These Extreme Hair Extension Transformations Will Blow Your Mind

Hair extensions get a bad rap for being one of the beauty industry's more frivolous enterprises. (Cue images of the stereotypical California girl with fake hair, fake nails, and fake lips.) But a recent hair extensions makeover conducted by L.A. stylist Clayton Hawkins reminds us how hair extensions can actually transform lives.

Hawkins posted the photo below on his Instagram earlier this week, cueing gasps around the internet. According to Allure, Hawkins says he received a call from one of his regular clients whom he hadn't seen in about a year. Hawkins told Allure the client said she was in "really big trouble" with her hair, and when she showed up for her appointment, it became clear that she wasn't exaggerating. "She'd always had very delicate and damaged hair, but this was on a different level," Hawkins says. "I'd never seen anything like it." 

Keep scrolling to see the shocking transformation (plus three other amazing hair extension makeovers)!


In his Instagram post, Hawkins calls this the "ultimate before and after." Why did his client's hair start off in such desperate conditions? Hawkins owes it to "dangerously applied extensions and harsh color and chemical treatments." To turn her hair from jagged and paper-thin to voluminous, Hawkins says, "I applied keratin tipped extensions that I cut into THIRDS (so they wouldn't put any weight on her fragile hair) and tried to blend as well as possible. Days like this reaffirm why i do hair!"


Hawkins is responsible for more than one impressive before-and-after. Yesterday, he posted these images of model Valyn Dobson. "@vvvalyn is stunning no matter WHAT length her hair is, but an #extensiontransformation is always a fun way to change things up," he writes.


Violet Teriti is another hair extension artist doing impressive work in Los Angeles. She credits the Olaplex treatment system with keeping her clients' extensions healthy and strong over time. (Read more about how Olaplex works here, and then pick up a bottle, $22, for yourself.)


Another case of damaged, broken hair transformed by extensions. Evidence that extensions aren't so frivolous, after all.

Try out some temporary extensions at home with celebrity stylist Jen Atkin's tape-in extensions collection for BeautyWorks.

Next, read why one editor wore hair extensions for nine years (and why she finally stopped). 

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