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Flipping her wig

Laura Sturza

Candy Conery is a woman who has run her hands through Elvis’ hair.

And John Wayne’s.

More recently, her fingers have tousled the heads of Vince Vaughn

and Tim Curry.

As if those credits weren’t enough, the owner of WigWorks Studio

recently put those same hands to work on the blond tresses of a

friend, creating a long, red ‘do for the actress’ recent film.

“Her husband went ‘Oh, thank you,’ ” Conery said of the

enthusiastic response the new redhead received.

Although the movie wrapped four weeks ago, the actress is keeping

her red style.

Early in her career as head hairstylist for films and television,

Conery, now 48, stumbled upon a jackpot.

She purchased 2,000 Metro Goldwyn Mayer wigs from films like “How

the West Was Won” and “Jailhouse Rock,” which is how she got a hold

of Elvis’ wig. Some of the less famous hairpieces are still used by

the designer today.

When not using the vintage hairpieces, Conery purchases

hand-knotted wigs that she designs, custom fitting the lace cap to

the actor’s head.

Traveling to sets as far flung as Prague and Toronto, Conery

arrives with assistant designers and enough supplies to put hair

extensions on 25 pirates in a week.

“They’re pirates, they’re going to be greasy, they’re going to be

in fights,” Conery said of crafting hair that can withstand brutal

encounters.

The film industry’s collaborative nature means attending

production meetings to make sure that the whole look of the film

pulls together, and doing script breakdowns “for hair continuity”

from scene to scene, Conery said.

The Burbank High School graduate opened her studio on Olive Avenue

two years ago, after freelancing for 21 years.

Though 90% of her business is industry-related, the cancer

survivor has been working on prototypes for women who have lost their

hair to cancer treatments.

She sells the wigs to patients at cost -- restoring some of what

the disease has taken from them.


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