Hair extension training is included in cosmetology programs, but stylists may want to pursue further training or certification in extension techniques. Different extension manufacturers may provide training for their own products, and in more specialized courses more techniques may be taught. Hair stylists usually have to be licensed.
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Hair extension training teaches hair stylists to add artificial length, volume and color to hairstyles. Adding hair extensions takes precision, so stylists must understand how to choose the right extension and secure it in place.
Although cosmetology programs provide basic hair extension courses, stylists could participate in additional training to keep up-to-date on hair extension methods and trends. Some of these programs are even offered online and offer certification upon completion. Many courses are provided by vendors of hair extension products, and most require that individuals taking the courses be licensed cosmetologists, which calls for meeting state training requirements and passing examinations.
|Required Education||Hair extension courses; to enroll in these courses, students must have completed a state-approved cosmetology program|
|Licensure and Certification||To enroll in hair extension courses, students must hold cosmetologist licensure; certification may be awarded after completing hair extension coursework|
|Required Skills||Properly selecting extensions for clients, attaching extensions safely and securely, maintaining extensions|
Hair Extension Training
Most cosmetology programs offered through community colleges, vocational institutions and universities provide basic training on adding hair extensions. Students learn how to add pieces of synthetic or real hair to both mannequin heads and live models. Instructors train students to match the hair extensions with the client's hair color and texture. Practical courses teach the most common ways of attaching hair extensions, such as braiding or using special hair glue.
Licensed hair stylists who want to become hair extension specialists could participate in additional training. Advanced coursework allows stylists to work with multiple types of extensions, including individual strands or larger pieces, called weft hair extensions, that consist of a sheet of hair bonded at the top for easy installation. Stylists also learn advanced attachment techniques, including sewing, clamping and heat fusion.
During training, stylists also learn about hair extension maintenance. For example, semi-permanent extensions need to be readjusted, tightened, or partially reattached every 2-8 weeks. Stylists learn how to educate clients about home maintenance, such as proper shampooing techniques and what styling products to avoid.
Certifications for Hair Extension Stylists
Organizations for hair stylists and companies that sell hair products offer specialized training and certification programs. Most programs require stylists to be licensed to work in their state of residence. Each state has different licensing requirements, such as completing a certified cosmetology program and passing a state license exam.
Hair extension certification programs are offered online and through seminar training and can usually be completed in 1-3 days. Coursework includes hair blending, multiple extension layers, maintenance instructions and removal procedures. Several programs also offer business training, such as how to consult clients, quote competitive prices and marketing techniques. Some programs might provide starter kits, though others require candidates to purchase their own supplies.
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
In 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported an annual median wage of $23,660 for all hairdressers, hairstylists and cosmetologists. Employment opportunities were predicted to grow 10% for this occupation from 2014-2024, according to the BLS.
While basic hair extension training may be included in cosmetology programs, licensed hair stylists can choose to pursue further training or certification in specific products or techniques. Different types of extensions may require different maintenance or application, and training is necessary to learn these skills.