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:

Brushing
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.

Shampooing
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.

Conditioning
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.

Drying
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.

Styling
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.

Maintaining
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!