This magic is made possible with the help of hair extensions and a talented stylist.
A lot of us have realized that our inner hottie has longer, thicker hair than we were actually graced with. (Consider it the follicle version of penis-envy.) My own muse has wavy hip-length locks... yet the universe taunts with me hair that, while cute, barely brushes my shoulders.
And that's why hair extensions are so popular -- and not just in Hollywood! Girls the world 'round just love to realize that it is possible to take your current look and give it a lift and have any style you desire... well, for a few months, anyhow.
"I've always wanted super-long and sexy hair," says Jackie Saril of Squeakywheel Promotions, who realized that extensions were the only way she was going to get the length she desired. Her dream came true with extensions done by Tasso Megaris in Plainview, New York. "Why should celebrities and strippers have all the fun?" she laughs.
The bad news: Hair extensions aren't cheap. Depending on how much you get, how you get them attached and the type/grade of hair you use, the cost can range from the hundreds to the thousands of dollars -- and that's not including maintenance every six to eight weeks. You will also need to make an investment of time, usually four to six hours, for the initial setup.
The specialist who will apply your extensions may be called a hair designer, an extensionist, or simply a hairdresser. No matter what title he or she uses, be sure they are experienced -- and have photos to prove it. Also make sure you understand how they will be removed, and how damage to your natural hair will be minimized. (Several stars have had problems with bald spots after their extensions were taken out.)
Images: Jon Kopaloff/JB Lacroix/Francois G. Durand/Getty Images
Just a few of the many stars with hair extensions: Jennifer Lopez, Lauren Conrad, Kim Kardashian
"A hairstyle can make or break your look," says stylist Cesare Safieh. Safieh cautions there are some important questions to ask when selecting extensions:
Safieh is a fan of a method of extensions known as Thermo Plastique, which involves a relatively gentle process that can be removed without damage to your hair. (He also adds that the micro bonding points are barely visible.) He says older methods, especially glue, are damaging. "Tracks (sewing) can be too heavy, and metal clips wear out and are hard to brush through."
"[The goal with] extensions is to have the most natural look you can achieve," says Tony Promiscuo, owner of Atlanta's Godiva Salon, who notes that while synthetic types are most plentiful, human hair is superior in its viability. (In addition, synthetic hair cannot typically be heated, so styling options are limited -- meaning forget the blow dryer and curling iron.)
"Individual strands allow a customized, more natural, look," says celebrity hairstylist and salon owner Philip Pelusi of New York City's Tela salon. "You can play with the color or length, and fill in spots that need it more than others -- it's a more accurate way to get the desired look."
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