Julien Farel talks about hair with the same enthusiasm you might find in Roger Federer's voice when he talks about winning a title . . . and that's what makes him perfect for his latest gig.
The French stylist owns two namesake salons in Manhattan and has worked with A-list stars all over the world. But it's this time every year that he really looks forward to, because he gets to spend fast-paced days and nights at the U.S. Open getting tennis stars ready to hit the court (and the after-parties).
Farel will host a pop-up salon at Arthur Ashe Stadium throughout the tournament, where he expects Rafael Nadal, among others, to stop in for a trim.
"I try to give them the competitive edge to shine on the court," he says. "It's about creating that power look and playing up the personality and energy of each player." For the ladies, Farel says a braid is the way to go. "It's a beautiful style, and it doesn't move," he says. "They don't have to worry about anything getting in their face when they're on the court."
For the guys, who Farel notes care about their hair just as much, it's a "South American look" that dominates, he says. "You look at Nadal, Federer, their hair has life to it."
Farel took us through some of the players' hottest looks, and told us how to get them for ourselves.
Rafael Nadal: Layered locks "I adore Nadal’s beautiful flowing locks," Farel says. "He always comes to see me every year to get his 'tournament trim.' His long locks are his signature style, which he will often pair with a bandana -- a great go-to hair accessory if you have long hair. I will never forget when he cut off his famous locks and initiated the trend of men with bangs. That was a great look for him."
Get the look: "If you want to get healthy-looking locks like Nadal’s, use my all-star product, Restore ($33)," Farel says. "You can do the treatment on yourself, but we also offer Restore treatments as an express service in my Manhattan salons."
Venus and Serena Williams: Intricate topknot and voluminous updo "Both are show-stopping looks that speak to their strength and power," Farel says. "You can see on their faces that they mean business and are ready to win."
Get the look: "Both looks require heavy-duty hair ties that will not break easily," Farel says. Another great product I often use on the players is my Vitamin Calm ($43) because it has Vitamin E to protect against harmful UV rays. It keeps the players' scalp and hair line protected during the games in the harsh heat and soothes dry, irritated and sunburnt scalps."
Roger Federer: A shiny and well-accessorized mane "Federer’s matching shirt and headband really make a statement on court," Farel says. "He’s also wearing red, which is a huge power color. He is ready to take on the world."
Get the look: "Federer recently cut his hair shorter, and I think he looks good," Farel says. "Some will disagree and miss his lengthier tresses. To get a healthy-looking mane like Federer’s, try using my hero product, Restore ($33), an anti-aging treatment that nourishes and hydrates the follicle, hair and scalp. This will keep your hair looking healthy all year round. Use it once a week and you are golden."
Jelena Jankovic: Sleek pony "Jelena’s sleek ponytail is very popular among many of the players because it’s super easy and stylish," Farel says. "While it’s a crowd favorite, I am going to try and get her to do something wild this year!"
Get the look: "To keep your hair in place like Jelena’s, and to prevent fly-aways, I recommend using my Flexible Gel ($23)," Farel says. "The gel also replenishes moisture to repair damage and revitalize the look and feel of your locks. A small amount goes a long way."
Novak Djokovic: Neat and groomed "Djokovic’s trim is perfect for the court, especially for long tournaments, because it’s short and super easy to manage," Farel says.
Get the look: "Ask your stylist for a clean-cut and sporty hairstyle next time you go to the salon," Farel says. "To maintain the look, I recommend getting a cut every three to four weeks. Djokovic’s trim is a great look if you just scored a new job and are looking for something a little more sophisticated, polished and professional."
Maria Kirilenko: Feminine braid "This look is classic, feminine and tres chic," Farel says. "We create a new version of the braid each year so that we incorporate high-fashion and street-savvy styles on the tennis court. This year, we’ve created a glamorous braided ponytail, a sleek, high pony with a tight-knit braid on top. I am excited to see who will be wearing this look on court at this year’s U.S. Open. Maybe it will be Maria!"
Get the look: "Maria’s version of the braid is supersoft and there isn’t a need for much product to keep her hair in place," Farel says. "She uses her visor to do that job. Her soft ponytail braid is an easy updo to master if you are running to grab casual drinks with a girlfriend."
Every year for the U.S. Open, Farel develops a new signature braid. This braided ponytail is the look we'll be seeing on the courts this time around. It's a polished high pony with a tight-knit braid on top.
Farel uses Restore, an anti-aging formula that revitalizes the hair, on the pros; $33 at Julien Farel salons in Manhattan.