The Salon Magazine: Making the cut
How did Hair Rehab London start Lauren?
Well when I started my modelling career I often found I just couldn’t find suitable hair extensions. I ended up buying the individual components and making my own. Very quickly I had other models asking me to make some for them and I quickly realised it was quite an untapped market. Things really turned around when I entered a competition for new business ideas. The opportunity took me through creating the business from concept to manufacture through to selling. I started out with quite a small range of clip-in extensions. We now stock seven different types of extensions in three different lengths across 32 shades, in addition to seven hair-pieces and an extensive range of tools and accessories. We’ve also expanded from a UK-based market to worldwide.
What do you think sets Hair Rehab aside from the other hair extension brands out there?
We are super proud our customer service. We strive to give the best service possible and the volume of customers that move across to us from other brands and stay with us is testament to that and the sheer hard work and passion of my team. I feel at Hair Rehab we have upped our customer service game over the last few years; we offer a round the clock service and our trade customers can order by phone or What’s App. We’ve also identified the strength of collaborations and recently overhauled our Academy format to partner with The Hair Extensions Academy to deliver our ABT Accredited Academy. This has allowed us to outsource the training aspect so we can focus on excellent post academy support.
Do you have a background in the hair industry?
I am a qualified hair extensionist but obviously get very little time to actually practice this skill in reality – it is actually training that I put all of my management staff through. If they are sourcing, promoting and selling extensions, I expect them to have an understanding of how the product is used. Many of them keep their hand-in by fitting extensions on colleagues, friends and family. This has actually been invaluable in enabling us to make design improvements and also trialling new products. I also work closely with my entire supply-chain. This has enabled me to gain extensive knowledge on the likes of raw material grades, manufacturing processes and design and technology. Being in the hair business for nearly fifteen years has given me a certain amount of confidence and of course, I have other business interests besides Hair Rehab London, so my general business skills have grown in that time. One of my business mantras is ‘surround yourself with brilliant and passionate people’ I think this is how we have achieved our reputation for the best quality and service in the industry.
You mentioned trialling new products. How hands-on are you in product development?
I’m actually hand-on across the whole business. Obviously it can be hard fitting it all in with other work commitments but I speak to the team on a daily basis and I ensure I’m based at our HQ numerous times each month. I also like to speak to our customers direct and keep my hand in all roles within the business, so will often man the enquiries desk, do trade calls, respond to social media and even get into the warehouse despatching. With regards to product development, I am completely involved from beginning to end. The research, development and testing of new products can be long and laborious and sometimes our competitors beat us to the market, but this time invested up front has saved us from quality issues down the line and has enabled us to build a great reputation with our customers, particularly our Trade Customers who don’t want to be dealing with complaints from their clients so are looking for a brand they can trust.
What can we expect from Hair Rehab London this year?
We are working on putting more resource into our Trade Account Management. We launched our Complete Collection Colour Ring featuring 32 gorgeous shades and our Tape Extensions range at the back end of last year. We were so inundated with requests for trade accounts we are now operating a waiting list for new accounts for the first time ever. We are keen that our Account Managers do not take on so many accounts that customer service levels are compromised, so we have committed to expand resource in this area. We also have a number of exciting new products in development for both retail and trade customers.
Can you share any of these with us?
All will be revealed in good time, but I can confirm that one of our areas of focus is sustainability. I feel, as an industry we need to identify more sustainable options for the long-term and the technology now in non-human hair fibres is unreal, you can be hard-pressed to tell the difference sometimes. This is an area we are really looking at developing further in the business and I think eventually will be an area all hair manufacturers will need to develop to survive.