With the rise of social media and online trends, the hair extension industry has continued to go from strength-to-strength in recent years with people of all ages, genders and backgrounds using hair extensions as part of their everyday hair routine. Remi Cachet Super Stylist, Alex Ferris explains that clients are becoming more educated too. “Good hair extensions are not cheap and in all my consultations I am careful to explain the investment,” she explains. “Working with high quality hair that lasts longer means that the initial investment can last over 12-18 months, whereas cheaper hair will need to be replaced and ultimately cost more.”
“For years, the hair extension market in the UK was dominated by Afro textured human and synthetic hair, particularly the sort that was popular for braiding,” comments Peter Mudahy, CEO of Pak Cosmetics. “However, we’ve seen factors such as length and colour variety playing a factor in consumer behaviour. Another key factor is sustainability and ethics. Consumers are much more conscious in terms of how their hair products are produced and what is used in them.”
With all this in mind, we break down the types of client you might get in your chair and how you as the expert can guide, inspire and educate them.
The TikTok Trend Chaser
Social media has had a huge impact on hair trends, therefore, hair extensions are a great option for clients who want to completely transform their hair without the commitment of regrowth maintenance. Vicky Demetrious, Great Lengths Elite Stylist and Master says hair extensions are a great option for clients who are looking to switch up their colour, “Fashionforward clients are booking in for candy caked sliced hair, which not only makes a colour statement but also adds thickness and length.
The result? Statement summer hair without a permanent colour change”. For clients who are after a natural-looking boost, Johnny Yip, managing director of Zen says, “With summer right upon us, blondes are always popular in all shades and lengths, but this season is as much about brunettes, with the emphasis on luxurious looking colour and length. Our clients are looking for a rich mix of tones to enhance their client’s own hair. Plus, another popular trend we are seeing is multi-tonal reds bringing copper and auburn shades.” Jason O’Sullivan adds: “I predict the increase in warm shades with copper and golden blondes dominating throughout the remainder of 2022.” Lawrence Taylor, head of education at Racoon International, is also seeing a move towards vanilla, pearl and platinum shades that can be intermixed to create seamless blending with the client’s natural hair, “It's all about beachy, undone hair this summer, allowing the length and colour to do the talking.”
The Sustainability-Focused Client
Clients are increasingly interested in the ethical sourcing of hair extensions, particularly around the issues of donating with consent and treating each person that chooses to donate their hair with respect. However, not only are clients opting for a responsible option when choosing their hair extensions, but hairstylists are too. Great Lengths, the first extension brand to receive B-Corporation certification began putting measures in place over ten years ago, “For us, creating economic value while simultaneously creating value for people and the environment has always been our approach to life” says Fabio Massimo Antonino, CEO of Great Lengths, who are partnered with Green Salon Collective, another B-Corp and the original authority on finding circular solutions for salon waste including the creation of ‘hair booms’ and hair mats.
CLIENTS ARE INCREASINGLY INTERESTED IN THE ETHICAL SOURCING OF HAIR EXTENSIONS
The No-Fuss Client
Tape-ins are great for those who want to add both length and thickness to their hair. The benefit of tape-in extensions is that they lay seamlessly flat on the scalp, providing a discreet finish and allowing flexibility with different hairstyles. “Tape Extensions are definitely one of my favourite and most popular methods of hair extensions because they are low maintenance and so quick to apply. When it comes to refitting tape extensions, I usually carry out a removal and a refit over two separate appointments. This keeps my clients' natural hair extra healthy and in good condition,” says Hair Made Easi brand ambassador, Amy Wilkinson. She adds: “A massive reason why they are a huge trend is that they require no heat tools to apply – and a full head of tape hair can be fitted in under one hour. Most other hair extension methods take at least 2-3 hours to apply so tapes are great for those who don’t enjoy sitting for long hours in a salon”.
The Male Client
The male hair extension market is becoming increasingly popular as a non-surgical method to combat male hair loss. This subtle solution disguises balding or thinning patches at the crown or the hairline in just one sitting, ensuring men leave the salon with a fresh look and a boost of confidence. Multi award-winning specialist, Jade Searcy has seen a huge growth in the male extension market in the past three years, “Men seem to be more focused on regaining confidence and not worrying what other people think.” Extensions such as those offered by Great Lengths, are natural, discreet, and virtually undetectable. Jade says, “My clients are opting for extensions to avoid alternative routes, such as a hair transplant which is invasive and expensive. I now have over five times as many male clients as I used to, and every month I receive messages requesting consultations. Over the next few years, I think we will see a huge rise in the male extension market.” Mel Kasak, from Glamlox adds, “The most popular method at the moment is hair replacement using finest human lace closures. This system is nonsurgical, lasts six to ten months, and maintenance is recommended every three to four weeks.”
MEN SEEM TO BE MORE FOCUSED ON REGAINING CONFIDENCE AND NOT WORRYING WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK.
The Volume Seeker
Contrary to popular belief, the reason why people are opting for hair extensions isn’t just to add more length. Hair Made Easi brand ambassador, Joanne Fox, has discovered that hair extensions play a big part with a lot of clients who love the idea of cutting their hair into shorter styles, like the classic bob, and adding a few hair extensions on either side of the clients’ hair is a discreet solution that adds thickness and volume. “A lot of my weave clients have hybrid fittings” says Joanne, “this allows me to fill out finer areas that wouldn’t be suitable for the weave. I combine weaves with tapes, bonds, mini tips and pro tips depending on the clients’ hair and lifestyle." Charlotte Boyes, Hairdreams UK art team and educator, added "The trend for 2022 is 90s styling, I use extensions to boost my clients' volume and thickness to give them the ultimate layered 90s look."
Extensions are fast becoming an extension of your client’s personality – and for good reason.