What in the world is going on in the hair extensions market?
It seems that every day there is a new brand of hair extensions in the market, each claiming to be the latest and greatest. Sometimes I get the perception that everyone thinks that this is a get rich quick scheme. Frankly it’s not quite that simple and even much less so for the stylist and the consumer.
Buying human hair and human hair extensions is about as easy as buying white paint. You know that feeling when you go to your favorite hardware store and see white paint from $10 to $50 a gallon? If the salesman were to open all of the cans so that you can see the paint you’d see just what you imagined, many cans of white paint that look like white paint. You can’t see the quality, if it drips, if it covers well, if it’s durable, cleanable, etc. These are all criteria that generally aid you in making a purchase. However people in the paint industry know what to look for. We often rely on them and their advice when choosing a paint brand. Normally you get what you pay for. Low cost paint usually equates to poor application or poor results.
The reality is that the hair industry is not much better or different. For the consumer, many stylists and perhaps many new vendors buying hair is similar to buying paint. You only “know” what you see. You imagine that if it feels good it must be good. If it’s “cheap” it must be a good value. If the packaging looks chic than perhaps the product must be as well. And so on. The reality is that the hair extension market is flooded with so much product that making a prudent and educated selection is more difficult now than ever.
Each month new brands arrive. Where did these entrepreneurs come from? What is there knowledge base for buying human hair? Is it possible that they are just jumping on the bandwagon? The answer to those questions is unfortunately we don’t know. The factories, mostly in China, don’t ask those questions. If you can pay, you can buy. However they are experienced and astute and know when a buyer hasn’t a clue what he/she is buying. I don’t wish to infer that all factory management is unscrupulous because that is not so. However, caveat emptor, especially when the buyer is a novice.
So, what’s my point? Since neither the stylist nor the consumer normally have the knowledge when it comes to buying hair (as opposed to the stylists’ knowledge base which includes, cutting, coloring, styling and much more) they too are left in a conundrum. What to do and what to buy? Well, the most important thing is to do your homework. At minimum here is what should you know;
- How long has the company (the supplier) been in business
- Are their stylists required to be educated to apply the product
- Is the attachment method non-damaging
- How long is the guarantee and will the company stand behind their guarantee
- What do their customers say about their product
- What “class” of salon are the extensions sold to
I imagine at this point that you think that you know something that this writer doesn’t because I haven’t mentioned the “magic word”; Remy. People in the hair industry throw that word around like it is the most important thing to know about their product. In fact, the word Remy works as a wonderful smoke screen for all that might be wrong with the product. The truth is that the word Remy by itself means little to nothing
(Note: in my next blog I will explain in more technical terms what Remy is and how it is often used as deceptively)
To further compound the confusion that is the extension market today there are many factories in China now selling direct to the public. There are also thousands of small vendors in China who buy hair from the factories and market them on-line as direct from the factory. The reality is you don’t know who you are buying from. The price seems right but is buying direct from overseas a prudent choice? Consider this;
- You may have no recourse if the vendor takes your money and never ships
- You may have no recourse if you are unhappy with the product
- You cannot research customer satisfaction of items from the factory
- You don’t know the sanitary conditions of the factory
- You are giving your credit card information to people you don’t know and can’t research
The bottom line is that like any other consumer item that you purchase you should do your homework. Go to websites that specialize in the hair extension industry. These people are experts in our field and understand hair origin and quality, processing techniques, application methods, maintenance, value, etc. These sites include but are not limited to;
In closing, remember that there is no such thing as “a free lunch”. You should get what you pay for but in order to help assure that you are happy with your purchase do your homework and buy only from credible suppliers. Until next time….
To find a Klix Hair Extension Salon: www.klixhair.com/salon-locator/
For more information about our classes: www.klixhair.com/stylists/how-to-get-certified/
Categorised in: Hair Extensions
This post was written by David Rubenstein