Increasing Service Revenue 13% with Hair Extensions
In recent years, hair extensions have become a huge profit center for many salons. Some salon owners have been resistant to carrying them due to cost and the length of the service, but recently the Aveda-approved VoMor hair extension line has changed the game for owners and stylists.
Guests are becoming addicted to the one-box transformation they receive in the chair at a reasonable price point, and stylists are enjoying a boost in their paychecks with a new service they can offer in the moment, and the additional retail opportunity.
We asked four owners and managers to share how offering extensions has boosted salon profits, inspired their stylists and hooked clients. Below, Sara Cloud, manager at The Ritz Inc. salon in Lake Charles, Louisiana; Candice Hammit, co-owner of DV8 the Salon in Grapevine, Texas; Allison Agresta, owner of M Salon Experience at The Loop in Kissimmee, Florida and Theresa Holland, owner of two Terra Bacio locations and two DanTera locations in Huntsville and Madison, Alabama, reveal the secrets to their success.
Diving Into the World of Extensions
Agresta: Before VoMor, the only type of extension we carried was a bond type applied with heat that was very expensive. So when VoMor became an option, we realized we could use it on clients with finer hair without damaging it. We could fill in a thinner bob with a few pieces at a way more reasonable price. It was the first product that gave us the ability to add fullness to the guest’s perimeter in just a few minutes. Also, the tape-in method is so simple and requires no extra equipment.
Hammit: The fact that the actual VoMor hair is a retail sale and the service is a commission sale is a huge benefit, as well. And the price was right. It was $5,500 for our initial investment, which included a cart to house the hair and two days of training for our stylists.
We wanted to work smarter, not harder.
Cloud: We wanted to work smarter, not harder. Extensions are an easy way to upsell clients in the moment, and we have many clients who want thicker hair, in addition to the younger clients looking for length. VoMor catered to them all because they can treat their hair as they normally would. And it provided us with another opportunity to retail, as there are specific shampoos/products you need to use with the extensions (nothing with oil as it will dissolve the adhesive).
Holland: We were waiting for an Aveda-approved extension, so when VoMor came out, we started carrying them in all four locations immediately. We wanted a product that aligned with Aveda’s beliefs, mission and quality.
Boosting Revenue with a New Service Category
Holland: In our Terra Bacio Huntsville location, VoMor represented 4.83 percent of product sales and 3.39 percent of service sales in 2017. In 2018, those percentages were up to 5.88 percent in product sales and 5.13 percent of service sales.
Hammit: Two percent of our total sales have come from VoMor in the past year—roughly $40,000. We’ve seen an increase of retail sales by 6.2 percent and 1.3 percent in service sales. But the most exciting part is that there’s still so much room for growth as our stylists grow in skill, speed and confidence.
Cloud: In the month of October, extension services were 13 percent of overall sales. Extensions represented 36 percent for our top extension stylist in the same month.
Agresta: We’ve seen about 8-10 percent growth overall, but if we focus on offering VoMor, we feel the growth is endless as it’s growing both service and retail numbers.
Stylists Inspired and Rejuvenated
Hammit: We have 13 out of 14 stylists currently trained in VoMor, and an in-house VoMor educator who provides education around the product to our team. They love the added revenue of retail and service tickets with this additional source of income.
My six-figure hairdressers are so because of extensions.
Holland: My six-figure hairdressers are so because of extensions. This service gives them incentive and opportunity, and we make it part of the consultation and explain the details to interested clients.
We have one stylist who was going to be working fewer hours because she had a baby, so she made a point to start offering extensions to her clients and doubled her income. In 2018, her percentage of VoMor sales to total product sales was 20.4 percent. Her percentage of VoMor services to her total service sales was 13.5 percent.
A stylist in another location is doing 12.8 percent VoMor retail and 14.7 percent VoMor services.
Agresta: We currently have five of our 14 stylists trained in VoMor. They’re passionate about extensions and are thorough in explaining them to clients. It’s imperative that the stylist completes a proper consultation and the guest understands home-care.
Guest Loyalty on the Rise: They Can’t Live Without Them
Hammit: We’ve had tremendous client satisfaction on the service and the product. Both new and regular guests have benefitted from the one-box transformation (they only take 15 minutes to apply), as well as getting the longer lengths they couldn’t have had before.
We’ve had brides get the hair of their dreams, and clients with medical conditions that caused thinning hair able to have their hair look and feel amazing.
For example, we had a guest who was losing hair because of diabetes medication. She wore the extensions for a year until her hair felt okay again. She was going to let them go when she got back to normal, but decided to keep them because she loved them so much.
Because of the evolution of extensions—more affordable, faster and easier to apply—they’re an accessible, in-the-moment service for more clients.
Our typical client is doing it more for thickness than length. They’ll start with one box, but after they see how it works, they often want two. And they can use the hair they’ve purchased for six months or three applications, so it’s affordable. We sell our 12-inch box of hair for $170.
Cloud: Our clients love that it’s a quick and affordable way to have more hair. And the shades match the Aveda color line. We’ve also had guests find us on social media specifically for hair extensions, and there is always a buzz in the salon when guests see it happening and are curious about the process.
Agresta: The greatest impact we’ve seen is in our guest loyalty. Women with fine hair are self-conscious, so if we can transform their hair to appear thicker and fuller, they are a permanent guest of the salon. For women who have struggled their entire life with thin hair, this is a huge, one-box transformation. Once they see the result, they realize they cannot live without their extensions!
When guests see the extensions, they want them.
Holland: We use just one box to start so the guest can get used to maintenance. Most people just want a change and don’t want to wait for their hair to grow. We explain how the extensions take the heat of styling and will help promote healthy hair growth.
When guests see the extensions, they want them. They notice the hair is thick all the way down and doesn’t thin out on the bottom. After that first box, guests usually call within a week and ask to add another box. They get a lot of compliments on the beautiful shine their hair has, too.
Q: How do you market the VoMor extension service?
Hammit: We have an in-house person who works on social media and promotes it there. Our stylists post before-and-after shots on Instagram and Facebook. We’re continuing to push on social media.
We also educate guests in the salon. We ask, “Would you like to have more hair?” Then we grab a box and show them in the moment how they can achieve a transformation with one box.
Extensions are creating an opportunity for us—anytime a stylist is doing an extension service, the clients in the salon want to know what’s going on, what the cost is, what it entails, etc.
Happy clients are our best marketers—they spread the word.
Agresta: We do complimentary consultations so they can get an idea of price point before they make the investment. Clients tell us immediately what they are most concerned about. If they are pulling on their hair to get lift, you can see they want volume. And we let them know if their hair is baby-fine, they are never going to get a strong perimeter without extensions.
It’s good to educate them, because some clients think extensions are just for people who want hair down to their waist, which is rarely the case.
We also have the service on our menu, and clients are often intrigued by other guests in the salon getting the service.
Holland: We promote them via signage in the salon and social media, but word of mouth is the best. Once you wear them, people want to know more. We run a promo on the first box and know where to market to which clients. For example, we do well on Facebook because of the age of people who are on it (40s/50s). They want thicker hair, and extensions will give them that look.