We are so excited to kick off a new series on our blog – “How I Make $100,000+ Behind The Chair!”
We will be featuring some fabulous and inspiring hairstylists that we have had the privilege to work with over the years. Through these posts, we will learn about their journey, how they’ve accomplished so much success in their careers, and some advice to inspire our readers looking to do the same!
This month, we are THRILLED to introduce Allana Parks, hairstylist and owner of Elixir Hair Studio. At Elixir, Allana’s salon motto is “where you can be yourself,” and this is exactly what shone through during our chat with her!
We can’t wait to share. Let’s see what Allana had to say...
What started your career journey?
I first took cosmetology in high school, but only as a filler class. I never thought I’d become a hairdresser – I wanted to get into business because that’s what my mom does, and I always wanted to be like her.
In my cosmetology class, I had a teacher who saw potential in me and eventually encouraged me to participate in a competition in Edmonton. I decided to compete (without knowing how much work I would have to do to prepare). I ended up spending three classes a day in cosmetology and would stay 2-3 hours every day after school for two months!
When we had returned from the competition, I still wasn’t completely sold on becoming a hairstylist. But, my teacher handed me an application for EvelineCharles Academy and said, “I think you should be doing this.” It was only then that I had the realization that... maybe I should be doing this.
When did you first start experimenting with hair extensions?
About three years into my career as a hairstylist, I started getting really into hair extensions.
At the time, extensions were not like they are today – there weren’t many modern techniques, and extensions were available primarily for celebrities and not the everyday woman.
Although, it was still something I wanted to explore. I was the only one in my salon that was interested in them, so I had to take the reigns and do a lot of my own research.
This led me to try literally every extension method under the sun! I also worked with several different providers to find the perfect extensions (that was a whole rollercoaster itself).
Back then, I had a bit of an extension clientele. But, nothing too crazy, this was before social media, so it was all about word of mouth.
Where are you at now in your journey with hair extensions?
Now, of course, extensions are everywhere!
When I opened Elixir 6 ½ years ago, I started to dive deeper and deeper into extensions.
Then, I met Kirsten, and she introduced me to Philocaly, so I started using their hair. I loved it, and I’ve only ever been with them since! I exclusively use Philocaly now!
While I love providing all services, moving into 2022, I’ve decided only to take on extension and colour clients; these will be my niche service offerings. There is such a huge demand – more than I can keep up with right now.
How has offering extensions changed your business?
Including extension services at my salon has made a huge difference. My goal is to be one of the number one extension salons in Edmonton, and I think we’re well on our way!
I’ve noticed a considerable difference in our revenue and in the clientele that we’re getting by offering extensions.
The biggest game-changer for me is that I’ve devoted a lot of time and attention to educating myself and consistently perfecting my skillset.
It’s also been essential to work with a company and brand like Philocaly. I love that they’re Canadian and woman-owned. They’ve been so supportive throughout my journey.
In your opinion, what’s the best part about hair extensions?
With the times of social media, it’s a lot easier to get your work out there. Yes, extensions are a luxury service, but now they’ve become a lot more attainable for the everyday woman.
I love it! I love seeing transformations. It is incredible seeing the look on my clients’ faces when they get extensions for the first time or if they’re avid extension wearers and getting new hair.
It’s such a beautiful experience to share that with them. You can totally change your client’s confidence by giving them that glow that they had maybe been missing.
Do you have any advice for up-and-coming stylists or current stylists looking to increase their revenue?
Educate yourself and never stop learning! I am obsessed with tweaking and advancing my skillset! I’d recommend finding an extension method(s) that works for you then perfecting it.
I would also suggest aligning yourself with a brand that shares your same values. I’ve worked with many different hair companies over the years, and when I met Kirsten, she really hit home for me – I felt very aligned with their company and their values, and I fully stand behind their products.
I also recommend not listening to the noise or getting too distracted by all the options out there. Do what’s right for you and your clientele!
Follow Allana on Instagram: