How to Become a Hair Extension Artist

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Are you a licensed stylist who wants to get into the field of hair extensions? Are you a student considering cosmetology school who wants to specialize in hair extensions? If you want to become a hair extension artist but aren’t sure how to become trained and licensed, you don’t have to look any further.

Take a natural hair styling course. If you want to acquire a license to style natural hair, you will need to take a course from a cosmetology school. You must be at least 16 years of age to begin the program. To complete the course, you must have at least 300 hours in the practice and theory of natural hair styling. After course completion, you can apply for a license to do hair extensions in your state of choice. Sometimes work experience can be used in lieu of actual training courses, but you’ll have to check with your state board to find out. There are also online courses offered to assist in learning how to do hair extensions. Find out more at Universal Class. See References for link.

Attend hair shows. Most hair shows offer training courses in addition to exhibits and entertainment. You can sign up for classes dealing with extensions at these shows. One famous hair show is Bronner Bros. International Hair Show. (See Resources for link.) Among the classes that Bronner offers are Luxurious Length Weave Technique, Transitional Net Weave Technique, the Anchored Weave, Custom Color Virgin Indian Hair Extensions/Weave, Undetectable Extensions and Gemtress Weave Technique. The fee for each of these classes is only $20. Search for other local hair shows in your area and find out what hair extension classes they have to offer.

Attend salon seminars. Many salons offer classes on hair extension. If you live in Texas, the Ciao Bella Hair Extension Studio in Dallas offers a one-day training course for hair extensions. The class costs $1,000, but you can save money if you go in with a group. To find out when salons will be offering seminars, you can call salons that you know offer extensions and just ask. Some salons use Craigslist to advertise when they will be holding classes. They will be listed under the “Events” category on Craigslist and under the subcategory “Classes.”

Network with other professional hair extension artists. There are many hair extension artists who are looking for mentees to take under their wings. Although you may have to pay them a consulting fee to teach you hair extension techniques, it could be well worth it. They may also be open to bartering for your services or having you perform styling techniques for their clients. The best way to find mentors is to attend salon conferences and trade shows or simply ask someone whose work you admire to "mentor you" and teach you some hair extension techniques.

Create a portfolio. In order to obtain clients, you will need to piece together a portfolio that highlights your best work with hair extensions. To get ideas for different styles, you can scour hair magazines and watch celebrity trends. In order to build your portfolio, you can offer to do hair for free as long as the client purchases the extensions. This will really help fill your portfolio, as people always want something for free! Plus, if they like your work, they are likely to become a paying customer and refer you to all of their friends.

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