Join us on a journey behind the chair with Ella Healy, hair stylist, salon owner, and Philocaly Educator, who has cracked the code to making over $100,000 by specializing in hair extensions. In this blog, Ella generously shares her secrets and insights into how she transformed her career and income through the world of extensions.
Hair extensions have become a sought-after service. Could you share how you initially ventured into offering extensions and how they've contributed to your ability to make over $100,000 behind the chair?
In 2021, my career drastically changed when I added hair extensions to my services. In the many years I have been doing hair at the time, I had always specialized in colour. I hadn't taken any extension training, but I finally decided to enroll myself and my whole salon in Philocaly's Beaded Row and K Tip course (the same weekend). I have since learned their Flip Up method as well, and between these three services, my yearly revenue has gone up by $70,000. And that's just in hair installations on commission on hair sales alone, never mind all the additional colour appointments.
What motivated you to specialize in hair extensions as a revenue-boosting service, and how did you go about perfecting your extension techniques to provide exceptional results?
I was motivated because I wanted to learn something new. I've always been the type that needs to keep evolving and progressing within my career. I had invested so much into colour education and was ready for something different. Perfecting extension techniques just comes with practice, and that's exactly what I did. At first, I had lower pricing and had a plan in place on how to raise my prices as I improved.
Building a strong extension clientele is crucial. Can you discuss your strategies for attracting and retaining clients seeking extension services, particularly in a competitive market?
It's all about marketing. When I first learned how to install extensions, I put out a model call for girls looking to seriously invest in extensions. I offered their first install complementary, then made sure to post content of all of them. It really helped that I have a social media/contact creator for the salon, so she also made me a lot of awesome content. I would post on my own hair page and my salon's page.
Hair extension products can vary significantly. How did you identify the right brands or suppliers that align with your quality standards and contribute to your reputation as a stylist?
I have been working with Kevin Murphy for fourteen years, so I have extensive knowledge of this brand. Many of the products are smoothing for the hair, which extensions need. I'm also a big fan of K-18 - it's a fantastic treatment, and they have an amazing hair oil, which I also recommend for extensions. Between these two lines, I'm confident to send my clients home with what they need.
Many stylists struggle with pricing extensions appropriately. How did you determine your pricing structure for extensions, and how has it contributed to your higher earnings behind the chair?
At first, I priced my extension installs with what Philocaly recommended right out of their education. Every few months, when I gained a new round of clients, I would raise my pricing. Aside from that, an extension appointment with me is a luxury experience. You get a hair wash, scalp scrub, hair treatment in your own hair, treatment in the extensions, and blow out with a style. High price tag appointments are all about providing value for your client - so if you charge a lot, it needs to be worth it for them.
Social media has played a significant role in showcasing extensions. Could you share how you've effectively utilized platforms to display your extension work, attracting clients who seek premium services?
Social media is crucial for having an extension clientele. I use Instagram to showcase all my work. In this day and age, if you don't post what services you offer, no one will know that you provide them. Some tips I have for social media: take content when there is natural daylight, add extra time onto the appointment so you aren't rushed trying to get content, and go in with a game plan on what kind of content you want to get. Don't be shy to get your client in on it so they can help too!
Education is essential when it comes to extensions. How have you invested in your education to master various extension methods and stay ahead of the curve in terms of techniques?
To be a good extensionist, you need to know multiple methods, which is exactly why I signed up to learn wefts and k tips the same weekend. Funny enough... the extensions I do the most are combination installs of the two of these methods together. For example, clients who want 1) insanely long, thick hair that's full in the front, 2) clients who have really short hair and want to go really long, or 3) clients who have really broken hair and need a combination install to even wear extensions. It's also very beneficial to know two different weft installations because I have one priced a little bit lower than the other, and clients love having that pricing option.
Balancing extensions with other services can be challenging. How do you manage your time and appointments effectively to maximize your earnings from extensions while still offering other styling services?
It can be challenging; I am blessed to work with an incredible assistant. How I manage my books and clients would not be possible without her. She has trained in all the extension methods, and her helping hands make everything possible. In turn, she is gaining her own extension clientele, and it's rewarding to know she will follow in my footsteps.
Extensions often require maintenance. Can you elaborate on how you've turned extension maintenance into an additional income stream and ensured that clients return regularly for upkeep?
One of the best things about offering extensions is the maintenance that comes with them. I've never had a client leave and not rebook their appointment. It's almost a nonnegotiable with me for two reasons, one being that the appointment is often long, so not one that's possible to book at the last minute, and two, if you don't maintain your extensions, you will potentially get damage or ruin your wefts, and no one wants that. Just remember to educate your client by sharing the consultation on how essential maintenance is.
Why did you choose Philocaly Hair as the company to partner with in your extension growth journey?
I chose Philocaly for many reasons. I loved everything about their branding; it's honestly like my own. I loved that they are a Canadian-owned company, and I heard great things about their customer service, which I can attest is 1000% true. I couldn't be happier with my choice. It's been nothing short of amazing working with them.
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Check out Ella on Instagram here.