MANE MASTER: Priscilla Valles
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It’s no secret that we’re obsessed with hair extension goddess, Priscilla Valles. Because most celebrities like the keep the fact that they wear extensions hush hush, it’s not every day that we hear from the artists who make sure their manes look realistically long. Priscilla, of course, is an exception. Transforming the ever changing manes of Kylie Jenner, Christina Aguilera, and Chrissy Teigen, Priscilla is able to flawlessly execute an array of lengths, colors, and textures, no matter how short the hair. Constantly traveling with celebrities and flying coast to coast, a quick glimpse at her Instagram will give you major FOMO. We had a chat with Priscilla about her career and the major piece of advice she’d give budding extension artists.
How did you get your start in the industry?
I got my start fresh out of beauty school! I started by assisting Sheila Stotts 16 years ago! I was immediately addicted to the extension transformation!
Who are some of your biggest role models or people that inspire you?
Jen Atkin is a role model, of course! Not only is she talented, but she helps our industry so much. She’s like the gift that keeps on giving! Watching her continue to do hard work and grow is incredibly inspiring. There is so much talent in our industry. There is no way to cheat to the top. Good, hard work pays off.
Do you have a signature look or style that you’re known for?
I do have a signature look that I am known for and that is putting in sexy hair! It makes sense because I am a passionate person! I’m bored with an average head of hair extensions. I always want to put more hair in and my clients love it. I will always push the envelope with the amount of hair I put in and as a result, all my clients have head turning hair extensions! I love it and it makes them feel sexy.
What was the last major makeover you did?
The last major makeovers I did were on Kylie Jenner. I have so much fun with her because she changes her look so much! She was long and blonde, but we went back to black. I put in some extensions and cut a thick blunt bob. Another makeover was on Kate Mara. She was rocking a pixie cut that looked so good on her, but she started working on a film and the character had longer hair, so I built a wig for her with extensions and now she has collar bone length extensions in.
What are some tools and products that you swear by?
I always have a old leather tool belt to hold my extension tool. I can’t live without it. Some of my favorite products are KMS Clarifying Shampoo, Hair Lingerie Extensions, a GHD flat iron and curling iron, the Sheila Stotts application brush, and Missoni colorful towels to keep my work space pretty.
What is your favorite Instagram account to follow?
My favorite Instagram account is Chrissy Teigen’s for so many reasons. Its a visual feast!! She is so beautiful, her hair extensions always look good, she has the best style, she cooks the best dishes, she has the cutest frenchies/bulldogs, and she’s funny. I mean… its always a good post!
What advice would you have given yourself 10 years ago?
10 years ago I would have told myself not to wear high shoes while standing and doing extensions all day because my back and knees will hurt later–wear comfortable supportive shoes-really. I would have also said, “don’t doubt yourself. Hard passionate work pays off. Dream big and don’t let anyone make you feel like you don’t deserve to have dreams of your own! Keep your eye on the prize!”
What was the best piece of advice you’ve received? What advice would you give new stylists?
The best piece of advice I have received is to be loyal to your clients and exude positive energy. You can be the most creative person in the industry but if you are not a pleasure to be around, it will work against you. We are in the service industry. Creative hair and good energy come hand in hand. Its our job to make people look and feel good! Make your chair a safe and fun place.
Another piece of advice I would give is to know our industry inside and out. Stay educated on all the new products on the market- especially hair extensions. If a company sends me a product and I feel it could be good, I will test it out on my own hair first. 9 out of 10 times they fail, but I know about all of them.
What is the next chapter for you?
The next chapter for me is teaching. Extensions have a bad reputation because of bad application. I want to change the reputation. Extensions have evolved so much and now I just want to help stylists perfect their application. Then, who knows, maybe some products down the line, but for now just enjoying the extension adventure!
Catch Priscilla Valles and Chrissy Teigen at Mane University Nov 8 in Los Angeles!