Archive for March, 2011

Extension Throw Down – Idea #2

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

Most small business owners are afraid of what the competition is doing, especially if the competitor has a shop right around the corner from theirs. So rather than fear the competition, take control and become the epa center for hair extension expertise in your community.

Learn a lesson from Food Channel’s Bobby Flay, who has restaurants around the country with plenty of competition everywhere. Bobby stars in a Food Channel series known as Bobby Flay Throw Down. The theme of the show is simple. Try to upstage other great chefs who have specialized in a particular food dish.

Every challenge turns into a fun, light hearted event that endears Bobby to both competitors and fans. And Bobby is not afraid of losing. Notoriety is the goal.

So how do you create a Hair Extension Thrown Down in your market? Simple!

Test the idea with one challenger, perhaps you start with another hair extension specialist in your own salon. After completing your first throw down, go to your real world competition down the street with the idea. It’s your event. Don’t let a competitor take over. You may even want to hold all of the events at your own salon.

Each of you invites a customer who is ready to get extensions to join the challenge with you. You pick a date when both customers can be at the shop at the same time. In front of everyone in the salon, challenge the other stylist and their client to a contest to see who can create the best before and after look.

Here are some other ideas for the event.

Put a required time limit on the event that will push you to perform at your best. Maybe that means a full-head application in a one and 1/2-hour period. Each of you has an assistant to speed up the time.

If each stylist uses a different application method, (micro bead vs. fusion for example) the competition is usually more interesting.

Ask independent judges from the community to determine the winner. This will give you additional advertising exposure. Judges could be female business leaders, newspaper reporters, teachers, high-school student body officers, or anyone who will promote the contest and get others thinking about extensions.

Competitors should invite their friends, relatives, or other customers to the competition. Have some drinks and snacks and make it a party atmosphere, with plenty to do during the two hour event. Help your throw down clients feel like models and that losing is not a negative reflection on their appearance.

Perhaps you give your models a big discount on their extensions for participating in the contest.

Don’t give our any prizes. This competition is all about bragging rights. Your exposure is equally great, whether you win or lose the competition. The key is making it your event, not your competitors. Watch some Bobby Flay Throw Down shows to see the format and how well he reacts when he loses a hard-fought food battle.

This is just one more way to earn a reputation as the top hair extension specialist in your city or state.

Logan is founder of Donna Bella Milan hair extensions and lashes and author of the Donna Bella weblog.

Military Women & Extensions

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

ASK DONNA BELLA
March 30, 2011

Question:

I am one of the lucky women who make up 20% of the American armed services. We have restrictions on how we cut and wear our hair and our male counterparts have their own set of rules about grooming.

Guidelines for women suggest that hair should be non-faddish, practical, neat, and should not extend below the collar. Regulations do not define “faddish”.

I am going on leave for three weeks and want to lengthen my hair using extensions during my time at home. Which extensions would work best for me for such a short period of time?

PFC Karen S.. – Ft. Bragg, North Carolina

Answer:

Upon checking with non-commissioned officers in our area, we learned that even though you are on leave, it does not mean that you have left the army. Protocol suggests that you maintain your image, dignity, and commitment to army regs at all times until you are discharged from the service.

We recommend that you postpone putting in hair extensions and be proud of the role that you play in defending our country and the military “appearance” that comes with the honor.

We are sending you a gift certificate from Donna Bella hair extensions that will provide you with enough hair for a full extension makeover when you return to civilian life. Including the fee for the extension stylist of your choice.

Thank you for what you do and for the great service you provide. God bless America and our female military personnel.

Have A Question? Submit Your Question (less than 200 words) to
info@donnabellahair.com

Adjusting Hair Extensions

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

As hair grows almost every person who wears hair extensions must replace some extensions or make adjustments for new hair growth.  Otherwise, there is a risk that the tip of the extension will become exposed and be seen peaking through the back of the natural hair.

How much work and effort goes into adjustments depends a great deal upon the method chosen to attach the applications.  Here are the challenges and benefits of adjusting four different types of application methods.

Sew-In Extensions

Sew-In extensions are tied directly to a cornrow or braid from your natural hair.  As long as the cornrow remains in-tack, the tip of the extension will never show.  However, anyone who wears braids needs to allow the hair to “breathe” and relax by undoing the braid and exposing the natural hair to fresh open air from time-to-time.

When braids are undone, extensions must be completely re-sewn into new braids and should be given a few days to recuperate from their tightly woven condition before re-braiding.  Shampoo, conditioning, fresh air, and sunshine are equivalent to sending your old braided hair to a day spa.

Tape-In Extensions

Tape-In extensions are easy for professional stylists to apply but preserving the quality of the tape when adjustments are made is a little different story.  We’ve all had occasion to try to re-use tape when we are positioning paper around a birthday present or re-gluing a postal envelope.  It works but not very well.

That is true with making adjustments to tape-in extensions.  If you can successfully get the tape undone and the adjustment made, then the tape will hold for a while but not to the same extent that it did when the tape was first applied.

Be careful not to give your client a high expectation that their tape-in extensions will remain secure after the adjustment.  We recommend that stylists and customers start from scratch with new tape-in extensions.

Bond or “Fusion” Extensions

A bond extension is sealed to the natural hair with heated keratin tips.  Adjustments are made by reheating the tip to liquefy the keratin and cleaning the area with a bond removal agent.

Fusion extensions can be re-applied and adjusted closer to the scalp by wrapping a small keratin “rebond” around the old tip and re-applying the tip to the natural stands.

The process is a simple process but it takes time to make adjustments and fill in spots where an extension may have come loose or grown out.  When making adjustments, build the cost of the adjustment into your original price for extensions or charge an hourly rate for the additional service.

Micro Beads

Of all the application methods, adjustments are easiest with micro beads.  Even though the bead has been crushed in the initial application, beads can be easily opened and the hair extension pushed back to its original position on new hair growth.

Beads made of aluminum will normally open and close again without breaking apart.  Occasionally, when the bead does break, just take an extra minute to pop on a new micro bead and reset the extension.

Logan is founder of Donna Bella Milan hair extensions and lashes and author of the Donna Bella weblog.

Hair Extension Before & After Voting Contest – April

Monday, March 28th, 2011

You’ve been asking for it and now you finally got it! Each month, we’ll select 2 or 3 finalists to be displayed in our monthly hair extension contest. Each finalist will be required to provide before and after pictures of their extensions.

During the month, everyone on the blog will have the opportunity to vote for which hair extension before and after they like best. At the end of the month, we’ll tally up the results and send some free product or a gift certificate for more hair to the winner! Pretty sweet, huh? We thought so!

If you want a chance to be included in an upcoming contest, simply email your before and after pictures to marketing@donnabellahair.com. We’ll take a look at them and see if they qualify for an upcoming contest!

And now the moment you’ve been waiting for, your 2 finalists for the April 2011 contest! Be sure to cast your vote below!

Stacy

Hair Extensions installed by:

Jennifer Smith

The Spa and Salon at Forest Lakes

501-276-0535

Stacy Before


Stacy After

Jen

Hair Extensions installed by:

Alexis Stimmel

Salon Karma

724-776-0005

Jen Before (WINNER!)


Jen After


My Twin Wants Length

Friday, March 25th, 2011

DONNA BELLA BUSINESS TIP FOR
March 25, 2011

Question:

My twin sister and I currently have short hair and have spent our entire lives with identical hair styles, except for one night at our junior prom. She tells me that she wants hair extensions now, but I really like our short hair going into summer.

We are 24 years old. Don’t you agree that short hair is more practical for warm weather and if she insists on extensions, do you think I should play along or dig in my heels?

Ilene & Irene, S. – Kissimmee, Florida

Answer:

It is hard for most of us who have no twin to understand the need to be so much like another person. Most adult twins that we know, have found their personal preferences and gone their separate ways with hair styles. You ought to consider that as your first option. Unless you plan on living together the rest of your life.

But if your genes and heredity are so powerful that doing your own thing becomes impossible, then suggest clip-in hair extensions for your sister. When you are together she keeps the extensions in the drawer and after you head to work, she breaks out the clips and becomes whoever she wants to be.

By the way, extensions are terrific during any season of the year.

Hair styling is fun and expresses how you feel about yourself. We think you that both you and your sister ought to continue to share your love but find your own hair identity.

Have A Question? Submit Your Question (less than 200 words) to
info@donnabellahair.com

Create Your Own Magazine

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

Salon owners entertain their waiting customers in a variety of ways. Providing a wide range of glamour magazines is one of the longest standing traditions.

Some customers actually arrive early for their appointment just to read the latest fashion magazine or thumb through hot paparazzi photos. People clip articles, point out hair styles of movie stars, and generally catch up on the latest Hollywood glitz.

Why not create your own fashion magazine, featuring not only the extensions found on the runways and at the music awards, but highlighting some of your clients who have added extensions themselves.

Creating Your Own Extension Magazine is cheap, fun, and easy to do. Here’s how!

Start with a 3-ring binder that has a plastic dust-cover so you can name the magazine, put a picture on the front, and label the publication’s month and volume.

Do your own clipping and cutting from fashion magazine pages to find celebs that have naturally long hair or extensions. Few people can tell who has naturally grown hair locks and who has extensions.

As clients, finish getting their extensions put in, take a picture of them in similar poses to the famous people in your magazine. Don’t worry that your customer is not wearing a runway dress. If the movie star is standing looking left with hair draped over her shoulder, take your customer’s picture using the same angle.

Purchase some clear plastic 3-ring binder sleeves for the pages of your book.

Place the celebrity’s picture so that when the binder is open, that photo is on the left hand side of the open binder. Then place the picture of your hair extension customer on the opposite, or right hand side of the open pages. Perhaps you may create more than one client page on the right hand side. In other words, five hair extension customers may fit the look-alike page for the same movie star.

Decide how long it will take to fill a binder and how many pictures you want in each publication. Start new volumes when needed and keep past volumes on a shelf so that customers can go back through some of the older issues, especially if they want to look at the issue that featured their own picture.

Finally, when your client returns for another appointment, have them autograph the photo that you took of them and make them feel really special. You may even want to give out awards to your photo customers, after finishing a publication.

A customized hair extension magazine is one good way to highlight your expertise as a hair extension specialist.

Logan is founder of Donna Bella Milan hair extensions and lashes and author of the Donna Bella weblog.

Sanitize For Clients

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

Every day, more and more customers look for services that promote safe, clean, and green businesses. Grocery stores, offer wipes for shopping carts. Tissue dispensers are starting to be placed near bathroom exits and door knobs. And Yogini clean mats in between yoga sessions.

Whenever you have a service where one client leaves and another takes their place in a chair or work station, you owe it to the new client to make sure that the area has been refreshed and sanitized. That is especially true for beauty shops.

You would not believe, the germs and illness that visit your salon each day by way of customers, suppliers, and co-workers. With so many people, from so many different micro environments, it is almost impossible to remain immune from potential micro organisms that are anxious to spread their wickedness.

There are two major reasons for taking the issue of cleanliness seriously.

First, from a practical standpoint, you want to stay healthy so that your income remains steady. Stylists understand that if they are sick at home, cash flow comes to a screeching halt.

Second, there is the importance of customer perception. If your client senses that your salon is a germ factory, they’ll find another stylist. Most modern consumers have been taught that “cleanliness in next to godliness”.

Here are some ideas for you to consider.

Before a client sits down, wipe the chair down in their presence or before they reach your workstation, as long as they can see you doing it from the reception area. The key here is not only cleaning the chair surface but making sure they see you do it. If you have to, make them stand by the chair until the work is completed.

Pay particular attention to the arms of the chair and the area that your client places their hands. Another sensitive area of the chair is where your client will be resting their neck and head. That should be thoroughly sanitized from the previous customer.

Regularly clean your combs and brushes in a dishwasher but remember that some dish washers get so hot that they could melt the products. Also consider storing or spraying them in alcohol prior to use.

Wash you hands before starting a hair extension application. And if you leave the work area for any reason, particularly to handle money, be sure to wash your hands again when you return.

Mirrors reflect your image and dirty mirrors turn people off. Keep a spray bottle of cleaner on hand to touch up wall mirrors and hand mirrors. If you offer someone a hand mirror, clean off the handle with a sanitized wipe.

Make sure that the floor does not have hair clippings, extension packaging, beads, or hair extensions from the last client. Floors tell the story of cleanliness in a salon, especially if your station is near a corner wall.

It is the little things in business that are noticed. Customers may not mention anything to you about cleanliness but believe me, good or bad, it’s going through their minds, even when they are sitting in another stylist’s chair. Pick up a few new clients by being extra clean.

Logan is founder of Donna Bella Milan hair extensions and lashes and author of the Donna Bella weblog.

Text “Extensions”

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

DONNA BELLA BUSINESS TIP FOR

March 22, 2011

Question:

 

My friends and I text constantly and were wondering if anyone has established a shortened version for the word “ hair extensions” to make texting easier?  We can’t seem to find any reference to a handheld keyboard version anywhere.

Valene, T – Boston, Massachusetts

Answer:

Our company CEO, Logan Woolley, is the only person we know who has come up with a suitable answer.

For years now, we have received text messages from him that include the word “shun” or “shuns”.  It is his unique way of texting a shorter version for hair extension or hair extensions.

Have A Question?  Submit Your Question (less than 200 words) to

info@donnabellahair.com

Extensions & Baseball Caps

Monday, March 21st, 2011

DONNA BELLA BUSINESS TIP FOR
March 21, 2011

Question:

We live in the Chicago suburbs and my husband and I are over the top Chicago White Sox fans. We love to be called “south siders”. It is spring and the regular season schedule will begin soon.

I want to get hair extensions but I don’t want the extensions to keep me from comfortably wearing my SOX baseball cap to the games. Will extensions work for me or must I wait until the off-season to put them in?

Jackie Fernandez, Chicago, Illinois

Answer:

You can still be the most fashionable fan at U.S. Cellular Park. Extensions are perfect for baseball caps. Horizontal rows of extensions start at the base of the skull, just under the rim of the cap and move up toward the crown of the head.

You can let your hair hang naturally or gather the extensions together in a pony tail and pop the tail through the hole in the back of the cap. Either way works perfectly. The bulk of the extension tips are in the soft part of the cap and high enough that they have plenty of space.

For fun, you may want to put in some black, silver, and white fashion extensions so you match the White Sox uniforms and team colors. To guarantee a good fit, wear your cap to the hair extension specialist who is putting in your extensions.

Have A Question? Submit Your Question (less than 200 words) to
info@donnabellahair.com