I’ll shamelessly own up to the fact that I have an encyclopedia-like knowledge of Kim Kardashian’s hair journey. From her side-swept bangs circa 2013 to the wet hair look she debuted in 2016, I can pretty much detail — with extreme pride — the reality star’s cut and color at every point in time.
So, when the 40-year-old beauty boss started stepping out with sleek, straight and epically shiny strands on repeat in recent weeks (peep her Saturday Night Live glam), it was due time to get all the deets on the look.
Lucky for me, her go-to hairstylist Chris Appleton offered to give my blonde locks a Kardashian-eque makeover and break down the so-called “glass hair” effect, which he dubbed her “new classic look.”
And even though I (very unfortunately) don’t have Appleton on standby to do my hair each and every morning, I did learn some foolproof tips and styling tricks for recreating the look at home. Let’s break it down step-by-step, shall we?
Hide the Hair
The first step in the process is to tuck majority of your hair into a tightly knit braid at the base of your skull. “I’m going to get rid of your hair now,” Appleton joked. While I 100 percent would have let him chop my hair off without blinking an eye, such extremities weren’t necessary. Instead, the Colorwow Dream Coat, $28, and dozens of bobby pins did the job.
“The Dream Coat for me is something I have to have to prep everything with because it gives [the hair] that really nice texture,” he explained. He slicked majority of my hair back, save the top layer, with the hydrating prep product.
From there, he gave me two braids that were each secured by a small elastic. “We’re pinning them [the braids] in the nape of the neck so you don’t get that bulge at the occipital bone,” Appleton said. This little hack is the key to getting a “seamless” look that doesn’t allow for rogue strands to peek through.
Layer on the Length
Now, onto the fun stuff. Appleton’s a big fan of extensions. How else do you think he achieved Kardashian’s 75-inch Met Gala ponytail?! While getting the glass hair effect doesn’t require extensions (you can just use the shine spray and heat), adding some inches certainly makes you feel red carpet ready.
But he warns against going gung-ho with clip-ins. “Some people put too many in and then it’s too thick. The thing with this look is that if you put too many in, you just look like all hair — and that’s not so cute,” he laughed. “The idea is that it’s long, but very slim. That’s what makes it look cool.”
When applying extensions, start off my backcombing the hair and spritzing a bit of hairspray to “lock it in.” Then, clip in your rows in a staggered formation, kind of like “brick work.” This will help fill in any gaps.
Give Your Roots Some TLC
“I sometimes take the Root Cover Up,$34.50, and darken the root of the extensions so it blends in with your natural hair,” Appleton said, brushing a light brown powder where the clip-in met my scalp. “It stops you from having that see though look … it makes it photo proof.”
Go for Glass
Listen up ladies and gents because this next step is the no-brainer, $29, secret weapon to getting super shiny, uber-sleek and downright flawless hair like Kardashian’s.
“I use the Extra Shine Spray — this is my little secret,” Appleton spilled. “I saturate the shine spray all over the hair and then I use a flattening iron.” He recommends pulling a comb through each strand with the straightener to help “separate it” and keep things “smooth.”
“You’ll see the transformation. It [the Extra Shine Spray] melts into the hair and gives you that mirror shine so the hair looks super glossy,” Appleton added. “This little bad boy is a must-do.”
As for how much product you should use? Don’t hold back on the product — just spray away! “It doesn’t make your hair greasy. It doesn’t matter how much of this you put on, it’s not going to get greasy,” Appleton said. (Let it be known that I was going on day-two hair at the time of our appointment, so I can confirm that — even with a heck of a lot of product — the hair doesn’t get weighed down.)
Respect the Hair
Throughout the whole styling process — and after the fact — it’s a must to give your strands the love they deserve. That means keeping heat to a minimum (Appleton recommends 390 max) and dousing the hair in hydration when you shower.
Appleton swears by the Money Mask, $45, which gives “expensive-looking hair,” and the Xtra Large Bombshell Volumizer, which provides insane volume and gives a glossy shine without compromising the health of the hair or creating a dry, stiff texture.
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