How to master keratin bond extensions
with celebrity hair stylist Kelly Christine
You want people to come up to your clients and say, “Wow you have such beautiful hair,” not --Wow you have such beautiful hair extensions.” Keratin bond extensions are the best kept client/stylist secret on the hair extension market today. Need proof? Ask Kelly from Studio Daze salon in Beverly hills, CA.
Kelly Christine is a professional celebrity hair stylist and top Keratin bond extensions installation expert with over 12 plus years of hair extension experience. Kelly gave us a truly intimate look into her successful Keratin extension installation method with a sit down interview and full fusion hair extension tutorial session. We are proud to present a peek into her method and share some of her educational advice. We cover crucial questions to ask clients that you might be missing in the consultation. Pricing and how much hair your clients actually need. Specific hair tools and products to help achieve optimum hair extension installation success, and so much more.
Short on time? Save this article for later and watch the YouTube teaser here.
How do you begin with a keratin (polymer) hair extension client?
Always start with an in depth consultation. You will always have great results from an installation when you are completely upfront about the expectations for having this hair installed. You have to set expectations from the beginning.”
A SUCCESSFUL CONSULTATION. When asking a client consultation questions, don’t forget these crucial questions:
“When you are talking to the client, the first thing is budget. Get the awkward thing out of the way first, just get it out. Remember that a budget entails a lot of things. It doesn't just mean the install that day, but what does their budget look like in the future?
If you are requiring them to come in every 6-8 weeks then maybe they do not have the budget and or time for that. You do not want to give that client a look that they cannot maintain due to lifestyle and budget. Most women want something that is low maintenance so that they do not have to come in so often. Clients that work out a lot-- do hot yoga-- how often do you wash your hair, what is your activity? What is your job? Does it require a lot of styling? These questions are crucial in determining the specific look they will need and what would work best for them.
You really need to educate your clients on the reasons you think this method is the best method for them and be sure to teach them step by step the maintenance needed for this type of installation. Before they leave my chair, I even ask them to repeat those steps back to me.”
How do you offer the best hair extension advice to a potential client?
“I like to pose it in a way where the clients are truly honest.” Instead of asking, “do you brush it five times a day,” ask something like, “how often are you brushing your hair?” You will get their honest answers.
That's where you go in and say, “that's why you are probably tangling and having certain issues. You will need to brush it regularly to maintain the quality. This will ensure that your hair underneath is healthy.”
How do you determine the amount of hair you will need for your keratin bond installations?
Every client is different: You cater to each individual's needs. Likes, budget and hair texture. My client in the chair does not need so much hair. She only needs a tiny bit--4 bundles or less. (Her client in the chair had fine hair and she was very light blonde.) Remember to give the client something that she can actually manage. It cannot be too heavy for her. Remember that less is more.
Be transparent about the hair you are adding.
“If you know your client will only need 4 bundles, don't say that they will need 8. It's not just about making money, it's also about being honest with them. Do not sell someone something that they do not need or won’t be able to manage.”
How do you prep your keratin(polymer) extensions for installation?
I use many different hot tools for my installations. I have my toaster of course, and my smaller tools also. I switch back and forth all the time.
Here is the polymer installation step by step:
- If completing a blend of two different colors, plan it out with the client. Give them visuals of what the blend will look like in their hair.
- Begin by adding olaplex #1 to the roots of the hair after removal and before new install. This helps with longevity with the extensions, and strengthens the roots of clients' natural hair.
- After applying highlights to the clients hair, allow that down time to set up your Poly extensions.
- Use a clarifier at the shampoo bowl after washing the highlights out before adding the hair.
- To achieve a very hidden install, cut the keratin bonds down into smaller pieces to add fullness near the clients hairline. For this client, the bonds have to be cut down for her specific hair texture. (Kelly used large keratin(polymer) bond tips from Hair & Compounds to achieve her desired cuts)
- I cut the bonds into quarter and half sizes.
- For the back of the hair I like to halves, front and top of the hair line, quarter pieces. Lightweight is the most important. Not too heavy.
- Ensure clean lines and use pins to hold the hair away from the working section
- Use a guard.
- There is a method: After you melt the bond and you begin rolling the bond, you want to make sure you are rolling nice and tight and pressing down.
- Always make sure that the end of the bond- the tip is completely sealed. If the bond is not completely sealed it will cause shedding
- If you ever see a little bit of white at the top of the bond-- you know that the bond is not closed or “sealed.”
- Add Micro pieces at the neck because the hair is not as dense.
What do you love about keratin extensions?
What I love about individuals is that you can really customize your bonds to the client. It’s amazing to add length and allow for the clients hair to stay healthy beneath the bonds.
It is important to remember when installing bonds as the clients real hair could be damaged if the bonds are too heavy or the hair is being pulled from too many directions. Positioning on the client's head is important also. One section may require less hair than another section on their head. This will always vary from client to client.
How do you spot a mistake, if any?
It's easy to spot since it will be a little white still. Just go back and hit it again with the heat. Once you hit it with the heat, you will need to re-roll. If you do not then that bond will most likely not last long. It will also cause a lot of shedding.
Do you offer your clients specific products?
Absolutely! Sulfate free shampoos -- olaplex-- all my clients use olaplex. Every client takes home the olaplex 3. They also always go home with two different “wet brushes.” This includes The wet brand original detangler brush.
What is your salon environment like?
I worked in a big salon and loved it but it also has its downsides. For private salons, you have more room to be flexible in your schedule. I can take clients who are more “well known” late at night and early am (has secret entrance and exits) if those clients prefer to be lowkey. I also love that my salon is pretty well hidden.
My clients comfort is my biggest priority. I play movies, tv shows, and always have snacks and drinks stocked. It's a private space -- they love the fact that it's not a scene. It’s also nice that the clients can come dressed down and not feel the need to dress to impress.
How do you define quality?
I've used a lot of brands. I know the differences in quality. Hair & Compounds is my favorite brand to use. Clients have come to me with other hair extensions, or have a suggestion for another hair company. But they have also ruined their hair with terrible hair and had bad experiences in the past that they were almost hesitant to do again.
That’s where you really have to educate the clients. When clients come to me with lower quality hair, I tell them that quality is one of the most important things about hair extensions."
We’re so delighted that Kelli could provide such insightful guidance for fusion hair extensions pros! This process will help so many other incredible stylists succeed in stunning, long lasting installs.T he professional hair tips, guided steps, how to's and client advice are just a few things that will help ANY and all stylists succeed with their polymer extension installations.
For more information on Polymer (keratin) bonds click here.
Thank you Kelli!
Be sure to watch Kelli's sit down interview where she gives us more amazing insights on being a professional Keratin Bond Hair Stylist in Los Angeles, CA.