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From Hair...to There: How to Apply Hair Extensions

Add length and va-va-volume with hair extensions. Celebrity stylist Ken Paves shows you how.
  • JON MOE

    Our Model Before Extensions

    Ever longed for an easy hairstyle change, one that would jazz up your look instantly without months of waiting for your hair to grow? Celebrities feel the same way. That's why they rely on their hairstylists to constantly deliver new looks. How do stylists do it? With hair extensions and hairpieces. And now the rest of us can afford them. "Extensions allow you to test drive a look without commitment by instantly adding length, thickness, and texture to your natural hair style," says Ken Paves, celebrity stylist and creator of the Ken Paves Healthy Hair line. He's been using extensions for years to give stars such as Jessica Simpson and Eva Longoria sensational styles for photo shootsand red carpets. Now he's joined forces with Hair U Wear, makers of Put On Pieces, a collection of reusable hair extensions and clip-ons made from both real and synthetic hair. They are quick to apply, relatively affordable (natural hair extensions run $225 and up and synthetic pieces run $20 and up), and come in a variety of natural-looking shades to match every hair color.

    Here, Ken Paves demonstrates two amazing looks, the first to add inches and thickness to your locks and the second to make a thin, limp bun full of volume and texture. Both are guaranteed to take your hairstyle from simply so-so to drop-dead whoa!

  • JON MOE

    The Look: Long and Flowing

    Step 1: Add Inches

    Ken swept the model's hair back into a half-ponytail and clipped it from rest of her hair. He then parted the remaining hair lengthwise and attached an 8-inch weft from the Put On Pieces Human Hair Clip in Extension 14-inch set, $225, near the part, securing the center clip first, then each side.

  • JON MOE

    The Look: Long and Flowing

    Step 2: Build Body

    Next, Paves lifted a small section of hair from underneath the ponytail and attached a 1-1/2-inch weft directly beneath it. Bringing the same small section of hair back over the extension, he then attached a second 1-1/2-inch weft above it. This gave the hair more thickness and volume.

  • JON MOE

    The Look: Long and Flowing

    Step 3: Natural Tie

    "It's important to incorporate pieces of your own hair as you style the extensions," Paves told us as he took pieces of the model's hair and the extensions and curled them together. Hot tools can be used on human hair extensions but never on synthetic pieces.

  • JON MOE

    The Look: Long and Flowing

    Step 4: Long and Luscious

    Finally Paves attached a Long Curls Pinup Piece, $24, (Or try Scunci 20-inch Curly Faux Hair clip, $19.99) into the base of the ponytail, between the elastic and where the hair gathered. He fluffed out the piece with his fingers, then applied some hair spray to lock the style in place.

  • JON MOE

    The Finished Look

    Here, the finished look is a voluminous mane with added length and thickness.

  • JON MOE

    The Look: An Elegant Bun

    Step 1: Good Beginnings

    Paves teased the model's front pieces of hair to add lift at thecrown, then smoothed the hair back into a pony positioned just above the ears. Next he twisted the tail around itself and pinned it into a bun. Then he attached a Long Curls Pin Up, $24, into the top base of the bun so that the synthetic hair fell over the bun.

  • JON MOE

    The Look: An Elegant Bun

    Step 2: Perfect Placement

    Next Paves teased the extension a little to add some texture and make it easier to style. Then he brought the piece back over the top of the head and used a small clip to secure it about 2 to 3 inches above the bun, leaving about three-quarters of the piece loose.

  • JON MOE

    The Look: An Elegant Bun

    Step 3: Plump It Up

    Paves pulled the loose piece back over the small clip so that it billowed over the clip. Then he pinned half of that hair on the right side above the bun, fanning it out so that the hairs evenly covered the space between the original bun and the small clip.

  • JON MOE

    The Look: An Elegant Bun

    Step 4: Smooth Finish

    Next Paves wrapped a small piece of the synthetic hair over to the other side, tucking and pinning the end pieces into the bottom of the original bun. He repeated this step with the remaining hair, pulling it over piece by piece, then used the handle of a pick to fluff up the pieces in the middle.

  • JON MOE

    The Finished Look

    Here, the finished look is a sexy yet elegant up-do.

    Originally published in Ladies' Home Journal magazine, March 2006.

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