Using Single Sided Tape on Fine or Thin Hair

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“Are hair extensions for me?” You’ve heard your clients ask this question. Perhaps we’re a little biased here at Babe, but “absolutely!” is our perennial response. Whether your clients want a quick fix of length and color or an all-over hair transformation, hair extensions and their various installation methods can bring visions to reality.

Hair comes in all shapes and sizes though, and some clients remain skeptical. “I have thin/fine hair. Are extensions still for me?” these concerned clients may ask. It’s certainly a valid question. Hair extensions do require proper installation and upkeep to achieve their intended effect, and it’s crucial for clients to understand their specific hair type before beginning. But our answer is still an unmitigated: Yes! Yes! Yes! With Babe’s Single Sided Tape that is. Here’s why using Single Sided Tape with Tape-In Extensions is perfect for clients with thin or fine hair, and how this revolutionary product is changing the extensions game for women of all hair types…

Half the Wefts = Half the Weight
One of the predominant hair extensions stumbling blocks for those with fine or thin hair is the weight, strain, and discomfort that the hair extensions can potentially place on the hair and scalp. When the client’s individual strands of hair are thinner and the follicles more sparse, Babe’s Tape-In Extensions are preferred over fusion or beaded methods because they’re lighter overall. Still, even traditional Tape-In Extensions can be too heavy for thin-haired clients. This is exactly where Single Sided Tape comes into play. In a nutshell, Single Sided Tape is a gentle solution for thin-haired clients because they use half as many wefts as traditional Tape-In extensions, and, as a result, place half as much weight and strain on the hair. While traditional Tape-In Extensions work by “sandwiching” the client’s hair between two wefts of extensions and then taping them together, Single Sided Tape allows you to achieve that effect using only one weft of hair extensions and a corresponding piece of adhesive on the other side. End result? It creates the same volumizing visual effect as traditional Tape-In Extensions with half the distributed weight overall.

Single Sided Tape-Ins Bring New Opportunities
Beauty, and the opportunity to transform oneself, shouldn’t have an exclusive “door policy.” It’s for everyone! With that in mind, Single Sided Tape creates hair extensions avenues which many clients haven’t previously considered possible. With its weightless alternative to traditional extension methods and premium Babe quality, Single Sided Tape allows women with thin or fine hair to experience the same volumizing effects of Tape-In Extensions without the weight and strain that’s kept them out of the running in the past.

To learn more about Single Sided Tape, as well as other hair extension techniques that make all kinds of hair transformations available to every client, visit our new Everything But Length Portal!

Shop Tape-In Extensions Now



Should Clients take a Break from Hair Extensions?


Hair extensions are a lifestyle. Many of our recurring clients wear their hair on repeat, going from one move-up appointment to the next without even a day-long break from hair extensions. While going without their extensions can seem unbearable for those clients who consider long, voluminous hair to be a part of their very identity, it can even feel odd for less-invested clients who have simply gotten used to the hair extension maintenance schedule. Regardless, wearing hair extensions nonstop can eventually strain the natural hair, and as a stylist, it’s up to you to intervene. Here are some tips:

- We recommend that some clients take a brief break from hair extensions between un-install and re-install to let the natural hair breathe, so to speak. This is a good time to perform restorative procedures to both the natural hair and extensions, revitalizing the locks for the second round. This will only involve a day or two of no hair extensions, so you can convince your more addicted clients to wear their hair up in the meantime.

- If hair feels dry, brittle, frayed, or looks particularly dull, tired, or distressed (particularly around the roots), it’s time to take a longer break from extensions. We recommend that, if damage is present, the client wait approximately 2-3 months (the normal length of one hair extension cycle) for the hair to grow out a little, so extensions will be installed on a healthier section of hair. Know that this can be very hard for longtime hair extension wearers to stomach, but it must be done for hair health, and there are ways to soften the blow. Offer restorative treatments during those 2-3 months to speed up the recovery process (and to bolster up your income), and introduce your client to Babe Instant Hair. We recommend the Babe Crown, since it rests against the head itself, rather than the hair—it will allow your client to experience their signature long locks, without the strain to their roots!

If your client likes their non-stop hair extension routine and doesn’t present any signs of hair damage, it’s totally okay to skip the break and go straight for re-install. But it doesn’t hurt to offer your perspective, or to prepare yourself for those occasions where an intervention is necessary. Your client will thank you in the end!

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



Demonstrating Proper Techniques to Your Clients


Hair extensions are a specialty service. They involve tactics that go beyond the realm of a standard salon practice, and therefore require some additional education—for both stylist and client. While it may be simple to take control of your own hair extension education through Babe’s Online Education program and various events, it’s not as straightforward for your client, who may not even realize that there’s more to hair extension care than just brushing, washing, and drying. So how can you make sure that they get the info they need? Give it to them, and demonstrate. Demonstrating proper hair care empowers clients to make the right decisions with regard to their investment, and leaves less work for you to do later. Here are the bases to cover:

Show your client what kind of brush is compatible with their hair extensions, then use it to start brushing through the client’s hair. Talk through the steps as you demonstrate them, pointing out how you begin from the bottom, working the brush through the ends of the hair in a downward motion to coax out knots, then gradually work your way up. Indicate that they should use one hand to hold the roots of the hair in order to reduce tugging at the bonds. Then invite them to try out the technique for themselves. Be sure to remind them that their hair will need to be brushed 1-3 times a day to distribute the oils from their scalp to their hair extensions.

Discuss product selection with your client, and be sure to emphasize that they should be avoiding sulfate ingredients at all costs. Make sure they understand that shampoo should be concentrated at the roots of the hair, since that’s where the dirt builds up. Demonstrate the best lathering technique for their hair extensions by passing your fingers through their dry hair. Advise them to wash their hair no more than twice a week, since over-shampooing can dry out their extensions.

While you can’t really demonstrate the conditioning process to your client without actually washing their hair, you can still address the topic and recreate the proper updo for deep-conditioning treatments. Make it very clear that conditioner should not be applied anywhere near extension bonds, but rather focused at the ends and mid-lengths of the hair. Advise your client to leave the conditioner in their hair for 5-10 minutes before rinsing, to wear their hair in a low bun while doing so (to avoid conditioner seeping into the bond area), and to follow-up with other moisturizing treatments throughout the week, always below the bonds. Again, all products used should be sulfate-free.

Show your client what a good microfiber towel looks and feels like, and explain why it’s a better choice for drying both hair and hair extensions. Show them how to safely wring the water out of their hair after a shower. Introduce them to a good heat protectant and explain where it should be applied, plus how it should be distributed throughout the hair prior to blow drying. Tell your client that, when possible, they should only blow dry the roots of their hair and leave the rest to air dry.

Share some heat-free styling techniques that your client can use in lieu of their curling wand or straightener. Reiterate the importance of heat protectant prior to any heat styling, and remind them that heat protectant should be left to set for a minute or so before styling.

There are several aspects of the maintenance process that should be highlighted. Firstly, the use of Dry Shampoo should be encouraged between washes to minimize both oiliness and shower frequency. Introduce your client to this product, demonstrate its use, and devise the best shower/Dry Shampoo schedule for them based on their hair type. Secondly, address sleeping arrangements, including the use of silk or satin pillowcases and headscarves to minimize friction during the night. Tie the client’s hair into an easy braid that they can recreate before sleeping, or tailor a sleeping style that will help them achieve their desired day look without the use of heating tools.

With these tips and an Aftercare Kit to go, your client will be well prepared for their new hair extension life. Don’t forget to snap a picture of them before they leave and share it with us on our Instagram page!



Replacement Tape vs. Single Sided Tape


Babe Tape-In specialists know that each style of Babe Tape-In tapes are designed specifically for one job, and are not interchangeable. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Babe’s Tape-In method and its corresponding tools, Babe offers two varieties of tape products that assist in Tape-In installation and re-installation: Single Sided Tape and Replacement Tape. It’s important to stock up on both of these products for complete Tape-In preparation, as one alone simply will not cut it. Here’s why:

Single Sided Tape is used for custom Tape-In installation, serving as a replacement for one of the two Tape-In wefts used in an ordinary installation. It’s a one-sided tape strip perfectly aligned in shape and size to our Tape-In weft, and is applied to the reverse side of a hair section to seal the Tape-In bond. Ideally, Single Sided tape is used during installations on finer-haired clients (video here). Single Sided Tape allows for a lighter-than-normal Tape-In application with less weight on the client’s natural hair, since only one Tape-In weft is being used per hair section (instead of two).

Replacement Tape is used for Tape-In re-installation. It’s a double-sided tape strip that is also perfectly aligned in shape and size to our Tape-In weft. Replacement Tape is used to replace the old adhesive on used Tape-In extensions. After the extensions are removed from the hair, the old adhesive is removed, and the Tape-In weft is cleaned and dried, the Replacement Tape strip can be applied to allow for reuse of the same hair extensions.

If you were to try to use Single Sided Tape instead of Replacement Tape during the re-installation process, your Tape-In weft would not stick to the client’s hair. You might try to roll the Single Sided Tape into a loop, as one does with scotch tape to use it as double-sided tape, but the resulting bond would be insecure, bulky, and would likely cause matting and damage to the client’s hair. Glueing two Single Sided Tape strips together to form double-sided tape is also a bad idea. Beyond compromising the effectiveness of the existing adhesive and risking matting from excess glue, the two Single Sided Tape strips would not stay together, as generic glue is insufficient to bind the plastic backings together.

Alternatively, if you were to try to use Replacement Tape instead of Single Sided tape in the Tape-In installation process, you would certainly cause matting in the client’s hair. Even if you were to seal one side of the Replacement Tape with ordinary tape to limit the excess stickiness, the material would not stand up to the client’s maintenance regimen, as other varieties of tapes and plastics are not designed to be washed, blow dried, or styled. Deterioration and hair damage would be inevitable.

All in all, you can’t interchange Single Sided Tape and Replacement Tape. Doing so would be ineffective, tedious, potentially damaging, and really wasteful—especially when you can easily purchase both for a modest price. And to make it even easier, right now Babe is offering a special September-October promotion for Babe Tape-In users: buy 3 packs of Replacement Tape and get 1 pack of Single Sided Tape, FREE! And that’s in addition to 10% off 14” Tape-Ins! Visit your local Babe distributor to take advantage of the offer now.

Have comments, questions, or suggestions? Leave them in the space below, and we’ll get back to you ASAP!



How to Install on Curly-Haired Clients


Curly hair and straight hair are pretty different, as are the tactics that we use to cut and style them. The same thing is true of curly and straight hair extension installations. Though the principles of the extension method you’re using will remain the same from one installation to another (I-Tip sections should look the same on a curly head and a straight head), the installation experience can vary greatly, and curly hair extension installations might even call for some extra steps. Here, we’ve compiled some tips to help you perfect those curly installations where the client’s curls start from the root of their hair, rather than farther down along the hair shaft.

A preliminary note:
We recommend that you install extensions that complement the hairstyle that your client wears on any given day. This may not necessarily correspond with their natural hair texture. If your naturally curly client straightens their hair every single day, you should pair them with straight hair extensions, and consider relaxing their hair 48-72 hours prior to their installation appointment. The same thing goes for straight-haired clients. If they are constantly curling their hair, ask them if they’d be open to a perm followed by curly hair extensions 2 or more days later. We want to give our clients the hair of their dreams, but we also want to discourage rampant heat tool use on hair extensions, when possible.

Tip #1: Always install on dry hair.
Unlike a haircut, an installation should never be performed on wet hair. You know that, we know that, everyone knows that—but it’s worth repeating, because sometimes instinct can get the better of us. If you are a stylist who automatically goes for the spritzer when there’s a curly-haired person in your seat, keep in mind that you’re performing an installation, not a haircut. The whole point of the hair extension process is to fuse, glue, or crimp the bond directly to the hair, and water, oil, dirt, or anything else standing in the way will compromise the hold. You can consider revisiting your spray bottle during the blending part of the installation, if needed.

Tip #2: Don’t straighten the hair.
Your next instinct might be to straighten the hair for an easy-to-manage canvas. This isn’t a complete no-no, just like conditioning the midshaft-to-ends of the hair for manageability is not a complete no-no. But, you’d have to straighten the hair without using a heat protectant, which is unadvisable. Furthermore, if you’re installing curly extensions onto the straightened hair, you’ll have to re-curl the hair at the end of the appointment to display the final look. That’s a lot of unnecessary damage being done to the innocent locks! If you absolutely can’t get by without a smooth and uniform canvas to work on, only straighten the hair around the roots—preferably no more than 2 inches.

Tip #3: Line up the extension curl with the natural curl.
One benefit of not straightening the hair (aside from avoiding all that damage) is that you’ll be able to place the curly extensions strategically within the natural curls. Your bond should be situated at the first loop or curl by the root of the hair, and the bend of the extension strand should line up with the bend of the natural hair by the bond. This will make for the most natural-looking, seamless installation.

Tip #4: Modify your blending technique to suit your client’s texture.
First things first: don’t use a razor or thinning shears on curly hair. The jagged lines produced by these tools will fray and feather the hair, resulting in a frizzy look. Instead, point cut the hair for smooth, natural-looking ends.

- When establishing length
Always err on the side of caution when cutting curly hair (be it natural hair or extension hair). Since the curl pattern causes the hair to shrink, cutting too much into the hair will reduce the final length by more than it would straight hair.

- When framing the face & connecting the layers
If your client doesn’t ever straighten their hair*, tackle this step by staggering the layers rather than blending them seamlessly together. Remember, curls don’t lay flat like a smooth and unified waterfall—they separate into distinct strands like a series of vines. So try working curl-by-curl to cut the appropriate number of steps into the hair for a natural look.

*Note: if the client does intend to straighten their hair on occasion, you may consider straightening the hair for this portion of the installation. Otherwise, gently comb the hair to unravel individual curls, then tug the hair section straight before cutting into it.

- When polishing and personalizing
Take your time! Address each curl individually, and make sure that there are no glaring gaps or “shelves” in the hair. Employ your best curly-haircut techniques!

Have you ever installed extensions in curly hair before? Share your expert tips in the comments below!



Flat-Tip, I-Tip—What’s the Difference?


Last week we talked about how easy it is to master Flat-Tip with existing I-Tip resources. But that kind of begs the question: what exactly is the difference between Flat-Tip and I-Tip? Even though both of these methods are installed with the same general tactics and tools, they ultimately achieve somewhat different end results, and you can benefit from knowing those differences when it comes time to match your client with their ideal method. So let’s dive into the details.

Flat-Tip is a hybrid method.
While I-Tip is one of our classic, core three hair extension methods (alongside Fusion and Tape-In), Flat-Tip is a mix of two of those methods. Flat-Tip exists at the intersection of I-Tip and Tape-In, bearing the aglet-like tip of an I-Tip strand with the hair extension spread of a Tape-In weft. This is critical, because strands and wefts have totally different feels to them. So the fact that Flat-Tip is both a strand and a weft means that it boasts the advantages of both types—namely, the chemical-free installation and 360 degree movement of a strand, plus the flat comfort and greater hair distribution of a weft.

I-Tip is all strand.
While I-Tip and Flat-Tip share the traits of chemical-free installation and 360 degree movement, unlike Flat-Tip, I-Tip does not lay against the hair in flat strips. This means that the hair in I-Tip extensions does not spread as much as the hair in Flat-Tip extensions, and cannot achieve quite the same level of overall lightness (otherwise you risk the extensions looking stringy!). On the flip side, though, this also means that you can achieve slightly more volume with I-Tip extensions, since they do not lay flat against the hair and can be placed closer together.

Their installation is not exactly the same.
As we mentioned in that last point, Flat-Tip and I-Tip installation will differ with regard to extension placement, in that Flat-Tip extensions should be positioned at a slightly greater distance from each other than I-Tip extensions. Again, this is because of the weft-like nature of Flat-Tip extensions, which spreads the hair from an extension strand to a wider surface area. While this difference may seem pretty minimal, it can actually have a big effect on your installation process, since you’ll have to pay attention not only to the spacing of the beads, but also to the spacing of the weft part of the Flat-Tip extensions, making sure they don’t overlap any of the other extensions.

They provide different types of flexibility to the client.
Both I-Tip and Flat-Tip allow for easy, natural hair movement thanks to their strand-by-strand installation, but they provide slightly different kinds of flexibility with different kinds of movements. I-Tip lends itself well to flexible hair styling—like up-dos, side buns, and high ponytails—since the cylindrical I-Tip strand blends perfectly into the circular shape of the natural hair section. Flat-Tip extensions can be worn in all the same styles as I-Tip extensions, of course, but you may have to take extra care to ensure that the corners of the Flat-Tip weft don’t poke out of the hairdo, depending on how you’re styling it. Flat-Tip, however, blends seamlessly into loose hair, not just in terms of appearance, but also in terms of experience. The weft part of the extension rests flat against the client’s scalp, mirroring the smoothness of the natural hair.

Both I-Tip and Flat-Tip are wonderful choices for almost any client, but they aren’t exactly alike! Do you use either of these methods in your salon? Tell us your experience in the comments below! And don’t forget to take advantage of our July-August promotion—10% off all Flat-Tip hair! Available until August 31, 2016 at your local distributor.



How to Master Flat-Tip


This month we’re all about Flat-Tip, the hybrid hair extension method and most recent addition to our line of professional extensions. Flat-Tip is half I-Tip, half Tape-In, and all goodness, and it’s presently on sale until the end of this month. That being said, how do you master this dazzling new method when there’s no Flat-Tip course in our Online Education menu? You do it like this:

Get your hands on the tools.
In order to start installing Flat-Tips, whether you’re just practicing or adding the service to your salon, you’re going to need to have some Flat-Tip tools on hand. Flat-Tip installs in the same way as our I-Tip extensions, which means you’d do well to order an I-Tip Hair Extension Starter Kit, which will set you up with all the tools you need to get the job done. This kit comes with I-Tip hair, though, so you may want to order a pack of Flat-Tip on the side to use during your practice session. It’s not totally necessary, but it could help you to get the hang of Flat-Tip’s spacing, which may differ slightly from I-Tip’s.

Enroll in our I-Tip course.
Seeing as Flat-Tip and I-Tip are installed in the same way, you can learn how to install Flat-Tip by familiarizing yourself with I-Tip installation, which we cover in detail in our online I-Tip course. This course will prepare you for the installation, maintenance, and removal of both I-Tip and Flat-Tip extensions, and enable you to earn your I-Tip certification, too.

Practice, practice, practice!
Once you’ve gotten your tools and completed your education, all that’s left for you to do is practice your Flat-Tip technique! You can do this in the comfort of your own home with a mannequin head, within your salon as part of your extension offerings, or at a Babe event with other Babe stylists! Though we don’t offer Flat-Tip-specific classes at our Trade Show or Mastery Tour events (yet!), we’re always happy to field your questions and fuel your drive towards total extension success!

Have you tried working with Flat-Tip hair extensions? How did it go? Share your stories, comments, and questions in the space below!


Hair Extension Before & Afters!


A good before & after photo is a stylist’s business card, advertisement, and portfolio entry. It’s a little detail that amounts to a big deal when it comes to lasso-ing in new clients. We’ve talked about before & afters before, including professional tips for snapping the perfect photo when the occasion strikes. Now, we’re going to show you some good examples, because who doesn’t like a little bit of inspiration? Here are some recent Babe before & after photos, performed and submitted by none other than our lovely Babe stylists. Find more on our Instagram page, and feel free to submit your own while you’re at it!

For that beautiful pop of color:

For that miracle hair-revival:



For that totally new look:


See more or submit your own at Babe Instagram!


How to Respond to an Unhappy Client


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!



Decoding Hair Extension Rules


Babe’s hair extension rules exist for a reason. They help to ensure best practices, keep hair extensions in tip-top shape, and preserve the client’s hair health throughout the process. They make your job as a stylist easier by giving you clear performance guidelines and eliminating guesswork! But, as with many rules, there are exceptions worth noting. Here are 3 of Babe’s most fundamental rules and their exceptions–decoded.

Don’t install on hair shorter than the occipital. This is the golden consultation rule. If your client’s hair is shorter than the occipital bone (jaw-length or shorter), you’re not supposed to install extensions on them with the intention of adding length. This rule is designed to prevent bad hair extension jobs, as it’s notoriously difficult to blend hair extensions into super-short hair. That being said, there are some things to keep in mind:

- You’re still clear to install hair extensions for the purpose of adding volume. Such extensions will not need to be disguised into the hair, as they will not protrude beyond the client’s base hair length. In these cases, the client’s hair need only be long enough to hide the attachments of the hair extensions.

- You can still install hair extensions for length, but the target length should be no more than twice the length of the client’s own hair. The whole “don’t install hair extensions on hair shorter than the occipital” rule applies mainly to clients looking to go from short hair to long hair–a transition that can’t really be disguised, and so shouldn’t be undertaken at all. If the client is only looking to add a few inches of length, though, blending that work would be totally feasible. So, to rephrase the original rule, stay within twice the length of the client’s own hair. If your client has a short bob just barely grazing her jawline, don’t install extensions that extend below her shoulders.

Stay within two shades of the original color. We consistently recommend that you try to match your client’s hair color to one of our pre-colored hair extension shades, but we acknowledge that that’s not always possible. Hair comes in a wide range of colors, and some clients’ hair will inevitably fall in-between our existing shades. So we implemented a few coloring rules for stylists: use demi- or semi- permanent dye, stay within two shades of the original color, and never lift (or lighten). These rules serve to preserve hair extension quality in the face of chemical coloring treatments, as Babe extensions have already been color-treated. While we maintain that demi- and semi- permanent dye is preferable, and that hair should absolutely not be lightened, we have to address the two-shade rule, as there is one commonly-used practice that goes against it:

- Platinum-colored extensions–our lightest available hair extension shades–may reasonably be colored to any level and tone that the stylist and client desire. These extensions don’t require a lot of dye to achieve the end result, as they’re more porous than our other extension colors and contain the least amount of pigment. We actually advise stylists undertaking more experimental hair coloring jobs–say pastel colors, ombre, emerald tones, etc.–to work with our #60, #600, or #1001 shades, as they produce the most accurate and saturated colors.

Don’t reuse hair more than 3 times. Babe hair extensions experience some wear-and-tear over time, especially at the tips (bond area) and ends. Therefore, we advise that stylists reuse the hair no more than 3 times, pegging the total lifespan of our professional hair at roughly 4-6 months. This rule serves to prevent negative hair extension experiences, as old extension tips are more likely to slip from the client’s hair, and old extension ends are more likely to mat and break. But, as you might expect, this rule could do with some additional decoding:

- The specificity of “3 times” is actually just an estimate based off of our experience working with hair extensions. What’s more important is the quality of the hair. Though rare, it is possible that extensions are in good enough shape to be reused beyond 3 times, particularly when the client is very vigilant about hair extension care. The stylist should ultimately use their professional discretion in these cases.

- When we say “reuse” here, what we really mean is “re-install.” Hair extensions should, in general, not be installed a 4th time, but they can absolutely be reused in other ways. If your client would like to keep the old extensions (seeing as they purchased them), old hair extensions can be remade into hair accessories like braid headbands, bun fillers, and the like. If they choose to dispose of the old extensions, keep them on hand in your salon as test strands for coloring projects, or as a visual aid for educational purposes. The options go on and on.

Have you ever exploited the exception to a hair extension rule? What did you notice? Share your experiences and questions in the comments below!