Real Girl Makeover: “I Tried Hair Extensions”

Wendy Rodewald
"I tried hair extensions": before and after

Photo: Angela Pham

Most of the big makeovers we do involve cutting off hair (to gorgeous results, of course), but not everyone is up for losing length. So when Leah, Senior Editor at our sister site, The Vivant, wanted to try a new look without making the commitment, we knew just what to add: clip-in hair extensions.

“Extensions add volume and allow you to achieve looks you can’t get without them,” said Angelo David Pisacreta, hair stylist and extensions expert at Angelo David Salon in New York, who created Leah’s new look.

The modern approach to extensions is more about giving hair lushness and versatility rather than taking locks from short to long. It’s a safe to say that most celebrities’ red carpet hairstyles involve clip-in pieces, which Pisacreta says can add 30-40 percent more hair (pretty dramatic!).

To give Leah’s look a major lift, Pisacreta prepped her hair with volumizing spray and mousse, then blow dryed with a large round brush before setting the hair in Velcro rollers. Leah headed to the makeup chair while her style set.

Makeup artist Julie Tussey applies eye liner

Photo: Angela Pham

“With big hair, we want big eyes,” said makeup artist Julie Tussey, who created a ’60s inspired look using a shimmery blue-green to get “the mermaid, seafoam-inspired turquoise that’s right for this season.” She added a highlight by drawing a V-shape with white liner on the inner corners, which she blended with a brush. Tussey used black liquid liner and faux lashes at the outer corners to elongate Leah’s eyes, and balanced the look with a pop of pink on the apples of her cheeks.

Hair stylist Angelo David Pisacreta styles Leah's hair

Photo: Angela Pham

Finally, it was time to add the extensions. Pisacreta chose a strip of human hair with color hand painted to look natural, which graduated from darker to lighter at the ends (just like real, sunkissed hair). Before adding the extensions, he sprayed Leah’s hair with dry shampoo and teased at the root to create a secure base. He clipped in the hair — a process that takes less than a minute and doesn’t damage the hair on the head — and finished off her style with a medium sized curling iron held horizontally to create S-shaped waves. “We don’t want a spiral,” he explained, as he brushed out the waves to finish off the red carpet-worthy look.

Leah's finished look

Photo: Angela Pham

“Even though I naturally have pretty long hair, I was surprised by how much of a difference the extensions made,” said a made over Leah, who’s “definitely a convert. For those special occasions [extensions] are worth the splurge.”

Photos: Angela Pham
Hair: Angelo David Pisacreta for Angelo David Salon 
Makeup: Julie Tussey for Angelo David Salon | Bobbi Brown Cosmetics

Read more: Real Girl Makeover: “I Tried Clip-In Bangs For A Day”

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