Extension requests | Pocketmags.com
Professional Beauty
Professional Beauty

4 mins

Extension requests

With hair extensions more popular and versatile than ever, we asked the professionals how to answer questions from clients who are considering investing in them


For first-time extension clients, what is the best advice to give about choosing the right length and thickness?

“It is very important that a consultation is done and the correct advice is given, preferably in-person in the salon,” says Sarah Miller, co-owner of Heavenly Hair in Dublin. “If you cannot see the client, then ask them to send pictures of their hair in a natural light, from a few different angles, so you can see what extensions are required and would match best.”

“A consultation is key here,” agrees Aileen Barnby, Great Lengths educator and co-owner of Barnby & Brennan Hair and Beauty in Newbridge, Co Kildare. “For nervous clients, I always keep spare colours and do a 'patch test' service by putting in one or two bonds on each side of their hair so they can see them. Most of our first-time extension clients start off low on the scale, usually opting for thickening services, which would involve 30-50 bonds or up to 10 tapes.”

“Even for a first-time client, there are no rules when deciding on length and thickness – it totally depends on what they want themselves,” says Ceira Lambert, head of education at Gold Fever and owner of Ceira Lambert Hair Consultancy in Dublin. “There are so many options to choose from, there is something for everyone.”

Should hair type and lifestyle be taken into account when recommending extensions?

“Again, consultation is key here,” says Barnby. “I sit down and chat to the client first to completely analyse their hair type and how they usually wear it. I always keep a folder with before and after photos of other clients to show to my new client. That way I can tell them how someone with hair similar to them is getting on with their extensions. I also make sure that my recommendations match their budget.”

“We offer tape, clip-in and beaded extensions, but we generally only recommend bonds, and predominantly Platinum Prestige, which are keratin pre-bond extensions,” says Frankie Horan, owner of Frankie's Hairdressing, Mountmellick, Co Laois. “When cared for correctly, bonds require much less maintenance and are easier to colour match as we can add different tones if needed. We offer the Platinum Power range also, which is a bit more expensive.”

“Both tapes and bonds suit the majority of clients, so it's usually down to a personal preference,” says Lambert. “Bonds are the most popular in our salons as they suit all hair types, including fine hair, as the bonds are so tiny and discreet.”

How do you match a client's coloured hair with the correct extensions?

“In this instance, we do a colour consultation, which is straightforward 90% of the time, but sometimes a colour change is required in order for the end result to be per fect for the client,” says Horan.

“A colour match is done by matching the extensions to the middle and ends of the client's hair,” explains Lambert. “Even if the client's hair is natural and not coloured, extensions are always a great way of adding in some different tones.”

“We use a colour swatch to match to the client's hair colour,” says Miller. “Many salons now hold stocks of different shades of hair extensions and can match them directly to the client's hair there and then.”

Can a client with short hair get extensions?

“Yes, of course – the bonds we use are so small that, even with short hair, there is always something we can offer the client,” says Lambert.

“All clients are suitable for hair extensions,” says Barnby. “I would advise them to never go more than double their own length in order to keep the natural look, but a short hair transformation is always achievable.”

'Depending on the quality of the extensions used, clients can wash them as regularly as their own hair'

“The options available to the client here will depend on how short and thick or fine their hair is,” says Miller. “For example, a Halo Hair Extension is a full head of hair extensions that can be applied to hair above the shoulders if the hair is fine. If the hair is thicker, our La Lox Injection Tapes or Flexi Nano Tips may suit better.”

How should clients style and care for their extensions between salon visits?

“Depending on the quality of the extensions used, clients can wash them as regularly as their own hair,” says Miller. “Many synthetic hair extensions cannot have heat applied or, if they can, it may have to be very low. Human hair extensions can be dried the same as normal hair, but if heat tools are being used, it is important that a professional heat protector is used, as consistent heat without protection can dry out the hair.” “Hair extensions do require effort and care,” says Horan. “We always explain to clients that they should follow the correct advice, use the recommended products, and brush them twice a day.”

'If the client's hair is natural and not coloured, extensions are always a great way of adding in some different tones'

“We advise our clients to treat their extensions exactly like their own hair, always drying bonds softly and keeping the heat low when styling,” says Barnby. “We also recommend a maintenance pack with every extension service, which includes Great Lengths shampoo, conditioner, treatment for bonds, a brush and a booklet on maintenance – that way the client is confident leaving the salon. We also reassure them we are always there for them for any issues between appointments.”

“For styling, I would always recommend drying the hair first, then smoothing it out with the Gold Fever extension brush before using any styling tool,” says Lambert. “Once a client invests in the correct homecare to look after their extensions, and comes in to the salon for their five-week check-up, they shouldn't have any issues.”

This article appears in the March/April 2023 Issue of Professional Beauty & HJ Ireland

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This article appears in the March/April 2023 Issue of Professional Beauty & HJ Ireland