In the spirit of try-before-you-buy, hairdresser and salon owner Charlotte Cave was keen to experience having hair extensions for the first time, before considering them for her salon. She visited Michaeljohn salon in London’s Sloane Square area to meet stylist and extensionist Brogan Locke. After a consult, Brogan recommended using Great Lengths tape extensions to add length and fullness to Charlotte’s hair, keeping it natural-looking. Respect joined the appointment to also learn about the process of getting tape extensions and chat to Brogan about her work.
All photography by Mauro Carraro
Read on to hear Brogan’s story. How did she begin in the industry and how did she become interested in hair extension work? We also tackle some common misconceptions about extensions and how to look after them. Myth-busting indeed!
Tell us about your background; how did you become an extensionist ?
Brogan: “I went into hairdressing in general because my mum was a hairdresser. I started at Toni&Guy and then came here to this Michaeljohn salon. Imran, educator for the salon, does extensions all the time. I had already learned how to apply extensions but not to the extent that he knew them, and I didn’t feel confident enough to start doing it. Imran reassured me I would be the perfect candidate and trained me up. I took the Great Lengths courses and went from there. I trained on both bonds and tapes, doing some training on models in the salon, and my friends. Then I started doing clients and now I love it!”
What do you think is the most common misconception about extensions ?
Brogan: “A lot of people think they are bad for your hair. This is not the case if they’re put in properly by someone who knows what they are doing. Plus having good quality extensions. So while it’s a mix of everything that makes such a difference, it’s especially having them put in right. If they are not applied right, then yes they can be bad for your hair.”
What do you think is the most common reason clients want hair extensions these days?
Brogan: “Definitely to add thickness. And personally, I love doing them more for thickness than length because it looks so much more natural. When you go for thickness and length or even just length you’ve got to use more hair, put in a lot, which can make the result less natural-looking and be more costly in terms of buying the hair, and charging for time worked.”
What do you think is the most common mistake people make when looking after their extensions?
Brogan: “Not brushing them or maintaining them enough. I get so many people coming in that haven’t looked after their extensions properly, no brushing or washing. I can’t stress how important this is. The extensions won’t last as long and can become messy. The hair is attached to a bond and will have fallen out in time, but now is caught and snagged. So you can tell instantly when someone hasn’t brushed or looked after their extensions.”
So care is very important
Brogan: “Yes, it’s the main thing really. Getting them done properly in the first place is important but care is the most important way to make them last. They won’t last very long if you don’t look after them.”
When costing a hair extension service, the fee is calculated in two ways. Firstly the cost of the hair which the client is effectively buying. And then for the time worked. Charlotte’s service took just under 90 minutes – and probably would have been 60 minutes if we’d not been doing the interview!
The pre-appointment consult is vital so you can advise the client, colour match to their hair and order in the right amount of hair which you may not have in stock. You’ll also need to give them an idea on cost. A full hair extension service can easily come to many £100s … worth it, but you’ll need to be clear.
On the upside, taped hair extensions belong to the client and if they look after them, can be reapplied on following services.
Great Lengths hair is human hair, ethically sourced. The brand has a variety of products including tapes and bonded hair, in natural and fashion colours. They offer great training for all levels and regular advice and ideas on updating according to trends. We also know there are plenty of social get togethers and networking and of course, the Glammie awards!
For more news from Great Lengths click here