Kylie Jenner’s go-to girl gives us the low down on hair extensions.
Alright, hands up if you’re guilty of getting just a tad bit jealous every time you see a Kardashian-Jenner’s new ‘do, or the Victoria’s Secret show broadcast, or, like, any Beyoncé video, ever. Hair envy is real, guys. Despite us being totally team short hair as much as long—LC can make anyone a bob-believer—the fact of the matter is, sometimes you just want to pretend to be Rapunzel and not have it take you three years to get there. And let’s be real, we all end up playing bangs vs. boredom at one point or another anyway, precariously juggling scissors in one hand and wine in the other.
So in an attempt to bring the stars to a “they’re just like us” level, we turned to celebrity hair extension specialist Priscilla Valles to give us the real deal on the lengths one must go to to get long hair. And with a CV boasting clients like Chrissy Teigen, Christina Aguilera and Kylie Jenner, let’s just say you’ll want to take her word. Extensions: turns out they’re not as don’t-try-this-at-home-scary we thought. (Word to the wise though: if you want extensions, employ a professional.)
Tape-ins vs. Individual Extensions
“The difference between tape-ins and individuals is that tape-ins are about an inch long strip and individuals are the size of a grain of rice. Tape-ins have a thicker hank of hair sandwiched between them, and individuals are smaller with a thinner hank of hair in them. They are a more custom job—you can build a wig on the head with individuals. What’s great about both methods, beside the fact that they add hair, is that you can also add lowlights or highlights.”
“Technically, as long as hair is about one and a half inches long, you can apply any method [of extensions]. The thinner the natural hair is, the easier it is to blend.”
“Matching hair color is very important. I focus on the ends of the client’s natural hair, so there is no divide between the colors. You can add lowlights or highlights as long as you keep the hair in the same color range and color tone.”
“It is important to ask how one’s natural hair is and if they ever air dry it. If they do, you should match the extensions to their natural hair. If they don't air dry, then you should match the extension’s texture to their styled hair. I usually like a little body in the hair because it holds a style better, so extensions with a loose wave are a good way to go.”
“The extension application usually takes about three hours, and they typically stay in for two months. They can last longer but I don't recommend it. They start to grow away from the scalp and hang, and that's when the teeth of a brush get stuck in between your scalp and the extensions. Also, the further they grow out, the harder it is to hide them.”
“There are so many different methods of extension, so pricing can be anywhere from $500-$5,000. It depends on how much hair you use, what method, who's applying them, etc. Always remember that you pay for what you get with extensions. It’s a growing element and a hundred percent real hair is what you should always ask for! It’s expensive. It’s a luxury service.”
“It’s your responsibility to maintain your extensions. It’s very important to brush and condition you hair and keep products and oils away from the bonding method. Never apply a curling iron or heat tool to the bonding method.”
“The biggest mistakes people make with extensions is that they: 1. Keep them in too long; 2. Cut them with scissors—always use a razor or thinning shears to create a blended look; 3. They don't brush them; and 4. Don’t condition the ends.”
“I think extensions are amazing and with the proper application everyone can wear some sort of method that works for their hair. Extensions make people feel so good. I will always find a method for a client, one way or another.”
Tips for First Timers
“If someone is wanting to get extensions for the first time, it is important to do their research. They should make sure to find a certified extension specialist and make an appointment with more than one extensionist for a consultation. Find out how much history they have in extensions and how long they have been doing them. Ask to see before, during and after photos and do research on the extension brand that the extensionist offers.”