As a salon owner and stylist, you are likely all too familiar with the dreaded experience of combing through a tangled mess after you shampoo and condition clients with long hair. You know these tangles are virtually impossible to avoid when you must shampoo and condition long hair in your small shampoo bowls, but you may worry that clients think you just don't know how to work with long hair properly. Here are three tips to avoid those tangles and the extensive time you must take working them out of clients' hair that often leads to hair breakage. 

1. Install a Couple of Extra-large Shampoo Bowls

The size of your shampoo bowls can have a large impact on how easily your stylists can shampoo and condition long hair without creating tangles. The smaller your bowls, the less room there is for the hair, and bunching long hair into a small bowl makes tangles simply unavoidable. Wider, deeper bowls can lead to tangle-free hair when your stylists have more room to spread the hair while shampooing and conditioning. If your current shampoo bar won't accommodate these wider bowls at every station, then that is okay, because you can install one on either end of the bar and the extra width will protrude slightly at the end of the station. 

2. Use the Right Hair Conditioner on Long-haired Clients

While you cannot apply hair conditioner to your long-haired clients' strands between the steps of rinsing off bleach and applying toner, you can, of course, condition it well after shampooing just before or after a cut or one-process color. Conditioners for normal hair just don't cut it when working with long hair, because they don't provide the slippery surface you need to comb through clients' hair as much as you can while the conditioner is on. For normal to thick long hair, look for a deep conditioner filled with healthy oils and a bit of dimethicone to use on long-haired clients. While this conditioner may be a bit more of an investment than your traditional conditioner is, remember that your long-haired clients often pay a premium price for your stylists to deal with the extra length, and when they leave the salon happy, they are more likely send their long-haired friends to your salon. 

For clients with fine hair, this heavy conditioner applied root to end will weigh it down too much, so instead, use a lightweight volumizing conditioner with dimethicone in it, and focus it on the mid-shaft to ends of hair. 

Advise your stylists to first lightly blot the clients' hair with a towel, have them sit up, and apply a hefty dollop of conditioner that coats your clients' hair from root to ends. Then, they should comb the hair with a wide-toothed comb while the conditioner is on it. Then, have the client lie back into the bowl and rinse hair gently with cool water. While combing out tangles with conditioner in your clients' hair will take an extra few seconds at the shampoo bowl, the conditioner will aid in loosening tangles faster and in a fraction of the time you would spend removing them after conditioning. 

If your salon clients with long hair leave your shampoo bowl with tangles you and your stylists must then work out, it can be a huge hassle and even lead to broken strands. To avoid dealing with a tangled mess of hair after your long-haired clients return to your station and the stations of the other stylists, invest in a couple of extra-large shampoo bowls, such as from Wholesale Salon Equipment, instruct your stylists which conditioner to use on every hair type, and work any tangles out while the conditioner is in the clients' hair.