By Hilay Sheinbaum
If you’ve admired the tresses of Hailey Bieber, the Kardashians, Reese Witherspoon, Christina Aguilera and/or Halle Berry you’ve (likely unknowingly) been observing the work of Priscilla Valles, Celebrity Extensionist for Glam Seamless.
The Los Angeles hair guru is a 20-year beauty and entertainment industry veteran, having got her start in a salon at the young age of 15. (For what it’s worth: around this time, I was still navigating a flat iron and trying to avoid burning my hair.)
Valles and hair extensions (in general) have come a long way since their beginnings. Now, with a salon in Las Vegas and a private salon in Beverly Hills, Valles — who is known for her individual and tape-in extensions techniques — is one of the most sought after professionals in her field. And for good reason.
If you’ve ever wished your hair was a little fuller or a little longer (and you’ve done a quick Google search), you already know that hair extensions can get a little pricey — ranging from $119 Keratin to $179 Hand Tied Tape-ins to $459 Clip-ins) So, if you’re going to make the investment, it’s worth knowing a thing or two about their maintenance and more.
To learn from the best, we went straight to Valles for her coveted advice, including tips about care, wear and application, for lush looking locks.
Point blank: nothing works quite as well.
“When you have a full head of extensions, it’s less stress on your natural hair,” says Valles.
“When you don’t have full hair and it’s not doing what you want, we tend to apply a lot of products and heat to make it look good. But, with extensions it just looks good on its own.”
It depends on the type! “When it comes to washing your clip-ins, you can wash them once a year, depending on how often you are wearing them,” says Valles. She adds that you can add hair perfume and dry shampoo on the top of them. If a lot of products are used, you can wash them as often as every 6 months.
“With the individual tape-ins you can wash them as frequently as you would like,” she says.
Three separate times is best.
“You should always brush your clip-ins before you put them in, once they are installed and when you take them out before you carefully put them aside,” says Valles. While doing so: brush in between rows and keep them separate from root to end.
“When brushing permanent extensions, a lot of people are afraid to brush their hair but sometimes you can get tangles starting at the root,” says Valles. “You definitely want to make sure to brush them and make sure you are getting into the scalp. Lastly, make sure to get in between all those individual extensions, separate it, and keep them individual.”
After brushing extensions, Valles grabs them by the ends and creates a big circle to keep them together. “I put them in a Ziploc bag, making sure all of the air is out and store them that way,” she says. Simple enough!
“I don’t typically use a lot of products in my extensions because when you have good quality hair you don’t have to worry about that,” says Valles. When you have extensions that look a little frizzy or dull, Valles recommends using K18 Leave-in Molecular Repair Hair Mask or an oil like the OUAI Rose Hair & Body Oil, where a couple drops can go a long way. “You can also use an anti-frizz product, that will help to add shine,” she says.
Maybe don’t jump in a lake or the ocean. “It is not ideal or recommended to swim with your clip-ins, but with that said: I do always tell my clients to live your life,” says Valles. “Clip-ins will get replaced. Don’t be at the mercy of your extensions — just enjoy them as you would your own hair because that is truly the point of having them.” If you do take a dip in a body of water: leave in conditioners can help them last as well.
Valles’ extensions with Glam Seamless can be worn in a ponytail, bun, or half up for a natural look. “The best thing about hair extensions is you can wear them however you want and manipulate them into any style,” says Valles. Because wearing a ponytail everyday can be stressful on your scalp, she recommends avoiding that style day after day. “Down is a good way to wear them if you are putting them in frequently.”
Another way to wear extensions, according to Valles, is doing a low braid at night when you sleep and simultaneously using a silk pillowcase, which helps to create nice waves for the morning.
“You have to have the proper color blend and a really good cut,” says Valles. “Sometimes I see where the extensions application is good, but the cut is not good. It is important to have a really good natural cut. You also want the ends to be wispy like natural hair and make sure you have enough extensions in. It’s always better to have more than not enough.”
Be right back… off to order ours!