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Tools & Accessories > Articles > Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Hair Extensions: Great Lengths FAQ


Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Hair Extensions

Everyone in the beauty industry is looking for ways to improve their skill set. Whether searching for education or just wanting some inspiration, salon professionals constantly feel the need to make themselves and their salons more marketable and profitable. Yet only so much can be done with cut, color and style. But by incorporating hair extensions from Great Lengths into one’s repertoire, the possibilities are endless.

The business of hair extensions can seem like a complicated puzzle whether you are a beginner or a seasoned pro. Great Lengths can help put the pieces together. Read on to find answers for the most frequently asked questions and you can get started on this fun and creative way to bring new clients into your salon and ultimately boost profits more than you could imagine.

Q: First things first, why should I choose Great Lengths to offer to my clients versus the many other extension brands that are available?
There are several reasons why elite salons throughout the country—like Ken Paves Salons, Minardi Salon and Byron and Tracey Salon—use Great Lengths. They are:
Selective Salon Distribution: If your salon location qualifies for Great Lengths Certification, you will be in an elite group of salons that include the best known and most respected salons in the Country.
Consumer Awareness: Clients seek out and ask for Great Lengths services by name.
Education: Great Lengths education is intensive, effective and recognized as the industries “best” in the category.  No other company requires or offers the in-depth education that Great Lengths does.
Marketing Support: Great Lengths is the ONLY Company in this category that provides continuous and consistent national consumer advertising in leading consumer magazines that speak to the qualified potential Great Lengths client.
Product and Methods Quality: You will often hear competitors’ claims of “just like Great Lengths” or “even better than Great Lengths.”  Fortunately, the industry has spoken and your peers clearly disagree…
• Recipient of the “Stylist Choice Awards” 2008, 2009 and 2010.
• Recipient of the American Salon Magazine “Professionals Choice Awards” 2007 and 2008.

Q: In comparison to other extension company requirements, why is the Great Lengths USA Certification so long? (i.e. 3 days)
The most valuable consumer marketing and sales tool is the brand's reputation of quality. This is why consumers seek out Great Lengths Certified Stylists and ask for the brand by name. Of course, Great Lengths International hair quality and application method(s) effectiveness are key to gaining such a reputation.  Equally essential, if not more so, is the stylist skill level in service delivery. Clients seeking Great Lengths Services have a very high expectation and it’s the Company’s obligation to prepare you to deliver to their expectation. The importance of training and stylist skill-set in the extension category simply cannot be over emphasized. It is vital to ones success and critical to a technically correct and safe application. Great Lengths sincerely believes education is the most important thing they do.

View step-by-steps from Great Lengths! Try the Multicolor How-To and the Dip-Dyed How-To.

Q: I’ve already been “certified” by another extension company utilizing strand by strand methods and I’m very experienced in the application of extensions. Why can’t I forego the 3-day training and just purchase your machine(s) and hair?
With no intended disrespect to any individuals’ skill set or to other company’s training programs, please re-read the answer to the question above. This simply cannot be left to chance. Further, based upon the thousands of classroom evaluations we've received from Great Lengths Certification attendees, we are absolutely confident that even the most highly-skilled extension stylists will walk away from the Great Lengths Certification having learned something of value that will benefit them and their clients that they didn’t know before. Great Lengths takes a great deal of pride in the fact that their most loyal salon/stylist partners are those that have experience with multiple extension companies. 

Q: What is the tuition for the Great Lengths USA Certification course?
You have a choice between two application methods (machines) that you can certify with. Dependent upon that choice, the tuitions are:
GL Thermal 3200 Method = $2,800
GL Ultrasonic 5000 Cold Fusion Method = $3,500

Q: What is the difference between the two application methods?
Generally, both methods can accomplish similar results and application theory for each method is the same except for timing, hand/application tool angles/positions and finger manipulation procedure of the bonds at the attachment site. However, in very specific application circumstances each method can have an advantage over the other.  A good analogy is to reference your cutting tools. Clipper, scissor, razor… ultimately they all cut hair but each can accomplish specific results easier or more effectively than the other. That being said, the Great Lengths Ultrasonic 5000 Cold Fusion method is newer technology and does give the stylist more application versatility.  For example, the Ultrasonic method allows the stylist to make both “round” and “flat” bond (attachment) formations, whereas the Thermal 3200 method only allows for “round” bond formations.   Although not necessary for success, many Great Lengths Certified Stylists prefer having both methods available so they can truly customize their work to meet the varied needs and desired results of each client. 

Q: What does the tuition include?
The tuition includes the 3-day hands-on education, classroom kit and machine.

Q: What is included in the classroom kit?
Lots of great things, including a Great Lengths Bag, Training Manual, DVD, a Great Lengths 3200 Thermal or Ultrasonic 5000 Machine, Great Lengths Fiskars (bond size customizing tool), Training Strands Bundles, a Mannequin Head, a Great Lengths Color Ring, a Great Lengths Pure Pigment Color Ring, Tape Measure, Removal Tweezers, Shield Protectors, Anti-Static Shampoo Liter with pump, Great Lengths Bond-Ex Removal Gel, Great Lengths Oval Paddle Brush, Great Lengths Cape, Great Lengths Consumer Information Brochures, Great Lengths Window Decal and a Great Lengths Certified Technician Certificate (Mailed upon completion of class).

Q: Where does Great Lengths hair come from?
Great Lengths International (GLI) sources the hair from Temples throughout India. GLI does not use brokers or middlemen in the sourcing process. In fact, they have a facility in India and directly employ those responsible for procuring hair from the Temples. Once sourced, hair goes to the GLI-owned India facility where the hair is inspected, cleaned and separated by length. From there it goes to the GLI factories in Nepi, Italy where it is processed. It’s important to mention that the wholesale hair extension industry is NOT regulated.  That means that hair suppliers/extension companies can make any claim about their hair source and processing procedures with little to no chance of consequence for making false statements in this regard.  Recently, it was divulged on the Oprah Winfrey Show that only 25% of the hair imported into the US is from known ethical sources. That said, Great Lengths hair is 100% traceable, ethical and of the highest quality. GLI Guarantees that their hair has met the following criteria:
• Every strand has been donated willingly and with full consent of the donor
• The donor has been treated with respect and care
• A fair and reasonable price is agreed for the hair and the money used to procure the hair is used solely for charitable endeavors, not for personal or individual profit
• A company representative procures the hair to cut out unreliable middlemen and ensure full and direct knowledge of the origin of the hair
• Exclusive in-house production process is used from procurement of the hair to wholesale selling the extension to ensure full traceability
If ethical and traceable hair sourcing is of importance to you and your clients, as it should be for all of us, please contact a Great Lengths USA Salon Service Representative and ask to be provided with the GLI “Setting Fair Standards” document.  It contains documented facts that will alarm you regarding hair sourcing.  It also contains documented facts as to why GLI is leading the way to unified ethical regulation of the hair extension industry.

Q: Will a Great Lengths application damage my client’s hair?
The honest answer is most services performed in the salon can technically “damage” their hair. Chemical services, iron work, even blow dryers damage hair to a certain degree. Certainly hair extensions of any sort, including clip-ins, are no exception. However, when applied and maintained correctly there will be no damage to your client’s hair beyond that of traditional salon services or styling tools.  As a matter of fact, Great Lengths Certified Stylists will tell you that they and their clients often see the client’s natural hair condition improve and grow. This is mostly because the Great Lengths strands protect the natural hair by taking the brunt of care and styling procedures. A poorly skilled extension stylist can create significant damage to a client’s hair, just like a poorly skilled colorist can. On the contrary, a highly skilled extension stylist can apply ANY brand of extensions beautifully, regardless of the hair or application method quality. The question then becomes, what does it look like the following week, or in a month, or 2 months, or 3?  This is where the Great Lengths quality comes shining through.

Q: What does “keratin bond” mean?
In 1992, Great Lengths International created and patented the “Synthesized Keratin Protein Polymer” bond for the application of hair extensions. In short, the GLI bond’s molecular structure mimics that of human hair so that it possesses the same characteristics of human hair.  In recent years this product feature and very important GLI point of difference has unfortunately become more an industry marketing term than an actual product feature that offers the client a real benefit.  You will find that the majority of hair extension companies now promote a “keratin” bond feature. Whether one’s bonding agent is comprised of wax, glue, polyester, or any polymer base, simply adding any form of keratin to that base will qualify it as a “Keratin Bond” regardless of any real benefit or function it adds to the bond. With that being said, forget about the feature of a keratin bond and instead look at the benefit of the GLI patented keratin bond that is exclusive and unique to Great Lengths International. It’s very simple. The GLI bond has the ability to expand and contract with ones natural hair.  When hair is wet, it expands. When it dries, it contracts. If a bond doesn’t possess the ability to expand and contract with the natural hair it’s attached too, it will soon begin to loosen its seal to the client’s natural hair and shedding of the extensions will soon begin.

For more detailed information on Great Lengths application methods, contact a Great Lengths Salon Service Representative or visit and look under “methods.”

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