter speed (if relevant), color balance and/or filter settings, at minimum.

Take multiples. Sometimes it’s hard to tell how well a photo turned out just by looking at a viewfinder or smartphone screen. Once you transfer that photo to a computer, though, all the details get blown up, and you can see clearly whether the focus is off, the lighting is flared, or the composition isn’t centered on the back of the head. Taking multiple photos from the beginning will prevent you from having to make do with one less-than-spectacular shot.

And the final tip? Practice. Achieving the perfect B&A might take a few tries, even with all of these pro tips. But we know you can do it! So go ahead and send those B&A photos our way. We love to showcase your awesome work and Instagram-worthy pictures!

 

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Brand Tips for the Babe Chick

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Do you know your industry specs, your audience demographics, and your local salon community? Do you keep track of your customer’s opinions about your services and the beauty world at large? Do you test new products and services’ potential market performance before distributing them in your salon? Branding and marketing are a big deal in big companies, and they often involve specialized teams performing full time work to generate that kind of information. As a salon, you might not have those resources, but that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook when it comes to thinking about your brand (and the myriad of things that go into it). So here are Babe’s expert tips for tailoring your brand to your every situation, without the marketing team and advertising budget.

Know the biz. Subscribe to credible beauty magazines and email lists (like this one) for insider scoop on developments within your industry. This will be your window into the professional landscape of your business, and it’ll likely give you a good idea of where your salon and services stand within that landscape. They might even clue you in on new trends and opportunities you can seize to make your business better. It’s good to get a variety of opinions and perspectives for a well-rounded and unbiased view, and you can even provide these materials to your clients for pre-appointment reading.

Chart out your space. Once you get an in-depth understanding of the context of your business (a.k.a. know your territory), you can accurately define what your business is, where it exists in the beauty space, and how it’s different from other establishments in that space. We’re talking about your mission statement–your reason for existing as a business. If you know that hair extensions are an up-and-coming yet not-fully-mainstream salon offering (an industry insight we identified in our last blog post), you can establish your salon as a trendy boutique, a rarefied specialty salon, or even a niche within the pop beauty scene, depending on your preferences.

Know your audience. If the beauty industry is your territory and your salon identity is your address, then your audience is the people living at that address. It’s good to know some general details about your audience–their gender, average age, income level, favorite service, etc.–because your salon identity and your audience are intimately linked. When one changes, the other will change, too, so you’ll want to be able to predict and control these outcomes as much as possible.

Utilize surveys. Once you can identify the members of your audience, get acquainted with their opinions. Do they like the quality of your service? Do they think hair extensions are new and happening, or do they see them as old news? You’ll want to tailor the brand space you defined from beauty industry perspectives to the tastes of your audience–to make it palatable, if you will. Consider it a fine-tuning process, where you keep the fundamental details the same, but modify your delivery. Or, to put it a different way, keeping up with industry insights helps you moderate your brand identity, whereas keeping up with your audience’s opinions helps you determine the best way to express that identity.

Take advantage of existing resources. If you’re using Babe hair extensions in your salon, rest assured knowing that we’ve done most of the branding work for you. We provide our stylists with various marketing tools, display sets, and professional resources to keep your thumb on the pulse of Babe’s brand at all times. We also send out regular emails about Babe products and resources, so if you haven’t signed up for Babe correspondence and blog updates, please do so! Our brand is your brand, and we’re here to help you master it.

Have more branding questions? Leave them in the comments below. Also, try signing up for our Free DvD, which comes with three special reports about developing your Babe brand and business.

 

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How to Manage Hair Extensions like Babe HQ

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When it comes to hair extension closets, no one’s is bigger than Babe HQ’s. We’re talking aisles and aisles, shelves on shelves–and, believe it or not, it’s not too difficult to manage, actually. That’s because we have a tried-and-true organization system that works for us. So, if you have trouble organizing your hair extension supply closet: listen up. We’re about to dish some of our pro tips for managing your Babe things.

1. Have distinct sections. If you’re working with different methods of hair extensions, you’ll want to have different areas for Tape-In, I-Tip, Fusion, and Clip-In extensions. This is the first order of categorization because it’s the first choice that needs to be made for an installation. Remember: not all colors are available in all methods. While you can always dye extensions to match your client’s hair, it’s better to get the closest color possible from the start. So choose the method first so you know which colors you have to work with.

2. Different lengths on different shelves. Your x and y axes (horizontal and vertical categories) will depend on how much space you have at your disposal. Here at Babe, we have a lot of space (and a lot of inventory), so we set different lengths on different shelves. That means that, when you look up, you’ll find the shorter hair extension lengths for that method, and when you look down, you’ll find the longer lengths. If you have a regular closet-sized storage space, you might be better off opting for horizontal length organization, instead. In that scenario, extensions of different lengths (but the same color) are placed next to each other in stacks.

3. Arrange by color. Babe hair extensions are sold in a rainbow of colors with conveniently archive-able names like: 1, 1B, 2, 3R, etc. Here at Babe HQ, we place extensions in sequential colors next to each other horizontally, since we organize vertically by length. That means that, on the far left of the shelf, you’ll find our darker colors (1, 1B, etc.), and on the far right of the shelf, you’ll find our lighter colors (600, 613, 1001) and funky colors. Again, if you’re short on room and your space is portrait-oriented, place different colors on different shelves, organizing vertically.

4. Make space for texture. Since our wavy/curly textures are only available in our longest extensions length (22”), and we organize our extension lengths vertically, it makes sense for us to place textured 22” hair on a shelf all by itself. So, below 22” straight extensions of any given color, you’ll find 22” wavy/curly hair–when it’s available. For narrow, closet-style storage, you could recreate this with an additional column or stack to the right of your 22” straight extensions of a given color.

5. Single vs. Set. When it comes to Clip-In hair extensions, we offer both full-set and single clip varieties. Here at Babe HQ, we actually place these in different sections (see point 1), but you could also conceivably organize them together, with single-clips included as a different length option (on the top shelf, when organizing length vertically, or on the far left, when organizing length horizontally).

6. Overflow is natural. If you’re anything like us, sometimes you might find that you have too much inventory even for your organization scheme. If you’re organizing your hair extensions horizontally by color, and you have hair extensions of every available color, you might find that they don’t all fit on the same shelf. In that case, it’s okay to place these extensions (of the same length but different colors) on a different shelf. What we recommend that you do, though, is make it very clear to yourself that that shelf is merely a continuation of the previous shelf, and not a new shelf delineating a new hair length. You can do this by painting the shelves, placing visual dividers onto the shelves (like lights, tinsel, or highlighter between sections), or even just adding bookends.

7. Pull when needed. For obvious reasons, Babe HQ utilizes a stock-up-in-advance tactic for hair extension management. Therefore, when it comes time to fulfill a specific order (in your case a specific consultation appointment), we pull the necessary hair as the order comes in. We proceed to package the products, set them aside for shipment, and, by the end of the day, all of that material gets sent out. In the case of a hair extension consultation, though, the actual installation date might be several days (or even a week or so) after the hair extensions have been picked out. To keep that hair separated and reserved for a particular client, we recommend that, in addition to shelves, you utilize hooks to hang the packages of hair pre-selected for an installation. You can install these hooks on the shelf frame itself, or on the interior facade of the closet door. Complete the fixture with a white-erase board overhead, or erasable nametags for each hook, on which you can write the name of the corresponding client.

Are you in the process of getting your hair extension closet in shape? Let us know whether these tips have helped you, and feel free to share a picture of your Babe things collection on social media!

 

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Stock Up and Sort Out Your Hair Extension Closet

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As if sorting out your personal wardrobe wasn’t hard enough…welcome to the chaos that is a stylist supply closet. Between the scissors and the dyes and the styling products, it’s easy to get lost in even the most well-maintained stockroom. Hair extensions just add another layer of complexity to the problem. So, here are our tips for managing your hair extension supply closet, from filling to sorting and everything in-between.

Pick a tactic. Your supply process (the way that you go about collecting and distributing Babe hair extension products) will totally dictate what kind of organization scheme you use, so it’s best to identify your habits early on. In general, we find that stylists either order-as-needed—purchasing all of their hair extension supplies after the consultation phase—or stock-up-in-advance—keeping a constant inventory of select Babe products and replenishing them after each use. Both tactics have their advantages: ordering as needed keeps additional hair out of your storage space and can help prevent unnecessary spending; stocking-up in advance allows stylists to introduce their clients to Babe extensions more comprehensively, find better color and texture matches, and perform more tests. Both involve a degree of storage between purchase date and installation time, tailored to the situation at hand.

Build a framework. By this we mean, decide what your underlying organizational categories will be. If you’re in the “order-as-needed” sect of stylists, this will probably involve categorizing by client name and/or appointment date. If you’re more “stock-up-in-advance,” you’ll probably choose to organize by extension color, length, and/or texture. These likely won’t be your only organization categories, but they’ll be your most important or immediate ones, so choose some that complement the way that your mind works.

Sub-divide. Once you’ve decided upon your main organizational scheme—say, organizing horizontally by color and vertically by extension length—you can start working with your relegated categories. How will you divide different hair textures within the 22”-length category? How will you stock-up-in-advance ladies separate out the hair you select for a particular client (or will you opt for post-it note reminders, instead)? How will you order-as-needed stylists account for unused hair extensions? Do you need a separate section for loose strands and test strands? Again, choose strategies that coincide with the way that you process information. If out-of-sight means out-of-mind for you and your work ethic, don’t separate your curly and wavy extensions from the rest of the hair; use labels, color schemes, or even numeric codes to distinguish sub-sections within the same general area, depending on your preferences.

Buy some props. To make your organization system real, you’ll likely need to introduce some physical barriers and tags to your storage closet. Invest in some plastic drawers, shelves, filing cabinets—whatever. The sky’s the limit, so use your imagination. Also, feel free to load up on some pretty decorative things, too. Just because it’s storage doesn’t mean it has to be boring (especially if it’s in a place where people can see it!). Pro tip: Babe in-store displays are a great and visually-appealing example of how to organize your hair extension stock, so take some notes from your local distributor!

Commit! Once you have your organizational thing down, you’ve got to stick to it. Sure, it’s okay to tweak the system a bit if you find there’s something that needs fixing. But slacking off is not an option. After all, the organization system is there to help you resist the urge to slack off. Do your salon and your workday a favor by making this part of your job that much easier!

What are your tips for creating an impeccable hair extension closet in your salon? Tell us in the comments below, and stay tuned for next week’s blog post, where we’ll share some insights into how we organize our Babe extension closet (it’s pretty extensive!).

 

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What Is an “Extensions Generalist”?

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Here at Babe, we talk a lot about hair extension stylists, specialists, and—most recently—connoisseurs! But if there’s such a thing as a “specialist” or “connoisseur” in an industry, shouldn’t there be a “generalist” or “hobbyist,” too? Personally, we wouldn’t want to get our extensions installed by an extensions hobbyist. An extensions generalist, though, could probably do with some additional explanation.

In a nutshell, an extensions generalist is someone who uses all of the available hair extension methods. This person is competent at wielding I-Tip, Fusion, and Tape-In extensions alike—maybe even Flat-Tip, if they’re really up on the trends. They tend to be less territorial about one method or another, and are often the stylists most open to welcoming Clip-In services into their salon. Everything is fair game.

Can an extensions generalist also be a specialist in one of their methods? Perhaps, but usually we designate the term “generalist” for people who are equally proficient in all of their chosen methods. One notable overlap, though, would be the best-of-the-best hair extension masters who are specialist-level in each of the extension methods. These stylists could simultaneously be called specialists and generalists, and, more often than not, they’re also hair extension connoisseurs. So how does that work, and how can you get to that point?

It takes a lot of drive and commitment to become proficient in every hair extension method, and even more to develop mastery. It’s not surprising, then, that the most accomplished hair extension stylists are the ones who demonstrate a passion for the medium itself, and are pushed beyond the markers of a certificate or a successful extension business to a truly fulfilling hair extension practice. We’ve used the terms “extension business” and “extension practice” interchangeably in the past, but in actuality they’re very different. A business is the monetary reality of your hair extension services. A practice is a lifestyle, or a way of approaching that business reality that emphasizes what it means to you (rather than the objective results).

We’ve talked about what to do to become a hair extension connoisseur, but let’s talk about how to become an extension generalist—and, specifically, an extension generalist who is also a connoisseur: a hair extension master. Firstly, you have to study up on a wide range of hair extension methods. If you’ve set up shop with just I-Tip or Fusion in your arsenal, now is the time to dip into Tape-In, Flat-Tip, and even Babe Instant Hair. You can do that right here.

Once you’ve earned your certification in each method, focus on supplemental education. Trade show classes, distributor events, educational DvDs, and the Babe Mastery Tour—designed specifically to level-up your extension skills—are all at your disposal. Take advantage of these opportunities to really hone in on your craft.

Finally, consider becoming a Babe educator. Our Babe representatives would be happy to talk you through the process, and there are plenty of chances to get started. It’s no secret that becoming an educator affords you a greater understanding of the work that you do. After all, you really need to know your stuff in order to communicate it effectively to other people! Plus, teaching is always a learning process, and you’ll learn new things from your students and fellow-educators every single day.

Ready to dive back into Babe education? Leave us your comments in the space below!

 

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