How To Choose The Best Extension Stylist

Getting beautiful hair extensions that last a long time, look natural, and don’t damage your natural hair isn’t difficult if you know what to look for when choosing an extension stylist. Here are some important tips to look for before you choose the best extension stylist to give you the look you want to achieve.

Check for Certifications:
Each individual Certified Extension Stylist should have their own extension certificate clearly posted for the brand/method they perform. Stylists cannot share certifications. Just because one person in a salon is certified, it does not mean that other stylists are as well. Also, stylists in the salon that claim to have been “trained” by the certificate holder are not qualified to perform extension work. Never let a non-certified extension stylist or apprentice install or remove extensions as this may cause damage to your hair.

Certifications for Extensions Methods:
Make sure the stylist is certified in EACH type of extension application method that they are advertising or offering. There are many different methods of extension applications, and each one is unique. Your stylist should be certified for each one of these methods and have undergone hands-on, classroom training by a certified instructor. Also, they should also be certified by each BRAND for the various methods. For example, Tape-in extension application can differ from brand to brand due to each using their own proprietary method, adhesives, and tools.

One Stylist For All Services:
When you are coloring your hair and wearing extensions, you should have the same stylist perform these procedures to ensure that the color process does not destroy the integrity of the extensions or cause damage to your hair. For contrasting colors such as light blonde with vivid or darker extensions, your certified extension stylist can make sure that the color does not transfer from the extension to the natural hair. Though this is rare, it has been known to happen when a novice stylist colors extensions with a subpar, low-quality color line or synthetic extensions that can sometimes “bleed” color onto your natural hair. A Certified Extension Stylist who also provides color services can ensure that your root touch up, highlights, etc. will blend seamlessly with your extensions. Though extensions can also be colored just like your natural hair, you should never have a stylist who is not a Certified Extension Stylist color them to ensure that the chemicals and colors used are safe to maintain the life of the extensions.

Real Human Hair:
Check to make sure the stylist is using 100% human hair purchased directly from the extension certifying company. Low-quality extensions can be purchased in local beauty stores and stylists looking to save a buck may buy cheap, synthetic hair from these stores and sell them to you claiming they are human hair.

Examine The Hair:
If you are purchasing hair from your Extension Specialist, make sure that you get what you are paying for. If you purchase “Indian hair” or “Virgin hair” verify that this is what you are getting. These hair types are a lot more expensive, and some places will tell you they are selecting this type when it is not.
You can check this by asking to see the original packaging that it comes in. There is no reason for the hair to be out of its original packaging before your application service, except for the keratin bond method in which half of the bond should be cut to make the application area smaller and less abrasive. If this is the method you have chosen tell your stylist before hand that you wish to see an unopened pack. A good stylist will have a few extra packs unopened of your hair order to assure you that it is new and the hair you asked for. This will also ensure you that it is not old or recycled hair in which the specialist could be pocketing the hair price.

Salon Quality Brands:
Your Certified Extension Stylist should only offer top quality, reputable extension hair and application method brands such as Perfectress, Aqua, She By So.cap, or Easihair Pro to name a few. There are only a handful of professional salon grade extension companies, so you will most likely see many salons in your area offering the same brands. If you do not recognize a brand name, the salon is offering then do your research online to make sure that the brand is only sold to licensed salon professionals who have been certified in their extension method.

Stylist’s Personal Experience with Extensions:
There is a great advantage to going to a stylist who is not only certified to do extensions but who also has first-hand experience wearing each of the types of extensions he/she offers. This provides the stylist with greater insight as to how the extensions feel, how long they last, how they lay, and what the pros and cons are of each type which can help them to determine what method would work best to suit your needs.

Policies and Guarantees:
Ask your Certified Extension Stylist what their satisfaction policy is and how they address a potential issues or concerns that might arise after having your extensions applied. A good stylist will always stand behind their work.

Do Your Research:
Look for Google, Facebook, and Yelp reviews for your stylist. BE CAREFUL that the reviews are not just for the salon as a whole, but specifically mention the Certified Extension Stylist you are considering by name! Also, make sure the review is for extensions and not for just a cut or color. If the stylist does not have any personal reviews look for someone else. A great stylist should have happy customers that are singing their praises!

Before and After Photos:
Looking at before and after photos of extension clients is always a great way to gauge a stylist’s work. Check their salon website and social media for before and after photos for the SPECIFIC stylist you are considering. Some salons showcase all of their stylists’ work on one gallery or do not give each stylist credit on social media for their work. So make sure you know whose work you are looking at.

Length of Appointment:
To make sure that your stylist is installing your extensions properly time is always a good indicator. Services to have extensions put in can take quite some time.

Bonded or strand by strand methods usually takes about 6 hours. If your stylist does them in a fraction of this time, then the extensions are not being applied properly, and the stylist is rushing the process. A good stylist will take their time to make sure your extensions are applied properly, so they are undetectable and look natural.

If you are receiving the Tape-In the method, make sure you ask what the tape is made of and verify that come time for the extension to be removed the tape adhesive will not leave a residue. There are many brands out there that the tape is made of an unknown sticky substance that can dissolve into the hair and dissipate it over time or leave more than a little sticky residue behind causing breakage. Removal should NEVER HURT!

A responsible stylist will only perform one to two extension appointments per day, to make sure each piece is applied safely allowing the hair to grow out naturally and not weaken the natural hair strand. Remember, the Quality vs. Quantity rule.

Don’t Let Price Be The Determining Factor:
Beware of salons offering Groupons or deep discounts on extensions. This can potentially indicate they are using synthetic hair, inferior application methods, or they are newbies with little experience. You always get what you pay for so don’t skimp when it coming to investing in your hair.

Always ask your extension stylist for a free consultation before making your appointment to have extensions put in. If a salon offers only paid consultations, then make sure the cost of your consult will go towards your extension service.