And What I Do If She Doesn't
By now, everyone who comes across my website or social media knows how much I love doing hand-tied hair extensions. The thrill of being able to offer the dramatic transformation my clients are looking for will never, ever get old. And because I love doing them so much and believe that I have a truly incredible solution to offer, I want every woman who sits in my chair to love - and I mean LOVE - her experience with hand-tied hair, and I’m guessing you do too. There is nothing quite like the blessing of gratitude from a happy client - it’s truly one of the biggest reasons I am actually excited to go into work at the salon every day.
So what are the top 3 things I do to make sure every woman who becomes a client loves her hand-tied hair extensions for the duration of her experience with them, and me?
1. I answer all her questions before she even asks them.
I took the time to create a very - VERY - detailed FAQ page on my website with every question I've ever been asked (and I continue to add to this ever-growing database of questions and answers), I'm fully transparent about my pricing, my schedule, and my maintenance requirements, and if she wants more info, you'd better believe I'm going to give it to her without missing a beat! When I'm MOST grateful that I took the time to create this resource is when I’m inundated with DMs on social media… what otherwise could turn into a 4-day long back-and-forth consultation about pricing and booking and maintenance (oh my!) is simply answered with short and sweet, cordial response and a link to my FAQ page. One of the things I love hearing from a new client is that she had total confidence in choosing me as her artist because I had already answered her questions before she even knew to ask them, or when I ask at the initial installation appointment, “Do you have any questions before we get started?” that her answer is simply, “Nope! You’ve already answered them all!”. While the beautiful work you share on social media is what draws her in, anticipating your client's needs and going above and beyond to take care of her from the moment she inquires is providing a level of service that goes far beyond your ability to post a pretty photo on Instagram.
2. I make sure she knows the investment involved.
This ties in with number one, but is worth emphasis by itself. And I'm not just talking about the monetary investment (which is very clearly outlined on my website, both the investment of the initial appointment and the subsequent appointments every 6-8 weeks that are required to maintain her extensions). I'm also talking about the investment in quality products to keep her extensions in the best condition and prevent her color from fading. I’m talking about the investment of time and patience it will take to carefully detangle, shampoo, condition, blow out and style her extensions twice a week, or in remembering to carry a brush in her purse to detangle her hair throughout the day as necessary. I’m talking about the investment in taking the BEST care of her extensions so that they will last her the full 9-12 months and not have to be replaced sooner. And if a woman tells me she's never had any type of extensions before yet she wants to get three full rows of 22” hand-tied hair… it's likely that I’ll talk her out of it and say, “Maybe let’s start with one or two rows of 18” hair”… instead of just taking her money for the works and sending her on her merry way because I can. Why? Because I want her to experience the life-changing magic of how hand-tied hair can make her life easier, not for her to feel burdened by the responsibility of caring for three rows when she has zero experience with extensions. It’s not about me and what I CAN do - it's about what SHE will HAVE to do every day in real life outside of the salon to care for her investment. If her extensions feel like a burden, I haven't done my job. Which brings me to my next point…
3. I don’t say yes to every woman who wants to get extensions.
It’s true, I turn away business, and I do it regularly. If a client has very short hair, could I give her extensions to add the length and body she’s desiring? Probably. Could I make her extensions look amazing and blended with advanced techniques? Most likely. Am I up for that challenge? You bet, I love a good challenge. Will I do it for her? Nine times out of 10, no. WHY NOT?! Because my business and my art is not about me - it's about the woman sitting in my chair. She is the one who has to care for her hair every day and put in the work to make it look beautiful once she steps foot outside the salon. So while I could absolutely make a challenging installation look perfect and have a jaw-dropping before-and-after photo for social media, if I know that the extensions are going to be present challenge for my potential client to recreate the look herself at home, I will tell her to wait until her hair is a little longer, when I know styling will be easier. If she does heed my advice (as most do… after all, they are paying me for my expertise), I can almost guarantee that I'll have a happy client who will be so grateful for my honesty and care, and who will return for many, many maintenance appointments to come.
On that note: I will admit, I have installed extensions for clients who have insisted on the service even after my recommendation to wait until their hair grew longer or to install less hair… can you guess what happened? Not surprisingly, they regretted their investment and ended up having me remove their extensions shortly after their installation. It’s a heartbreaker for both of us when it happens but I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t seen it coming. It’s the reason I will never, EVER install what I think will be a challenging set of extensions for the client to maintain without first being very, VERY clear about what will be involved to take care of them. Because when the day comes when she asks me to take them out, she’s never angry with me. Instead the conversation is understanding and usually starts with her saying… "I should have listened to you."
So, I know what you’re thinking. What if I HAVE checked all the boxes, the install is beautiful and should be easy for my client to maintain, yet she still ends up deciding to take out her extensions? What do I do then? Well, I’ll tell you what I DON’T do.
I don’t panic, and I definitely don’t take it personally.
If you have a suspicion her decision to have her extensions removed might be your own fault, you should definitely do your due diligence to figure out where you went wrong. But listen sis, if you’re sure you're doing everything right, you answered your client’s questions and were up front about the maintenance involved, your technique is flawless and her 6-8 week grow-out is clean, you simply have to understand that extensions aren’t for everyone, and as excited as she was to have them installed, she simply might not have realized that extensions weren’t really for her. I’ve had long time clients decide to take out their hair for many reasons but I’m really happy to say that discomfort was never one of them. Kind of like a, “it’s not you, it’s me” thing - which I totally get and I have learned to accept. You should, too. Just know that if she wasn’t happy with her extensions for whatever reason, it’s better that she has them removed. Let go of your long-time people pleaser status, don’t take it personally or try to convince her to keep them in, and go call the next woman on your waitlist who is dying to get into your chair and will appreciate the magic you have to offer.