A good colour match for hair extensions is the difference between a natural looking finish or a terribly obvious head of extensions. How the colour blends will reflect your skills as an extensionist and will be the first thing your client will notice. If the colour match makes the extensions look obvious, the entire look will be compromised, despite the extensions being fitted and cut well. A poor colour match cannot be ignored. Your knowledge of the brand colours and your professional experience of how colours blend together will be crucial when choosing the right option for your client. We spoke to North Professional extensionist and salon owner Lyndsey Kelly from Queen by LK Salon. Lyndsey offered her professional insight on colour matching hair extensions.
USE A COLOUR RING
When deciding on a colour for your client, Lyndsey says she will always use a colour ring. The use of a colour ring has lots of benefits, including the ability to show exactly what colour you will be ordering for your client. Each brand has its own colour ring but the colours will be slightly different from brand to brand. Be aware that some brands will have colours with the same or similar names, however the manufacturer and the colouring techniques for each brand are likely to be different. This means that across the brands, colours will not be uniform or consistent. Some brands may also have different colour rings for synthetic, human and Remy hair. Ensure you select the appropriate colour ring, as these fibres dye differently and are unlikely to be the same colour, despite being from the same brand. Using the correct colour ring from the brand is the safest way to avoid costly mistakes.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
When using a colour ring, Lyndsey suggests separating a small section from the chosen sample and holding it towards the ends of the client’s hair, as this is where the natural hair and the extensions will meet. The colour at the top of the client’s hair is usually different from the root. Lyndsey explains that you are looking for the sample hair to almost disappear into the client’s hair, so it is unnoticeable. If the client’s hair is multi-tonal, then more than one shade can be selected from the colour ring to achieve a perfect match.
MATCH IN THE SALON
Lyndsey explains the pitfalls of matching extensions from a photograph. Most people use the camera on their phone to take a photograph and not a professional camera. Phone cameras come in an array of different standards and this can affect the quality and colour of the image. Also, the lighting in which the photograph is taken, or the use of a filter will change the colour of the hair. The best place for a client to be matched for extensions is in the salon with the professional, providing the lighting is good. If the lighting is poor, take the client outside and use natural daylight to find their perfect shade with the correct colour ring.
HANDLING CLIENT CONCERNS
Your professional approach to matching a client will almost always reduce any anxiety a client may have about your decision. However, some clients may need an extra explanation of why you have chosen a particular colour. Lyndsey suggests in this scenario she would explain why the chosen colour is the best match, but if the client is still concerned, she will reassure them by fitting a single extension. This way the client can see for themselves how the extension will blend. If your knowledge is good, your client will respect your opinion and have confidence in your recommendation.
EXTENSIONS FOR HIGHLIGHTS
Lyndsey says fitting extensions for highlights is perfect for clients who don’t want to put chemical colour on their hair. It’s also a great method for implementing colour trends such as balayage or ombre. If you do choose to add colour with extensions, sandwiching two different coloured tapes together with the darker shade underneath is an effective technique for multi-tonal clients. This technique will produce results your clients will love and look great on Instagram!
HONEST ADVICE & PROFESSIONAL KNOWLEDGE
The most important factors to acknowledge from our colour matching insight is that honest advice and professional knowledge are key to ensuring your client leaves your salon feeling amazing. A client consultation will enable you and your client to discuss their desired outcome. Lyndsey says some clients may have unrealistic expectations of what extensions will do for them and how they will look. It’s important not to promise the client anything that is unachievable. Colour matching your client can be a little daunting to begin with, but your experience and the professional support you receive from your brand educator will grow your confidence and you will be colour matching like an expert in no time.