Mane Master Priscilla Valles on Her Glam Seamless Collaboration and What She Loves Most About the Hair Industry
Feb 23, 2022
Mastering hair extensions is no easy feat, yet Priscilla Valles has effortlessly climbed her way to the top becoming one of the most sought-after extensionists in the world. Her dedication to detail and pure love of her craft has allowed her to work with clients such as Kylie Jenner, Hailey Bieber, Christina Aguilera, and a slew of other A-list celebrities. You name ‘em, Valles has taped, clipped, or sewn extensions into their mane.
Even those of us who aren’t celebrities have been lucky enough to book a session with Valles because she’s willing to make time for any and every client who needs her help. With her recent collaboration with Glam Seamless, it has become even easier to access Valles’s talents in hopes of achieving a Kardashian-level mane.
Abiding by the Oprah quote “let excellence be your brand,” Valles has excelled at doing that not only with her career but also with her personal life. While her career triumphs are often highlighted, Valles lives an almost fairytale-like life, noting that “every day is a pinch-me moment.” The extensionist even closed out 2021 with an engagement to a fiancé she describes as “the man of my dreams.”
Clearly, 2022 is shaping up to be Valles’s year. With plenty in store for her to look forward to, now was the perfect time to feature the extensionist as our latest Mane Master. Below, we dove deep into her career journey thus far, her latest hair extension line with Glam Seamless, and more.
Mane Addicts: How did you get into the hair business? Take us through your upbringing and journey. How did you land some of the biggest clients in the world?
Priscilla Valles: I started in the hair industry by cutting my cousin’s hair and getting in trouble at age 4 or 5 (preschool). I remember looking at my cousins (we were all a year apart and there were four of us) and thinking I can make us all look prettier. I had visions for each of them and did their haircuts in my closet as a little girl. This was where I knew I was passionate about hairstyling and everything glam.
When I was a freshman in high school, I wanted to get my nails done and this lady I went to was the absolute best! I went to her because I wanted my nails done and since I was young I didn’t have the money. I offered to clean the floors, answer phone calls, and help in exchange to get my nails done, and then I would go to school where all the girls were obsessed with my nails. In return, they would go to her to get their nails done too, leaving her business booming.
Then for my first job, I was 15 and got my work permit. I was a receptionist at a salon in Studio City and then I did cosmetology school while in high school, it was a RIP program. I got my cosmetology hours before I graduated high school, in addition to still being the receptionist at the salon. My dad had other plans for me. He believed that broadcasting or journalism was ideal for me but that couldn’t be farther from what I wanted to do. In the end, he is my biggest cheerleader to this day.
I started assisting and when I saw my first set of extensions I was completely hooked. I took a great lengths extensions class and then I started working at hair conventions and that’s how I met Raquel Welch. That led me to do her trunk shows and, in the meantime, still assisting. She had a hairpiece line and I would travel with her to do trunk shows all over the U.S. every other weekend to be a spokesperson for her hair line.
That’s how I got into the extension world. Once I saw the first extensions transformation I was completely hooked. I think it’s the ultimate hair transformation, it amazes me.
Over the years, I have spent time specializing in extensions and constantly searching for new products, new tools, new ways to make the service go faster. The integrity of clients’ hair is always my top priority, specializing in that and putting all of my passion into it.
I worked a lot and started going on tour with clients and working on films, creating my high-profile client roster today. People say hard work pays off but really good hard work pays off, the longevity in that is so much grander. I landed some of my best clients’ referrals from connections in the business and putting my heart into every single job that I did.
Back then there was no Instagram so it was solely based on word of mouth for doing great work and all referrals. I was working on a lot of films, music tours, models, and magazine covers.
MA: Obviously, the hair industry is a huge umbrella. How did you determine you wanted to specialize in styling extensions?
PV: Once I saw the first head of extensions, to me, it was the ultimate hair transformation. You can change the color, the thickness, the length, you are basically creating a wig straight on the head. To me, that was so satisfying and I fell in love with the whole process. I knew I could change someone’s whole look in one service. It’s so much more than a hair appointment; it’s a cosmetic appointment, giving a person the hair of their dreams.
MA: What’s been your biggest pinch-me career moment up to this point?
PV: I have had so many amazing moments and every day I am so grateful. I get to work with the most inspiring, hardworking, intelligent, independent women. You’re seeing your work on movies, you’re seeing your work on performance stages, you’re seeing your work on the cover of magazines, and then from those opportunities, you have the opening of a salon and from there you have the opportunity of a dream hair extension line like the one I created with Glam Seamless. They allowed me to have free-range and create my dream hair line. This industry has endless opportunities.
All of those moments I never take for granted, I sit back and can’t even believe the career I have had. Not a day goes by that I don’t give my heart, soul, and passion to this job. I think every day is a pinch-me moment.
MA: How do you deal with the pressure of ensuring the synthetic strands of such high-profile clients are always on point?
PV: I ensure the synthetic strands of such high-profile clients by the history and the experience of my application and work. Not only that, but it’s the quality of tools and hair that I am working with now. I have been able to create an entire line that is my dream line with Glam Seamless. I am only as good as my tools and product of my hair.
There’s no holding back with what is possible with the application that I specialize in, the tools that I am using, the hair I am putting in, and the colors I am using to blend.
MA: What’s your best advice for the extension-wearer on a budget?
PV: Purchase Priscilla Valles Luxe Clip-Ins from my line with Glam Seamless because they can go in and out of your hair easily without leaving them in too long or going through an expensive process. Leaving them in too long can cause damage and if you can’t afford to have them in all the time, I would say clip-ins are the best option for an extension-wearer on a budget.
Glam Seamless Collaboration
MA: How did your Glam Seamless collab come to be, and what makes your line different from other high-end extensions on the market?
PV: I got an email from the parent company of Glam Seamless asking me what line I would want to partner with. I had done my research and I knew I wanted to partner up with Glam Seamless.
What makes my line different from others is the fact that I have been in the industry for 23 years and I specialize in extensions every single day. I have worked with every line on the market and there are none that I loved everything about. I created my line from all my previous experiences and was using bits and pieces that I was picking up from previous lines I worked with and from there creating my own line.
I created the removal tools, application tools, and cutting tools for my line, which are all very important in the process. I hand blended my colors for my extension line because I used to have to color extensions myself to make sure they blended perfectly on my clients. They are beautifully rooted, dark bonds, all the things that matter when extensions are blowing in the wind to make them look as natural as they can be.
MA: Who has been your mentor in the hair industry? Or who is someone in the industry you look up to?
PV: Jen Atkin is definitely someone who has really changed the industry, she created this bond between stylists and was able to get stylists to not feel threatened by each other. She really created a community even with Mane Addicts. I have so much love and respect for her personally as a friend and a mentor. Over the years, I have seen her grow and what she has accomplished—at the same time, always supporting not just myself but others in the industry. She has a very special heart and I believe that’s why she has so many beautiful blessings. She has been one of the most supportive stylists that I have ever met.
Also, Chris Appleton has been very inspiring to me in the industry. He is always inspiring me to challenge myself with social media and always pushing me to do more and put myself out there. He is always teaching me ways to really put myself out of my comfort zone and not be afraid to try new trends. I am really thankful for that.
MA: Have you had any professional regrets that you feel comfortable sharing? Either way, how do you deal with blunders?
PV: Not really! I am such a perfectionist, I am a Capricorn to the T. A story I will share that traumatized me a long time ago is when I was putting in Christina Aguilera’s platinum and black extensions for her strip album performance for the Grammys. We did her extensions a couple of days before she performed. Then the day of Christina’s Grammys performance she showered and the black extensions bled on the platinum extensions making them gray.
The lesson I learned from this mistake was if I was ever to do a crazy blend like that again, I would wash the extensions before they go in. I was so traumatized but Christiana was beyond sweet about it.
MA: We love hearing about other peoples’ shower routines. Take us through yours, including products, brands, everything!
PV: The products I am using right now: Kate Somerville Exfoliating Cleanser on my face. I use Doctor BABOR Soothing Cream for my moisturizer and I use Joanna Vargas Rejuvenating Serum twice a day. In the shower, I use the L’Oréal Vitamino Color Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner. I have been using the Dr. Barbara Sturm Repair Hair Mask. I use the K18 Leave-In Conditioner, which I am currently obsessed with (it’s brilliant), Ouai Body Cleanser for the shower, and Ouai Body Crème when I get out.
MA: Extensions or otherwise, what’s something new you learned about hair in 2021? It can also be the discovery of a particular product.
PV: I discovered K18 Biomimetic Hairscience Pro Molecular Repair Hair Mist and Molecular Repair Hair Mask.
Not only did we discover, but I launched my entire line with Glam Seamless which was super exciting!
MA: Extensions are for people who… Extensions are not for people who…
PV: Extensions are for people who are not happy with their natural hair, who want a little extra thickening in their existing length. If they are not happy with their length or color, if they had a chemical haircut or a bad haircut, the list goes on and on. They’re perfect for women who like to be as polished as possible.
Extensions are not for people who maybe have really thick hair (unless they aren’t happy with their length), an extremely tender head, and alopecia. Those are candidates for whom extensions are not a fit.
MA: What makes extensions look cheap versus real?
PV: I always say you pay for what you get when it comes to extensions. I think it looks cheap when the quality of hair is cheap, the application is cheap, and the cut is cheap. You want to be with someone who is experienced and you are better off not having extensions versus having a bad application or cut in order to have them.
MA: Take us through your life outside of hair. What are your hobbies? Are there any places in L.A. you’re known to frequent? What else do you enjoy in general?
PV: Outside of hair/work, my hobbies are being active. I love working out and hiking. I also love cooking and entertaining. If I am not styling hair I am in the kitchen cooking. I have a secret obsession with fine china and vintage china. I am pretty low-key. I prefer cooking and having friends and family over going out.
MA: What’s the best part about working in the hair industry in L.A. in particular?
PV: L.A. is the capital of the entertainment industry and that’s the best part!
MA: Is there anything else you want to share about your career, Glam Seamless collab, or literally anything else at all? What’s next for you?
PV: I would just like to end this interview on what an amazing industry this is. I love the people in it, everyone is so creative, supportive, and loving. The people I work with from coworkers to the people I am working on are amazing. Being able to travel the world and stay in the most amazing places and get paid for it. Being able to be creative every day, I am just so proud to be a part of it all.
We’ll see where the journey takes me. The opportunities just fall on your lap so I am curious to see what is coming next in my career. As for my personal journey, I just got engaged to the man of my dreams and I look forward to living happily ever after with him. Having a solid partnership with a man who is beyond supportive of me is just amazing.