How to Start A Hair Extensions Business

Written by Michele and Adrienne Krysmari

krysmari logo 3

Written by Michele and Adrienne Krysmari

Michele and Adrienne Krysmari are a  mother and daughter team who are the President and CEO of Krysmari Brands, a company that caters to products for the hair extensions industry. Under the Krysmari Brands; products releasing this year are “Learn how to sell hair extensions” manual created for new and current business owners selling hair extensions and wigs.

Krysmari odor killing shampoo and conditioner for hair extensions that carry that corn chip odor, coming out this spring. Also in 2015 Krysmari Brands will release a variety of hair perfumes and two more highly secretive products needed for the hair extensions industry.

Michele and Adrienne are also editors of Hair Extensions Magazine an online magazine catering to hair extensions. Along with a blog “How To Sell Remy and Virgin Hair” In their manual “Learn how to sell hair extensions” which teaches you everything you need to know about selling hair extensions.

Krysmari Store

Michele and Adrienne Krysmari are previous owners of two successful hair extension stores, which is how they were able to create “Learn how to sell hair extensions” manual along with “How to sell Remy and Virgin Hair” blog which is also created for entrepreneurs trying to get into the hair extensions business.

The hair extensions business is about supply and demand. In the past I wrote an article about “How everyone is trying to sell hair extensions” says Michele. There are so many entrepreneurs out there making money selling hair extensions and there’s room for even more people to get into the business. What frustrates me the most about this business is how many people are out here selling hair extensions basically out of a trunk, or on the corner and anywhere where they can fit in. I’m not knocking your hustle by any means, get it however you can, but it kind of makes it bad for real business owners with a brand to get into the business and be taken seriously.

Now let’s keep it real selling hair extensions wasn’t as popular until the movie “Good Hair” came out. Chris Rock lit a flame to the industry and then all of a sudden everyone was selling hair extensions. An avenue was created for African Americans and others to get into the business and it is no longer limited to just the Koreans.

Adrienne and I wrote the manual “Learn How to sell Hair Extensions” to teach the average person with limited to no business knowledge, or someone who is currently running a hair extensions business how to make more money in this business.

Everyday Adrienne and I are bombarded with emails from new and current business owners with questions about the industry. Were asked about Branding, Packaging, Marketing, Advertising etc.

In this article, I’m going to cover some basic info about this business. if you’re interested in getting started this should give you some basic info to start with. If you would like to learn more you can purchase the manual at www.learnhowtosellhairextensions.com

To get started first let’s figure out why you want to sell hair extensions? Is it for the money or is this a business you think you could be passionate about? Answering those questions will determine the level you want to take your hair extension business to. Do you want to cater to one nationality or all. Will you have hair for men, women or maybe even provide wigs for cancer patients.

What kind of hair would you like to sell and why?

I personally believe the majority of hair in the market is Indian Hair just given exotic sounding names. The hair listed below are some of the textures out there but keep in mind the hair extensions business is about supply and demand and the supply couldn’t possibly keep up with the demands. But if you find an authentic vendor get as much as you can.  Here are some textures.

Indian Hair

Indian hair is the easiest to get.  The reason why Indian hair is so sought-after in the Western market is because the cross-section is very similar to that of Caucasian hair. According to my Indian supplier before hair extensions became so popular the hair at the temples was used for suit jacket linings and other various uses besides hair. Also about 15 or 20 years ago, various temples had so much hair they didn’t know what to do with and they would end up having to burn it since they had nothing else to do with it. Now that the hair extension industry is booming  temples discovered that they could raise money by selling the hair and turning the profits into benefits for their communities, like better education and health centers.

Brazilian virgin hair

If its authentic usually comes from a single donor who is paid for their hair. Some “so called”Brazilian but may come from a variety of countries such as Peru. Brazilian hair is the most diverse virgin hair due to the unique cultural history of Brazil. Textures are sold in curly to almost bone straight and black to dark blondes. It is silkier than Indian hair and is great choice if you like finer European extensions but require more volume.

Peruvian hair

 is slightly coarser than Brazilian hair especially the straighter varieties. It curls more when wet and will blend well with African-American hair. It lacks the variety of different colors that Brazilian does but if you were to find lighter browns outside of Brazilian hair this would be the texture.

Chinese hair

Chinese is the straightest. is also the easiest to find and subsequently, more affordable. China hair is also passed off as Malaysian hair. Chinese hair is very strong but may not hold a great curl because it is so straight.

Malaysian Hair

I personally believe Malaysian hair is nothing but Chinese hair but I culd be wrong but as far as I’m told by stylists.Malaysian hair is the finest followed by Chinese and then Burmese. As far as density, Malaysian is the densest. Not to be confused with coarseness, density is the amount of hair in a given area while coarseness is the actual thickness of the shaft.

Burmese Hair

Burmese hair can resemble unprocessed African-American hair that has been heat straightened. In texture, Burmese is more likely to come with a slight wave.

European Hair

European Hair is very high quality hair. You should not confuse genuine European hair with the terms ‘Euro Hair’ or ‘European Style’ hair which is Asian hair that is processed to appear like European hair. Genuine European hair usually comes from Southern European countries such as Italy and Spain. This hair is glossy, extremely soft, fine in texture, and is naturally wavy.

 Virgin Russian Hair

The most exclusive type of hair extensions. Genetic and climatic factors contribute to this hair being the most beautiful hair in the world. It’s soft and shiny, and feels like silk. The hair comes from the Cold Siberian regions and Northern territories of Russia and remains in its raw, purist state – it has never been colored or chemically treated in any way. All the colors are natural and it is available straight or naturally wavy. This hair is rare but very sought after. Very few hair extension artists use it because genuine Russian hair is extremely difficult to source. 

Know Your Product

 As some of you already know vendors lie about the quality of the hair and where it is sourced from. My Indian supplier who has a hair manufacturing plant in India explained to me that buyers from Brazil contact their plant to buy hair, once the hair is shipped to them they repackage the hair and from there the hair is shipped out with the place of orgin being Brazil. The 3rd party buyer is not aware the hair originally came from India but the assumption is that it came from Brazil  because the package is marked and shipping from Brazil so consumers assume that officially makes it Brazilian hair. He also explained how “the only hair his factory sells to China is hair they can’t do anything with and his company sells barrels of bad non useless hair to China  known as ‘fallen hair’ also known as trash, which is cleaned [and] then marketed as high-quality hair,” he says. From there China turns the bad hair into useful temporary hair that is then sold to you. The hair extensions industry isn’t regulated YET but with all the issues surrounding hair extensions expect regulations to start coming soon especially the way the industry has changed. Distributors in other countries and even America have learned how to give hair extensions exotic sounding names and overnight women are flocking to buy the hair when most of the hair is Indian hair.

Market Research

What kind of buyer do you want to purchase your hair extensions?

Create a customer profile of who your typical customer may be and includes demographic and psychographic information which includes: age, gender, location, ethnic background, marital status, income, interests, hobbies, values, attitudes behaviors, lifestyle etc.

This information is essential for developing your customer profile. Demographic information will help you identify the type of person who will potentially buy your hair extensions and why that potential customer may buy.

 Finding Hair Suppliers/Wholesalers/Distributors

A lot of hair extension retailers only focus on the price given by hair suppliers instead of focusing on the quality of hair. You’ve probably seen advertisements saying three bundles for one hundred dollars? In my opinion there’s no way the hair could be of quality. However, price does make a difference when you’re selecting hair suppliers.

Keep in mind hair wholesalers are selling to you to make money. Besides price, reliability is a key factor to look for in hair wholesalers. A good hair wholesaler will ship the correct number of bundles at the correct weight as promised. If something goes wrong, they should be able to still live up to their responsibilities to you to make sure you’re accommodated. If you work with a small hair wholesaler and make large purchases, you’ll get more attention and possibly better service and reliability than if you are a small customer of a large hair wholesaler. My suggestion is to split your orders among different hair wholesalers. Hair wholesaler’s stability is another key factor when choosing a supplier. Find hair wholesalers who have been in business for a long time and have done so without changing the business name every few years. A hair wholesaler with a solid reputation should have customer reviews. Some hair wholesalers located overseas take a longer time to get big shipments to you. Hair extensions ordered from overseas also generates added freight charges.

There are also a lot of oversea hair wholesalers that have locations located in the United States. You need to do some research to find out which hair suppliers have USA offices. If you need hair fast, oversea hair wholesalers could present a real problem. Also, look at the hair suppliers’ freight policies before you place your order. If you purchase a large quantity of hair extensions, the suppler should offer you free shipping, if not ask them for free shipping.

Before you place an order with a hair wholesaler, research the kind of hair you want to sell and what’s popular, you don’t want to purchase hair that won’t sell.

Will it be virgin? Will it only be Remy? Will you carry colors? What lengths will you go up to? Do you want to sell Indian, Malaysian, Brazilian, Russian, etc etc etc?

 What Type of hair extension business do you want?

Website/Online Store

My definition: an online piece of real estate and its up to you to make the property value go through the roof) An online store seems to be the most popular less expensive and very lucrative, but there’s hundreds of thousands of online hair suppliers to compete with. The internet has been proven as an effective means to generate income as consumers prefer to shop online.Having an online presence allows you to do business with thousands of people every day with no face to face selling. Your business is open 24/7 365 days a week. You will have clients locally, nationally even worldwide.

Drop Shipper

Drop shipping is a supply chain management technique in which the retailer does not keep goods in stock, but instead transfers customer orders and shipment details to either the manufacturer or a wholesaler, who then ships the goods directly to the customer.

You can become a drop shipper or if you start selling hair wholesale or retail, you can provide a drop ship option to your customers, for a small fee. You will charge the fee to your customers. This is an option for online hair retailers. Drop shipping is cost effective for someone that doesn’t have the funds to purchase hair extensions upfront wholesale, or someone that doesn’t have room to store hair.

Retail Store

A physical retail location is very lucrative, within certain markets and geographical locations, there’s not as much competition YET, besides beauty supply stores in your area. Retail owners wear many hats. They are expected to play the role of manager, market researcher, accountant, and even receptionist. What skills do you have in the following areas? Do you have experience in Sales planning, customer service, tracking competitors, direct sales, billing, bookkeeping, monthly profit and loss statements, tax preparation, media planning, pricing, copy writing, public relations, distribution channel planning, hiring and firing employees, motivating workers, general management skills.

 Kiosk

A retail Kiosk or Mall Kiosk, is a store operated out of a merchant supplied Kiosk of varying size and shape, which is typically enclosed with the operator located in the center and a customer approaching the vendor from across a counter. Mall developers use these modular “stores-on-wheels” to round out the product offerings and to generate incremental income for themselves in the form of additional rent.

Importer/Exporter

An import/export agent is a matchmaker. Manufacturers of domestic goods seek foreign distribution; foreign manufactures want a United States market. For instance, hair manufacturers in China want a constant flow of business from the United States. If you can find and make a solid connection with the hair manufacturers willing to establish a business relationship and do business with you, then you made it into the importing business. Importing and Exporting businesses are also known as International Trading. If you would like to become a importer/exporter of hair extensions, you can work as a distributor by focusing on hair extensions that can’t be obtained in the USA.

It’s lucrative. Typically you will earn between 5% and 15% on every deal you arrange… and that includes repeat orders. One modest deal worth $4,000 a month (which is nothing in the world of wholesale) could bring you an income of $600 a month. Close six small deals like this in your first year and you would be earning $3,600 a month for doing a little more than issuing an invoice.

Anyone can succeed.  You don’t need special skills. You don’t need qualifications.

It is easy to get started. This is a business you can start from home without a single penny in capital. You can work at it full or part time, as you prefer. What’s more there are some excellent perks – lots of free samples and a ready-made excuse for tax-deductible travel

You don’t have to hard-sell. One of the key benefits of Import/Export is that it doesn’t involve you in aggressive selling. Your customers will come to you – your role is simply one of making introductions and handling basic paperwork (such as invoices).

Your business will flourish whatever is going on in the world. International trade continues regardless of what’s going on around the world. In fact, turmoil can often be to your advantage, creating opportunities for extra profit. For instance, if a country is suffering from economic recession it means that its goods are available at lower prices.

Salons That want to sell Hair Extensions

If you’re a salon that wants to sell hair extensions this is a great marketing concept for your salon and it makes sense. Think about it, your clients are going to the beauty supply to buy hair extensions, most of the time you are the one recommending the brand to buy. If you sell hair extensions in your salon directly to clients, you can reap the financial benefits, instead of letting someone else make money off your customers. If you have good quality hair extensions in your salon, it will become a one stop shop. It’s time to use hair extensions to make more money as a salon or stylist. Take advantage of this open marketplace by creating a complete marketing, advertising and PR program for your salon.

Packaging

Packaging is a crucial element that cannot be neglected. Packaging is a very important marketing strategy to glamorize your hair extensions in order to attract the consumer’s attention. It also opens the door for your product to be tried at least once from first time buyers (which is crucial as they can become repeated customers or even spread the word about your product). Ask yourself this question, would you buy a plain looking item or something excitingly packaged? Packaging is a part of branding. Use your imagination to create packaging that consumers are proud to showcase to their friends. People judge products like they judge other people from first impressions, based on appearances. First impressions are important to protect and grow your brand. Packaging for hair extensions has to attract and persuade the customer to buy. Your packaging also needs to inform your consumers, for instance, if your hair is virgin you would put it on the packaging, if there are special instructions for your hair extensions you can include the instructions on or inside the packaging. Customers will perceive the hair, touch the hair, rate the hair and even smell the hair based on its packaging.

 Branding your hair extensions

branding

That’s the foundation, you’re brand is what your customers perceive “Brand” is the personality of your business or what you are known for. One of the purposes for branding is to create more profits with less effort. The foundation of your brand is your logo, your website, packaging and promotional materials, all of which should communicate your brand about you and how you make them feel when they purchase your hair extensions. Brand is the “name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that identifies one seller’s product distinct from those of other sellers. Branding is one of the most important aspects of your hair extensions business. An effective brand strategy gives you a major edge in increasingly competitive markets. Your brand is your promise to your customer, it tells them what they can expect from your hair extensions, and it differentiates your business from your competitors’. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be. Branding is the how, what, when and to whom you plan on selling your hair extensions to. If you don’t brand yourself, you can rest assured that others are branding you, and letting others brand you can be risky.

You first need to brand yourself within your market. You need to be the go to person within the hair extensions field –again starting with your market. Brand yourself as an expert and an interesting person, you need to be memorable. If you can establish your own brand and what makes you different from rest, then congratulations you just branded yourself. Visualize success then execute it. Where you advertise is also part of your brand strategy. Your distribution channels are also part of your brand strategy. What you communicate visually and verbally are part of your brand strategy, too. Consistent, strategic branding leads to a strong brand equity, which means the added value, brought to your hair extensions business, which allows you to charge more for your hair extensions than what identical, unbranded hair extensions command. Are your hair extensions the high-cost, high-quality option, or the low-cost, high-value option? You can’t be both, and you can’t be all things to all people. Who you are should be based to some extent on which your target customers want and need you to be.

Defining your brand is like self-discovery. It can be difficult, time-consuming and uncomfortable. You need to ask yourself these questions and answer the questions truthfully.

Who are you?

What are your values?

What do you want to be known for?

Are you the innovative in the hair extensions industry, or experienced and reliable ?

What makes you the best within the hair extensions industry?

What makes you better than the competition?

What is your company’s mission?

What are the benefits and features of your hair extensions?

What do your customers and prospects already think of your hair extensions/company?

What qualities do you want them to associate with your hair extensions/company?

 Marketing

marketing

Marketing is the process of communication for the value of a product or service to customers, for the purpose of selling. Marketing is an activity and strategy to make profits for companies.

Marketers are expected to know their products, understand who may want to buy them, and analyze how purchase decisions are made. Their job is to develop and implement strategies to attract customers, lead them to a purchase decision, and create brand loyalty so they keep coming back for more. Your product is the company and your buyer is the person in need of hair extensions. The purchase decision involves weighing your offer against that of the competition, while loyalty is measured in customers coming back for more and referring your business, brand or hair extensions, to others. Marketing develops and implement strategies for attracting and retaining “customers”

What’s the difference between marketing and advertising? Marketing is and overall process and plan, while advertising is only one piece of the marketing plan. Marketing is a broader range of activities for a product or service. Marketing includes Research, Advertising, Sales, Public Relations and customer service and satisfaction. Advertising includes, radio and television commercials, online and magazine ads, flyers, brochures, emails, cold calls to potential clients.

Marketing Plan, without a marketing plan your business is doomed. To create a marketing plan you need to begin with assessment of your current condition. In order to create a marketing plan you need a budget. What resources and budget do you have, this will let you know exactly where you stand and how much you can do as far as marketing. If you limited with funds, don’t worry there are other ways to market your business to build up a cash flow. No matter how much income you generate with your business, you must put aside a portion of your income for marketing. You need to start developing market muscle. Your goals are to build your brand, define your target markets, analyze you’re buyers’ needs and interests, and assess how to best reach them and attain them. Marketing is critical to generating business. Before you can put together a marketing budget, you need a marketing plan. Here are some critical components your marketing plan will need.

Overview of your company and the type of hair extensions you provide

Analysis of your industry: Who are your competitors?

Opportunities and threats for your company in your market

Your goals and objectives

Target Markets

Details on how your will reach your goals

Timeline for each strategy

How does your consumer audience like to receive information about your hair extensions?

Explore social media websites and publications that target your market

Research which television channels are most effective at reaching you target market

Once you’ve identified the best methods to reach your target market, put it in your plan. Always keep your plan handy. There have been so many times that I’ve had great marketing ideas and I kept them in my head but with so much stress with running a business I completely forgot  about the ideas until something came up that triggered and reminded me of something I thought of months ago. Refer to your marketing plan throughout the year so that you can make sure your meeting the goals and expectations you set for yourself .

Social Media Marketing for your hair extensions brand

spreading-the-word-socially-1

Social Media users originally joined social media to get back in touch with friends and co workers. Now as of today, social media has turned into something else. From what I see it enables you to meet and converse with people from around the world and for small to large businesses it’s a financial platform for marketing and advertising. You need to understand what the term social media means. Let’s start with the word social. When users need information, have questions they want answers to and when users want to share information they go to social networks as a source of news and entertainment. Social media used to be about communication now it’s also about information. Many marketers are solely focused on how rather than the why of social media. Like I’ve said about everything else you should also operate with a social media plan. You need to set aside time everyday for social media marketing.

You need to first start with a manageable presence. Pick sites that works for you. Or you can start by working with the social media sites you visit. Each time you go to these sites do you go through the same steps for each network every time? Do you prioritize your actions? Also you need to make sure the social media platforms you visit on a personal basis are the same networks that your business needs to be on. If all the social media platforms available seem overwhelming then start with a few platforms first.

each week try a new social media platform. Find out where your customers can be found. When you make the commitment to social media, you really need to back it up with constant oversight. You can’t just create accounts on Social Media sites and not do anything with it. If you feel like it takes up to much of your time just post a little every day, but social media is critical to your hair extension business so make social media a quick part of your daily routine. For every one business that utilizes social media, there’s one business that has a presence but isn’t maximizing it. Whether you avoid social media or fail to make the most of it, you’re making a big mistake.

Previous known methods of advertising on television, magazines and radio are very expensive.

 Mobile Marketing and Advertising for your hair extensions brand

mobile-marketing

Mobile Marketing and advertising is a form of advertising on or with a mobile device which promotes goods, services and ideas and has a far greater reach. Mobile marketing and advertising is targeted to cell phones (smart phones preferably). Mobile marketing and advertising is one of the fastest growing industries to date. Along with social media, it has become an essential part of advertising. Mobile Marketing-Advertising is set to surpass $400 billion in spending. Mobile marketing –advertising  consists of ads that appear on mobile smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices. Your hair extension business will need a mobile marketing strategy to stay ahead of your competitors..

 Advertising

advertise

Advertising is mass media content intended to persuade audiences of readers, viewers or listeners to take action on products, services and ideas. The idea is to drive human behavior in a particular way. Advertising is the paid, impersonal, one-way marketing of persuasive information from an identified sponsor through channels of mass communication.

The power of image, strong visuals attracts attention. The more attractive the picture is the attractive the overall message. People share images all over social media. Images double consumer engagement

How is advertising different from public relations? Advertisers have full control of the message to a targeted audience while public relations  has control only until the message is released to media gatekeepers who make decisions about whether to pass it on to the audience and in what form.

How important is advertising your hair extensions brand or company? The amount of advertising placements and the profitability of media in the US rise and fall with the popularity of different media and the condition of the economy. There are so many forms of advertising than there was ten years ago. There’s new media and social media that has really changed the way advertising is done. Advertising will help keep your consumers informed about new products. It helps spread awareness. The main goal of advertising is to help sell your product or brand.

You really need to stand out by marketing yourself as a hair extensions expert. You need to create marketing, advertising, promotional and PR campaigns for your hair extensions. There are so many ways to promote your hair extension business.

PR (Public Relations)

PR

Public Relations are any activity related to keeping a brand/person top of mind within a particular industry and among business and consumer targets in a positive way. Companies and people use the PR along with other marketing and advertising activities, to build and monitor their public-facing image.

When business owners create a business plan they often include advertising but neglect to include public relations which is one of the most cost effective methods for businesses to raise awareness. Publicity is far more cost-effective than advertising. Publicity also reaches a far wider audience than advertising generally does.

Publicity has greater longevity than advertising. An article about your business will be remembered far longer than an ad, sometimes, your story might even be picked up by the national media, spreading the word about your hair extensions business all over the country.

Finally, and most important, publicity has greater credibility with the public than does advertising. Readers feel that if an objective third party-a magazine, newspaper or radio reporter-is featuring your company, you must be doing something worthwhile. When a consumer sees third party coverage of a product or service, it is perceived much differently than a traditional advertisement.  When we see an advertisement, we know the company is trying to sell us something.  When a third party, such as the media, endorses a product or service, the company gains credibility.  Consumers are much more likely to make a purchase based on third party endorsement than an advertisement. A consistent public relations program will help build general awareness of your product, service or brand and will supplement any direct marketing and advertising efforts.

Get retailers to sell your hair extensions brand

high-end-retail

Retailers are always on the lookout for products that will appeal to their customers and compliment their brand. Getting into major retail stores is something many entrepreneurs dream about. If expanding into the retail big leagues is your goal start doing your research, find out which big retailers will receive the biggest benefit from carrying your hair extension brand will it be big name retailers, clothing boutiques or will it be local beauty supply stores. Can your hair extensions compliment the stores existing product line. What’s your niche? Does your hair extensions brand fit a demand just waiting to be tapped? What about packaging? Does your packaging make your hair extensions brand stand out? Have you already found retailer’s that’s a good fit for your hair extensions brand? What is it about your hair extensions that would make a retail store buyer see fit to take a chance on your hair extensions brand? If you land the deal, can your production handle the volume? Do you want to sell your hair extensions brand directly to the retailer, or do you want to license your hair extensions brand to a manufacturer who’ll then distribute it for you? You have to convince buyers that your product will sell. The buyer will also want to know that you can handle their needs and manage supply. Talk about your qualities, credibility, agility or responsiveness. Bring samples.

When making presentations, one of the most common mistakes people make is to use a generic presentation. They say the same thing in every presentation and hope that something in their presentation will appeal to the prospective customer. The discussion of your hair extensions must be adapted to each person or retailer you would like to carry your hair extensions; modify it to include specific points that are unique to that particular customer.

Good Luck and I wish you much success in your hair extensions business. Just remember A good marketing strategy is critical to the success of your hair extensions business.

 

For More detailed information you can purchase the manual for $99.99 at https://www.learnhowtosellhairextensions.com

If you have any questions feel free to ask

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