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How Tina Fey Got into Sarah Palin's Hair

09/18/2008 at 08:30 AM EDT

How Tina Fey Got into Sarah Palin's Hair
Sarah Palin (left) and Tina Fey (right)
Olivier Douliery/ABACAUSA; Dana Edelson/AP

Tina Fey

Tina Fey

It's not easy being Sarah Palin – just ask Tina Fey … and a team of hair wranglers.

Fey's Saturday Night Live appearance last weekend as the GOP vice-presidential candidate – in an opening skit which Palin herself says she got a kick out of – required not just sharp-witted writers, but a hairdresser, a team of wig makers, colorists, a pound of specifically styled human hair and ear glue, reports The New York Times.

"After Tina saw the wig on her head, she thought her ears stuck out," SNL's hairstyling-department head Bettie Rogers tells the paper. "She wanted her ears glued back. That required the services of Louie the Makeup God. That was around the dress rehearsal, late in the day Saturday."

Getting the wig right was no easy task, to begin with. "A wig takes 40 to 50 hours to make," says Rogers. "We read the sketches on Wednesday night to determine the wigs to be built at Bob Kelly's, a wig maker on 46th Street. The ladies who make the wigs work around the clock until Friday night, sometimes even late Saturday."

The result, says Rogers, was a "French twist with a '60s bouffant kind of thing, and bangs. … It's darker at the nape of the neck, and shows transitions to a lot of different colors."

Darken Roots, Trim the Bangs

And yet, things still weren't Palin perfect. "We also have to go back and root it. We paint in darker colors right at the roots, to give it contrast," says Rogers.

"When Tina put the wig on Saturday, we had to trim the bangs a little bit, because they were hanging in her eyes."

As for the rest, Fey "changed the shape of her lips to make them more like Palin's, but that was done with makeup, not with prosthetics."

Rogers also said that the wig has been properly stored at SNL, but, so far, there are no official plans to put it back on Fey's head for an encore appearance.

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