Hair Extensions Are the Styling Secret Behind Most Celebrity Bobs
Hair filler is everywhere.
Between Barbiecore style and skunk stripe hair, it’s clear that the post-lockdown beauty vibe is go big or go home—hence the rise in superlong mermaid hair extensions and a subsequent surge in perfectly blunt bobs.
The two styles may seem like opposites, but for celebrity stylists, the long-then-short-then-long lifestyle is just another day’s work…of installing hair extensions. “To go from long hair to short and back the next day, celebrities braid their hair, and glue weft extensions onto the braids, leaving just their natural hairline out,” celebrity hairstylist Marc Mena says of the temporary “faux bob.” “It’s not permanent, but it allows them to change their look dramatically, and no one can see the difference.”
It’s true: Chris Appleton, who styled Kim Kardashian’s 2019 bob and regularly styles J.Lo’s hair, confirmed that he “hides” the braided hair under extensions in his Behind the Chair masterclass. But this technique only works for a few days, Mena adds, comparing the faux bob to gluing on false eyelashes.
Other celebrities, like Khloe Kardashian and Megan Fox, who like to play with varying lengths for longer periods of time usually opt for clip-ins, tape extensions, keratin bonds, and/or hand-tied extensions, Lilybeth Vargas, hair extensions specialist and master colorist at The Parlor, tells Glamour. She personally recommends clip-ins on an event-by-event basis.
As for why so many celebrities wear hair extensions in the first place? It’s possible their hair is damaged from changing it so much. “Celebrities change their hairstyles for the trends that are in at that moment, which can be a lot on natural hair,” RPZL lead stylist Stephanie Angelone tells Glamour. “This can cause a damage, thinning, and hair loss, so adding hair extensions, or ‘hair filler,’ will add fullness and help get their hair back its integrity.”
That said, celebrities like Hailey Bieber and Chrissy Teigen, who don’t necessarily come to mind when you think of long hair or cycling through lengths, see hair extensions artist Priscilla Valles for extra inches too.
“Hair extensions are just so normalized now–most people wear hair filler to fix gaps in sparse areas, not just for length,” Vargas continues. “The hairline is a common area that starts to thin and is easily broken, and that issue can be fixed by installing a few tape-in extensions for fullness,” she says. Finally, if you’ve ever experienced a bad haircut or growing out unwanted layers, she points out that hair filler is an instant solution to the problem.
Now women are realizing their hair isn’t thin and that celebrities just have hair filler—and they want in on the trend too. “People finally realize that you can dramatically change your look, everyone’s doing it, and no one’s hiding it anymore,” Mena tells Glamour.
“Eyelash extensions, nail extensions, hair extensions, it’s all become a part of our culture, and thanks to social media platforms like TikTok, it’s so easy to learn how to do anything,” he says. This, of course, includes installing clip-in extensions—the phrase now has over 100 million views on the app.
As is the case with most contemporary trends, there’s also a practical element to hair extensions. “Clients usually ask for hair filler when they suffer from damaged hair, and we are seeing a lot of damaged hair from COVID,” she says. And seeing as the pandemic prompted a global rise in hair loss, both from stress and actual illness, hair filler’s consequent rise in popularity is only logical (and nothing to be ashamed of).
“Now over a third of women wear hair extensions for both volume and length,” Angelone says, adding that 90% of brides opt for extra inches as well. “So many types of extensions have been invented that literally anyone can have their dream hair, whether that’s long thick Rapunzel-like locks, an asymmetrical cut, or a full bob.”
Make sure you choose the best hair extensions
Hair extensions come in all kinds of style – and price points. But one word of caution: if you’re choosing a salon to have the fitted, make sure you choose a reputable hair extension salon. Going to an inexperienced and illegitimate hair extension salon may cause damage to your hair.
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Article written by Danielle Sinay for Glamour