These days, it’s not hard to find a hair stylist that will claim to be a specialist in the art of applying hair extensions. So, just what makes someone a specialist in the hair extension field? This is a more complex question than it seems. Within this article we will look at the professional as well as the ethical aspects involving specialization in hair extension application.
There happens to be many different extension types (single strand, weft, human hair, synthetic hair, animal derived hair, etc.), as well as, a variety of different methods that are used to secure the hair extensions to a client’s natural hair, head, and scalp. Without getting too involved with methodology, there are extensions that are attached using keratin bonding, glues, braids, sewing, metal and plastic clips, etc. Each method has its own advantages, as well as, disadvantages depending upon the individual’s degree of hair density, texture, color, and desired style (in regards the look of the finished product).
Now, as you could imagine, each type of extension along with each method of application requires its own level of expertise. Using one type of hair extension and learning one method hair extension application doesn’t make a person a “hair extension specialist.” Perhaps, it makes you an authority in a particular type of extension and its particular method of application if, and only if, you’ve studied and performed enough applications to be fully experienced in everything that makes a great finished product and everything that can go awry.
A number of stylists that offer hair extension services to their clients have attended an educational seminar offered by a specific company that markets their brand of hair extension products and a system of application. These seminars can last anywhere from 2 hours to 3 days depending on the individual companies requirements for certification in the technique being learned. Their thinking is, the more knowledgeable a stylist is in performing the service, the more successful they will become, the more clients the will attract and retain, and thus, the more products they will order from the company doing the training. Upon completion of the class or seminar, each attendee is usually given a diploma that states that they are now a “specialist” in whatever particular brand of product they have been trained to use. Everybody has to start somewhere but would you want to be the first client of that “specialist?”
Sadly, it is a fact that many stylists are not even trained in hair extension application. They attend a hair show and see a live demonstration, or they will have a sales representative drop in their salon with a DVD demonstrating the product line. After purchasing the product they then think that they have the right to claim “specialization and expertise.”
So, what does it really take to claim hair extension specialization? To begin with a hairstylist should have many years experience in dealing with all hair types, textures, and styles. They should be experienced in doing several different types of hair extension services and many different application techniques. The stylist must know what is best for the client and every aspect of the business in order to give the customer the best possible service achieving best, desired finished look.