Hair extensions are becoming increasingly popular, thanks to trend-setting celebrities changing their looks from short bobs to luscious long locks every other week.
Meanwhile, hair salons are in need of talented people, who can fit hair extensions to be able to meet the growing demand for this specialist service. So how do you become a mobile hair extension technician?
What qualifications and training do you need to become a mobile hair extension technician?
You don’t need to be a hairdresser or even have any experience in the trade to be qualified in hair extensions. All you need to do is complete a certified hair extension course. There are many different types of hair extension courses, so it is up to you which path you choose to go down. These include:
- Keratin fusion
- Micro rings
- Easy tubes
The courses will cover the basic elements of fitting hair extensions, such as:
- The correct knowledge about different types of hair
- How to create volume and length
- Using the different types of hair extensions
- Applying the hair extensions (full and half head)
- Blending the colours, including highlights
- After care, products, what and what not to use
- Removal of existing hair extensions
- Pricing up the service
Due to the increasing popularity of hair extensions, there are many places that provide courses. The courses you do will most likely include everything you need to learn, such as the hair, hair models and the bonding materials.
Going freelance as a mobile hair extension technician
Once you have the essential skills and you’ve gained some valuable experience in fitting hair extensions (whether it’s practising on friends and family, yourself or doing unpaid work in a local salon), you may feel it’s time to become a self-employed mobile hair extension technician.
There are numerous benefits to freelancing, from the freedom and flexibility to work with as many clients and as many hours as you like, to increasing your take home pay and claiming essential things like travel costs on expenses.
In fact, our take home pay calculator shows you how much you could take home as a freelancer. But before you do take the plunge, make sure you have a plan to actually get work before going it alone.
Finding work as a mobile hair extension technician
In order to be a successful freelancer, you don’t just have to be an expert in your trade, you’ve got to be equally talented at marketing your services too. So here are just a few suggestions: forget your name out there and filling up your work diary for the week. Yes, you will need to keep a strict diary of appointments!
Start by creating killer Facebook, Instagram and Twitter profiles for your business. These should be full with photos of your work, comments and feedback from happy customers, as well as beauty tips and style information to showcase your talents and get people to engage with you online. This way the quality of your work will speak for itself and make marketing much easier. Be sure to tag your clients in your Facebook photos too. This way their friends will be able to see the great work you’ve done and contact you for similar services.
Make sure you include as much information about yourself and your business as possible. From making it personal with pictures, to including your full name, mobile number and business address. A list of prices and working hours are also a good idea too. Just make it as easy as possible for a customer to contact you.
You can also advertise on Gumtree for free! Gumtree has a specialist section for hair extension freelancers and to help make your advert stand out, you could offer a discount for Gumtree customers. This is also a great way of finding out how effective your Gumtree advert is.
If you need help with graphics, logos and designs, you can get these cheaply online from places like Fiverr.
Word of mouth
The key to successful marketing is relationships. So while your initial batch of clients will come through friends and relatives (at a discount rate to get the ball rolling), personal recommendations will quickly grow your client base – especially if you’re hot on your social media marketing. As your clients will be modelling the results of your hard work, making sure they’re happy with your services should be a priority to ensure their reviews are complementary and that they come back for more. Hopefully bringing their friends with them too.
It may be old fashioned, but it’s still a highly successful form of marketing. Distributing a well designed leaflet throughout your local area is the perfect way to drum up interest. Include your local beauty salons, hairdressers and bridal shops too, and where possible, it’s always best to walk in, say hi and offer your services face-to-face before giving them your leaflet.
Most salons don’t offer hair extensions, but if they can count on you to come in once or twice a week, they’ll find the clients for you, obviously for a small commission rate. This way you can spread yourself across a number of local salons on alternating days, while making private client appointments to create a constant week of work for yourself.
Whether you’re marketing yourself through social media, leaflet drops or meeting people face to face, ensure you’re smartly dressed and professional at all times. Ideally with creative hair extensions of your own, as you are a walking billboard of your own skills and services. Don’t forget, you’re selling yourself as much as you are selling your talents.
Now you just need to keep a strict work diary, a list of all your costs, expenses, ingoings, outgoings, income and tax. Having made the decision to give it a go, whether full or part- time and whether you set up as a sole trader or limited company, you’ll need to consider appointing an accountant to help support you in your tax and accountancy needs.