So, what has Danielle been up to lately? She said: “This last year, at Great Lenghts, we have been really busy building up the brand and trying to connect and support as many stylists as possible. As a stylist myself, I know first-hand how much we love education and personal connection. We have been building a lot of education-based around the brand, as well as creating many campaigns to connect with hairdressers, and show them that extensions or not just for adding length! We want to show that extensions are a tool that any hairstylist can utilize in their salon, to solve so many problems into elevate their work.”
Danielle Keasling certainly is a busy woman, as she is not only Great Lengths USA’s Executive Artistic Director and an extension specialist, but she is also a celebrity hairstylist, L’Oréal Global Artist, Ulta Beauty Prosumer Ambassador, and private salon coach and consultant with her business, Hair Biz and Beyond.
Daniel Keasling’s mission in this industry is to help stylist elevate their work, bringing their skills and businesses to the next level. As the great links, USA executive, artistic Director, Danielle tells us the ins and outs of great links, and how extensions can be the solution to almost any problem in the salon.
These days, Danielle’s name has become almost synonymous with great links. But when did Daniel first cross paths with Great Lenghts, and get involved with the brand?
“When I was starting as a stylist, about 18 years ago, I have been looking and looking for a hair extensions brand that I could align my core values with. If I was going to provide extensions to my clients, I wanted to make sure that I was only providing the best quality extensions as well as make sure that I understood the application and maintenance for the extensions. My aim has always been to provide my clients with a highly elevated, luxury service, so I needed to choose a brand I could stand behind. So, after a ton of research, I landed on Great Lengths.
“The more I started working with Great Lengths’ extensions, the more I got interested in the actual processes that company goes through to source in process the hair. There’s a lot of doom and gloom in this area of the industry, and a lot of brands take shortcuts to get quantity over quality. And I was so impressed the Great Lengths have never taken shortcuts and it’s always chosen quality first.
“I reached out to great lengths and offer to collaborate with them for photo shoots or editorial styling. I became a guest artist for great links, and got to be involved in campaigns alongside their head hair stylist at the time. Dennis time progress, I ended up, stopping in becoming an executive artist Director for them.
“Throughout all these years, even though the world of extensions has evolved so much, I have always remained loyal to Great Lengths. Their quality and ethics have been at the forefront from day one, and they have evolved and improved along with the industry throughout the years. There is nothing like them.”
“Extensions are a tool that any hairstylists can utilize in their salon, to solve so many problems, and open up so many more opportunities, from elevating the bridal styles, to adding color to hair without chemically treating, to giving confidence back to a client who is struggling with thinning hair.”
“At Great Lengths, we are proud to say we are the first B-Corp Certified Hair Extensions Company in the industry. That means we have the highest standards of social and environmental practice.
Great Lengths is known for its commitment to ethical processes and sustainability. Danielle said: “We can trace the hair right back to the temples in India where the hair was donated to. We also give a lot back to the community surrounding the temples. From India, the hair goes directly to our factory in Italy, where it is slowly and carefully processed to ensure that the integrity of hair remains as close to virgin hair as possible. We inspect all the hair, and it goes through quality control to ensure it is healthy and has the ample amount of elasticity, to make sure that the hair is consistently produced.
Instead of chemically stripping the hair, we de pigment and re-pigment the hair, which is a process that takes over 20 days. This means that we can take the Indian hair from black to blonde, without sacrificing its integrity. It also means of the color won’t change your faith as time goes on.”
One of Danielle’s specialties in the industry is creating elevated bridal styles for both the luxury bridal market, as well as for editorial campaigns and collections. “I have always been drawn to editorial, elevated bridal styling. I think that women these days are so in-tune with celebrity and editorial looks, and for many women, their wedding day is there one day to truly feel as powerful and glamorous as a celebrity. This means many women these days are shying away from the traditional wedding up-dos, and instead, they are looking to magazine’s and the red carpet for inspiration for a more expressive and powerful bridal hairstyle.
“That’s where extensions come in. They are that tool that a stylist has that can level up any hairstyle, from turning an updo into a statement piece, or turning a classic ponytail, into a bad ass power pony. When I am doing an editorial shoot, I never show up without bringing extra hair for the models, so why wouldn’t bridal stylist do the same?
“The natural texture of Great Lengths Indian hair provides a really good foundation and support for bridal styling too. Our Indian hair has that ideal beachy curl, which is amazing for both wavy down dos, and for adding volume to updos. In terms of application, Great Lengths Keratin Bonded Strands are amazing for bridal styling. With the Keratin Bonds, we can create flat and round bonds, and do a strand-by-strand application, so they have the flexibility to create any style. You can achieve anything from a snatch pony to a loose wave, without worrying about seeing any bonds.”
At Great Lengths, they are also committed to inclusivity and making sure there is a texture for everyone. “While all Great Lengths extensions come in their natural Indian texture, which is a beautiful natural wave, if a client or stylus needs extensions in a tighter curl, or to be pin-straight, Great Lengths offer texture services where they will treat the extensions to whatever texture will match your clients natural texture.”
“At Great Lengths, we are proud to say we are the first B-Corp Certified Hair Extensions Company in the industry. That means we have the highest standards of social and environmental practice.”
The same effort, inclusively goes to the color side of Great Lengths extensions. They have a wide range of natural, melted, and fashion colors. Danielle explained: “With every single color that we have developed at Great Lengths, we use multiple tones to get that one color– just as you’d see in natural hair. So, for example, if you order a level five brunette extension, each bundle will usually contain three to five variations of that color. It creates a natural dimension and helps the extensions fit into the natural hair seamlessly. This means that you rarely ever need to color any of our extensions because we have such a vast array of options.
“We are also constantly keeping a finger on the pulse of color trends. We are forecasting color trends two or three years in advance and making sure we are constantly keeping up with the times and the trends. We are also constantly creating limited edition colors in both our natural and fashion color lines.”
Aside from adding length, volume, and density, extensions, also offer you the option to add color to your clients hair, without chemically dying it. Danielle explained: “I think this is one of the possibilities of extensions that a lot of people forget about. Extensions can play such a huge role in color. For example, if you have a client that comes in with really dark hair, and brings in a Pinterest image that is like a level two going into a level 11. Now that might be doable – depending on the health of the hair – but it is going to take at least three visits, and a lot of maintenance on the part of the client, coming in for toner each month. Whereas, if they are open to adding some lighter extensions, not only is that far less of a time commitment for both the client and the stylist, but the hair won’t fade overtime, plus who doesn’t want a little extra thickness in the hair? It also saves you from having to chemically alter the hair, as some clients hair might not be healthy and strong enough to withstand heavy coloring processes. It also gives you the option to offer your clients the opportunity to try out fashion colors, or to achieve extreme levels of lightness, like those icy blondes, that won’t fade or go brassy.”
A takeaway from Danielle: “At the end of the day, what I want to get across to stylists is just how versatile extensions can be, especially if they are of high quality, like Great Lengths. I would say probably 90% of your clients could benefit some way from extensions, and they don’t even know, so they won’t know to ask. If you ask any of your clients ‘what’s one thing you wish you could change about your hair’ most cases, they will say ‘I wish I could grow it longer’ or ‘I want a certain style, but I just don’t have the amount of hair for it’. Once you bring extensions into your salon, you will realize that they are the solution you and your clients have been looking for!”