Owner Eric Alt shares seven top tips for tapping profit-building hair extension services.
OPENING UP YOUR SALON to new service possibilities may require an investment in new product lines and staff education, but it can also help you tap new demographics and revenue streams.
In northern New Jersey, Eric Alt has set his three namesake salons apart from the competition by developing an expertise in hair extensions. Today, the category represents a healthy 12 percent of his business, and Alt expects the success of this profi t-building service will continue to snowball.
After Alt participated in the DKNY show for Fashion Week, he posted before and after images on Facebook and some tweets on Twitter. “It’s free promotion with the potential for huge return,” he says. “Afterward, we had tons of people calling our salons for extensions.” Alt offers the following seven tips for salons interested in growing their extension business:
1. Training is the key.
“I highly recommend training several stylists in the salon to do hair extensions,” he says. “This helps to seriously boost the salon’s income. In many cases, clients have a personal relationship with their stylist and trust his or her opinion, so it’s beneficial to offer many stylist options.”
2. Special packages for extension clients.
“My salon sells blowout packages and treatments for clients with hair extensions. Sometimes, after having extensions, clients need help blowing out their own hair. This creates a weekly standing appointment.”
3. Educate the client on maintenance.
“Extensions must be maintained. The maintenance services help to fill up a stylist’s book with more services, resulting in more income in both the stylists’ and the salon’s pocket,” says Alt.
4. Offer custom-coloring or highlighting.
“In many cases, the extension service must be followed up with a coloring or highlighting service to better blend the extensions with the natural hair,” he says. “As a result, this helps boost the client ticket, and sometimes creates a new color client for the salon.”
5. Satisfied clients make the best referrals.
“Clients who go through a dramatic change, such as hair extensions, create a buzz in their social circles,” advises Alt. “We get an average of 3-6 new clients every time we do a new set of extensions, which helps to boost the salon clientele which adds up to big dollars.”
6. Offer specialized products.
“With hair extensions, you should be using a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner combo to maintain the integrity of the glue,” comments Alt. “This adds up to higher retail sales.”
7. Quality matters.
“You’re always better off using high-quality human hair extensions because you can color them and also curl and fl atiron them. This is important so the extensions can be treated just like the client’s hair.
| ERIC ALT SALONS
AND ALT ANNEX
Saddle River, Wood-Ridge and Rutherford, all in Bergen County, New Jersey
OWNER: Eric Alt
PRODUCT LINES USED: Private Label and Wella Color
EXTENSION LINE: “We use several different lines to accommodate a range of price points and textures.”
AVERAGE PRICE FOR EXTENSIONS: From $800 to $2,800 depending on length, texture, color, density and hair quality
NUMBER OF EXTENSION SERVICES PER MONTH: 25-30
NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES TRAINED IN EXTENSIONS: 7