March 2013

Jacqueline Munoz

Strictly for Students| by Maggie Cruz


Getting Certified: Hair Extension Education and Certification

This time of the year when salons are a little less busy, it is important for stylists to think of ways to increase salon sales and the amazing world of hair extensions is one to consider.

Not just for celebrities anymore, extensions have come into their own in the salon. Every day it seems like a new company offers a new method or class and the ability to become certified in their method.

But why become certified in extensions at all? Can't you just braid the hair into small cornrows, buy a few ounces of hair and sew it in? After all, ethnic salons have been doing this for years and they have some excellent results.

The answer is yes. You can do this and have some great results but this method doesn't suit every client, just as one permanent wave doesn't suit every type of hair. With the popularity of hair extensions today, adding this service to your menu of offerings will only help increase your business and bring in more revenue.

For these reasons, it's so important to become educated in the various types of hair extensions out there and then become certified in the different methods and applications that can be used for hair extensions.

Your clients, and potential new clients, may want hair extensions for many different reasons. As their stylist you are the expert who can recommend how much hair, the type of hair and the method for application that best suits their needs and hair type.

Some people may want extensions to extend the length of their already beautiful hair; some to add fullness to thin, fine hair. There are those who want their entire head covered and those who only want to fill in spots to create fullness or even special color effects. All of these factors play into your decision of which method to use – whether it is tracks, micro-beads, keratin fusion, tape, or another method.

In order to become certified in hair extensions, first do some research and find companies and beauty schools that offer hair extension courses in your area. Hair shows are a great place to see a lot of extension companies in one place and find out what kind of certification they offer.

The Professional Beauty Association's International Salon and Spa Expo (ISSE Show) in Long Beach, Calif. which was held recently had so much great information.

Something to look for is a company and classes that offer more than one method for applying hair extensions since hair extensions is not a "one size fits all" service.

Another important reason to get certified is to be able to choose the right type of hair for a client. Companies that offer education and certification will also teach you about the different types of hair and how much hair to buy for the method you will use. Usually you must buy the hair from a particular company in order to perform their method, but in some cases you can buy your own. Some terms and concepts to understand include "Remy" hair and why cuticles need to all run in the same direction.

Once you've identified the company that seems to best suit your needs, be sure to ask if they offer ongoing support. Do they have classes you can attend after the initial buy-in? Do they have a call-in number if you need advice? How will you order your hair and how long will it take to arrive? There is nothing worse than having a client on a Friday and hair that doesn't arrive until the following Monday.

A final reason to get educated and certified in hair extensions is because you need to be able to educate your client about caring for her extensions before you perform your extension service. The commitment to wearing extensions is expensive and can be time consuming, but for those of us who love having luxurious, thick full hair it is well worth it.

Just a few extension clients can turn your business from mediocre to fantastic on the profit scale if you promote yourself as a certified extensions expert. Doing just a few heads can do your advertising for you. Your satisfied clients will help spread the word about your great services to their friends, which can lead to new clients for you.

Your extensions clients will be loyal to you like no one else, so go out there, get certified and watch your business grow.

Maggie Cruz, is director of the Marinello Schools of Beauty, one of the premier beauty schools on the West Coast offering a variety of cosmetology and esthetics programs with 62 campuses located in California, Connecticut, Kansas, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon and Utah and also offers affordable spa and salon services performed by student stylists under the supervision of instructors. For more information, go to