For Teen Vogue, by Christa Joanna Lee.
Love means nothing in tennis, but when it comes to the hairstyles we've been spotting at this year's U.S. Open, we're head over heels. Of course, we can't keep our eyes off of the players' amazing athletic abilities, but it's even more magical when they make it through a match in total style. So we chatted with Kevin Lee of Julien Farel Restore Salon & Spa (the official hair-care sponsor to this year's games), to serve us some serious hairstyle inspo that's great for your workout, hangout and everything in between. Check out below for braids, ponytails, topknots, and more to take your sporty style up a notch.
For the look the left, run a small dab of Julien Farel Sculpting Gloss through damp strands to add shine and smoothness. "It's easiest to start with wet hair so you can avoid flyaways and have a taut, sculpted braid," says Kevin. "Start with three sections at the crown of your head and create a Dutch braid all the way through the ends, making sure to pull tightly with every section. Secure with an elastic and blast it with L'Oreal Elnett Hair Spray to make sure it doesn't budge during your workout."
For the look on the right, it's a similar idea except you're creating two pigtail braids. "After you secure each braid, roll the tails under and secure by criss-crossing several bobby pins." Not only do you get an Instagram-worthy hairstyle for the courts, the beachy waves you get after you take out the braids are just as gorgeous.
For this simple, yet chic braided style, it's all about sleek, frizz-free roots offset by a full, thick ponytail. Run a lightweight, smoothing product on damp hair through your roots — we love Sachajuan Shine Serum — and brush your hair back into a ponytail. "Then use Julien Farel Flexible Gel through the length of the ponytail to give it volume and a little bit of grip so pieces of the braid don't come undone during your workout," says Kevin. "It texturizes and defines without adding any stickiness so you can get that full-looking braid. After tying it off with an elastic, wrap a one-inch thick portion of hair around the band to keep it sophisticated."
To make your hairstyle really stand out, add a pop of neon to your 'do. "It doesn't mean you have to commit to a dye job," says Kevin. "We used these really cool braided clip-in extensions that were pre-braided and incorporated into this five-strand braid, using the neon piece as the middle anchor." After it's secure, gently pancake the braid by pulling out each section with your fingers to make it look thicker.
"A topknot is great for keeping your hair off your neck and long bangs out of your face — plus, it works on all textures," says Kevin. Spritz hair with IGK Beach Club Texture Sprayto make it easier for shorter layers to stick, then wrap your hair into a bun, securing with bobby pins. Don't worry about a little messiness or a few flyaways — it adds to its effortless appeal.
Braids on braids on braids! This cool look starts off with a little bit of Julien Farel Inflate Styling Balm. "Since you're creating multiple mini braids, you want to make each one looks as full as possible with the help of a volumizing balm. Section off the bottom half of your hair and clip it aside as you work on the top braids. Divide the top half of the hair into three even sections, creating mini French braids in each section until you reach the middle of your head. Finish each of them off into a regular three-strand braid to the ends. Secure each of the three mini braids with elastics. Bring all the hair together into a ponytail at the nape of your neck and secure it with a band. Wrap that band with a one-inch strand of hair, setting it with bobbies. Remove the three elastics from the mini braids, then finish off the rest of your pony with a three-strand braid. It looks way more complicated than it actually is!"
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