Regina Marie Garnett is the Founder and Lead Educator of Extension Arts in Boston. Raised on the East Coast, a mix of ‘street style’ and ‘beach vibes’ has always been an organic influence in Regina’s approach to hair color and extensions. Regina has trained under the most elite colorists in the industry over the past 15 years, in addition to being certified by countless extension methods. She knows not everyone was born with great hair but believes that doesn’t mean you can’t create the hair of your dreams. Regina is known for her multitude of extension integrations and effortless color combos. She caters to clients all over the US + as well as training stylists around the world.
Regina Marie Garnett
1. What would you term as your specialty within your trade?
My specialty is all things Hair Extensions + Hair Extension Education. I love transferring knowledge I’ve gained throughout the years to both my clients and students.
2. What’s the most enjoyable part of your job?
I get the most enjoyment from seeing my client’s faces after that initial extension installation. From micro changes to huge transformations, the emotions that flow during the whole process get me in the feels every time.
3. Why did you choose the path of hairdressing and was it easy to fall into this work?
To be completely honest, I was done with school. I knew college wasn’t for me and I was always hungry for the fastest track to “success” or what I believed it to be. I’ve learned throughout the years that money doesn’t equal success. The smile and newfound confidence on your client’s face and enjoying every bit of what you do while creating a balanced life for your family, that’s the real success story.
Hair by Regina Marie Garnett
4. If you had not made the decision to be a hairdresser what would you have been?
I actually think about and get this question a lot. I never know how to respond. I can’t see myself doing anything else. If I were to guess it would be something with my hands in some type of art medium or trade. Or a psychotherapist, because let’s face it that’s a huge part of this job.
5. What is your greatest strength?
My greatest strength would be my relatability and the way I put clients at ease. I am someone who suffers from social anxiety and self-confidence just like every woman that sits in my chair. I think it’s important more than ever to be able to read someone’s social cues and put them at ease.
6. Your favorite hairdressing tools?
I can’t live without my 1.25” extra long barrel bio ionic curling iron. If you have extensions or long hair this tool is everything! The extra-long barrel and clamp make styling Lon hair super easy and effortless.
Hair by Regina Marie Garnett
7. Tell us about your relationship with Iles Formula. How you discovered us and which formula is your favorite?
I first found Iles formula on Instagram. I saw stylists’ I admire out on the west coast using it. I was in the market for a smaller, detail-oriented line that works well with extensions, to carry at our home salon Extension Arts in Boston, MA. Once I used it I fell in love. I especially love the Curl Revive spray. This is a staple I make sure every one of my ladies leaves with. I love that right on the packaging it says “great for hair extensions”. Most extension products are a white-labeled afterthought. These products are often filled with silicones and chemicals that mask the damaged extensions instead of healing the hair from the inside out, like Iles Formula.
8. What was the most challenging job you ever made?
I was working backstage at NYFW and was asked to create a look and kept completely missing the mark. The key stylist said “think more … “. and she named famous designers that I had no idea who they were but I said confidently “oh yes, got it.” and somehow nailed it. But, man was I sweating.
9. What was your worst hair moment and why… privately or on set/stage or in the salon?
My worst hair moment happened when I was recruited to work at an upscale salon. I showed up to work with my then “glue in tracks” (a cheap way to do extensions) and was told I wouldn’t be able to have that in my hair. However, my extension journey really started to evolve from that moment on. That’s when I was introduced to professional installation methods and my curiosity grew and grew. I couldn’t wait to learn everything and anything. Once my world opened up I became fluent in all things extensions and continue to expand and share my knowledge today.
Hair by Regina Marie Garnett
10. If you could style anyone’s hair, who would it be and why?
That’s tough, but I would have to say, Hailey Bieber. I love her effortless look but I would love to see her rock some lush long locks. Created dimension using neutral tones with pops of high and low contrast is my jam!
11. Where do you pull hair inspiration from?
I pull inspiration from everywhere. Mostly through other stylists, I admire, art museums, and of course the streets of New York.
12. Your advice to young hairdressers starting out?
Learn how to take criticism. Never assume you know everything, I guarantee you will be humbled many times throughout your career, it’s about how you pick yourself up and handle each situation that comes at you. Gracefully and with class. Never put down someone else’s work because everyone had to start somewhere and definitely leave each opportunity (job) on good terms. You never know who knows who or when you may need that reference or old boss to sign off on hours so you can open that dream salon you always wanted. And remember to take care of YOURSELF! My husband taught me, “you cannot take care of your clients when you are not taking care of your wellness.” Love you baby! I think that’s the most important.
13. Apart from the drastic salon hygienic regulations, what changes to a salon’s everyday business do you think will stay after the Covid-19 disruption?
Covid was hard, we can all agree on that. Small business owners especially. When we had to lower capacity and do away with double booking, I found myself loving the individual attention each client would get. It was also great for me too to be able to give everyone the luxury service they deserve. This is something we will keep as a core value while the Extension Arts brand evolves. Everyone just wants to be heard and appreciated. Especially now.
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