How to start a hair extensions business

Find out how to mix business savvy with style and build a prosperous hair extensions company.

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There's no dream too small that can't lead to a profitable business. A hair extensions business service is no different. Catering to a particular niche will need a lot of innovative thinking to ensure your business flourishes. Starting with the right foundation is the first important step to success.

Use this guide to set yourself on the right path when starting a hair extensions business.

What is a hair extensions business?

As its name suggests, a hair extensions business is one that makes money from the sale of hair extension products. This type of company can be run online, through a physical shop or a combination of the two.

How to start a hair extensions business

Here's the step-by-step process you can follow to get your new venture off the ground:

  1. Pick your business structure. Many hair extension companies are run by sole traders. But you may prefer to set up as a partnership or company, depending on your circumstances. Read more on the most common business structures further down the article.
  2. Choose a business name. Check to see if your preferred brand name is currently being used or is trademarked. If it is available, you'll then want to register a domain name and launch your website.
  3. Identify your target audience. Before you get your brand in front of the masses, you'll need to be clear on who your prospective customers are. This is a key pillar of your marketing plan. Your biggest audience for hair extensions is likely to be women, but it would be a mistake to solely focus your efforts on one type of audience. Ultimately, you might house your marketing plan in your overall business plan.
  4. Sort out a supplier and storage space. Keep in mind the quality, cost and the track record (including customer satisfaction) of each supplier you compare, before settling on the right people to go into business with. It's also important to identify exactly where to store your hair products, such as at a garage or another self-storage option.
  5. Think about how you will finance your business. It's rarely easy for a new company to secure a business loan. So, keep your options open and look into how a personal loan could work for you. Also, don't forget to register for goods and services tax (GST) if applicable.
  6. Create the key legal documents. Legal document templates can be a great starting point for ensuring your business is launched in a way that's legally above board. If you want added peace of mind that you're compliant with all laws and regulations, you could reach out to a lawyer.
  7. Pick an e-commerce platform. To sell online you might want to check out the likes of WooCommerce, BigCommerce and Shopify.
  8. Work out a budget. There's a lot more to budgeting than simply deciding how to price your products versus the competition. Having the right business software can really help you to save money and increase productivity at your new company.
  9. Grow your client base. Once you've started selling your wares, a big part of expanding your customers will be through effective marketing and branding to help further get your name out there. Setting up and maintaining your social media presence will be particularly important for a company like yours, which is based on aesthetics. Email marketing, printed adverts and blog posts are just a few parts of your marketing mix that will encourage more customer engagement.

Hair extensions business

Skills and knowledge you'll need to get started

Before you conceptualise your hair extension business, you'll need to familiarise yourself with the industry. Find a quality mentor who can teach you about the kind of hair extensions that work best, the aftercare process and what to do in case of a mishap.

The reputation of your brand relies on your suppliers and their products. You will need to be able to negotiate with suppliers, some even in other countries, and be discerning about their practices.

It is not enough to consider the profit margins, shipping service and hair quality of a supplier. You should also consider the delivery speed, their response times, ability to supply big numbers at a later time, dropshipping options and more.

What courses or qualifications might I need to complete?

There are no specific courses needed to start a hair extensions business. However, if you have not trained in a hair extension salon, there are several salons offering hair extensions training, microbead training, weft training and tape hair extension training. Some of them are Sirens Hair Extensions and Maiden Hair Extensions.

Diva Academy offers an accelerated one day program for $699. This program includes microbead, skin tape, micro loop demonstration, bead weft demonstration, fusion demonstration, shrinkies demonstration and a bonus clip-ins demonstration.

You can apply for in-person training or online training at Hair Candy Australia. Their training options also include business training to help you get started. The online training is available at the price of $1,497. All prices in this article were correct at the time of writing in December 2020.

If you are new to starting a business and have the means to, you can apply for a short business course. A diploma takes 18 weeks to complete while a certificate takes 36 weeks. Some available courses to consider are:

  • Certificate III in Business
  • Certificate IV in New Small Business
  • Diploma of Business.

Read more about your options for online courses or compare course providers in the table below.

Find a business course online

Name Product Are accredited courses available? Are free courses offered? Payment methods - Business
Online Courses Australia
Online Courses Australia - Business
Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, bank transfer - Business
MasterClass - Business
Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express
Udemy - Business
Visa,Mastercard,Discover Card,American Express,PayPal
edX - Business
Visa, Discover, American Express, PayPal
Future Learn
Future Learn - Business
Visa, American Express, PayPal
The Great Courses
The Great Course - Business
Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express
Kaplan - Business

Compare up to 4 providers

Equipment and software I may need

Carefully consider whether you will open a physical store or an online store. If you are passionate about hair extension and have the experience, you can also offer customers hair extension services. For this, you will need:

  • Hair extension mini scissors
  • Hair extension pliers
  • Hair extension pulling needles
  • Hair extension pulling loop applicator
  • Sectioning clips

If you're planning to open an online store, you will need an e-commerce site. Your options are:

Other equipment you may want to consider are apps that help with inventory, appointment scheduling and money management.

What business structures do I need to consider before starting a hair extensions business?

An important step before commencing operations is deciding your business structure. Each business structure has its advantages and disadvantages regarding tax obligations and personal liability. The one that works best for you will depend on your circumstances.

A sole trader business may be the easiest and least expensive choice. You'll manage daily operations and are responsible for any business debts. In contrast, a partnership involves two or more people sharing in decision making. Both are responsible for the financial liabilities of the business.

Though a company entails more paperwork and expenses, it limits your personal liability and includes possible tax deductions.

  • Hair Extension Waiver Form. Suppose your business is providing hair extension services. In that case, a waiver form ensures that your client understands the risks involved in undertaking the activity and is still willing to undertake the activity. Make sure that you take all the necessary precautions to ensure the activity is as safe as it can be so that your business will not be liable if anything goes wrong.
  • Consultation Form and Agreement. You must get a client to fill up a consultation form before commencing any service. This agreement informs your business about a client's medical conditions, the condition of their hair and their lifestyle.

If your business has a website, make sure you have a Website Terms and Use outlining your copyright notice, a list of prohibited behaviour, limitations of liability and disclaimers. If you are collecting personal information from your clients, you will need a Privacy Policy.

Name Product What's offered? Starting price to become a member Annual Fee from Free legal documents available?
Legal documents and templates, Access to lawyers, Legal guides, Legal advice
$79 per month
Essentials: $288, legal advice: $828
You can view samples for free and you can create your first document for free.
Choose an annual plan from just $288 and get unlimited revisions to your legal or business documents. Plus, unlock exclusive partner offers.
Legal documents and templates, Access to lawyers, Legal guides, Legal advice
$599 (with fixed fee services starting at $99)
Some documents are free to download. Get access to all documents with a membership.
Unlimited lawyer phone consultations, free updates to documents, exclusive partner offers & legal discounts.
Legal documents and templates, Legal guides
$4.99 per month
Free one week trial available which gives access to hundreds of documents.
Customise and download legal documents in as little as five minutes. Plus, LawDepot offers peace of mind with two service guarantees.
Legal documents and templates, Legal guides
Varies per template
Legal123 offers a range of individual templates or document packages for consultants, app developers, personal trainers and more.
Legal documents and templates, Legal guides, Legal advice
$49 + GST per week
$2,548 + GST
Your business can take advantage of unlimited lawyer consultations, fast turnaround times and free legal templates with LegalVision.

Compare up to 4 providers

How much should I charge my customers?

The cost of good quality hair extensions typically starts at $100, while services for hair extension can cost up to a few thousand dollars. The average price for non-permanent extensions such as halos or clip-ins typically falls between $300 to $500. Professional permanent extensions range between $600 to $3000. Pricing varies according to the grade of hair used, length and type of hair.

If you have a business that distributes hair extensions, you'll need to account for the cost to transport goods, international tariffs, employee wages, marketing, packaging, applicable taxes and storage.

Examining the product competition in your nearby market to know what the going price is. When setting an estimated cost, take into account the fixed elements of your business and the overhead costs, so that you can set a price that helps you break even.

Always monitor your markup prices and how they sell. Use Configure Price Quotes software if you'd like to reduce the time spent on preparing quotes. The software you choose should take into account the challenges your business might face. Read more about accounting software for small businesses.

Accept payments from your customers in person and online with Square's card readers, payment terminals, digital invoicing and e-commerce tools.

How do I build my customer base?

If you're choosing to launch an online e-commerce site, then the type you choose should inform your customers about what makes your product superior and how cost-effective your services are. Here are four tips to keep in mind:

  • Continuously adapt to the trend changes in the market in order to find new customers. When selling your products, integrate value-adding services to boost business growth and improve sales opportunities. These can be in the form of premiums and incentives, attractive and secure packaging, direct mail or newsletters and event management.
  • Be strategic in your approach. To help get in touch with your target audience, you may want to consider connecting with influencers. For example, the app BeautyClout connects brands with beauty influencers to boost your brand's exposure.
  • Register your business with Google My Business so you can get on Google Maps and Google Search. Set up a Facebook Business Page where you can share your business information and get connected with people in your area. Instagram is a great platform where you can curate pictures and videos of your hair extension products.
  • Don't be afraid to revisit your initial business plan to tweak and adapt. There are several online marketplaces which offer hassle-free and useful services to connect customers with businesses. The popular ones in Australia are hipages, Airtasker and TaskRabbit.

Frequently asked questions

What are hair extensions made from?

There are different types of hair extensions. One type is made from real, human hair collected from donors where all the cuticles are intact and run in the same direction at the time of collection. The second type is synthetic hair. This type is made out of various synthetic, blended fibres and contains no human hair. These fibres are usually very fine, plastic fibres manufactured to imitate real human hair.

Hair extensions help add hair growth, colour, volume and you can even use them to change up your style.

How long does a hair extension last?

A temporary hair extension like clip-ons can be inserted and removed when needed. Semi-permanent extensions like tape-in, micro-bead and semi-weave can last around six to eight weeks. Some permanent extensions are tape hair extensions, weft hair extensions, shrinky hair extensions and keratin hair extensions.

Can you sleep with hair extensions?

Before getting into bed, it is recommended that you secure your hair extension to your natural hair to prevent any pulling while asleep. Braid your hair with medium tightness to prevent the bonds from tangling.

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