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Celeb Hair Expert Serge Normant’s Top Tips for Travelers

By S.S. Fair


We’ve all heard the expression "hairstylist to the stars" a million times, but sometimes it’s a precise definition. Serge Normant is the real deal—hairstylist to Julia, Reese, Gisele, and other luminaries with whom he’s on a first-name basis. Who better to ask about keeping your hair from flying east when you’re headed west, or exploding in a heap of frizz as you embark and disembark here and there? All the usual suspects conspire to make bad hair days a permanent condition of travel: dry, oxygen-starved air inside the plane, snoozing on a neck rest out of boredom, and no one like Serge Normant on an aisle seat to freshen you up as you start to droop. Here are some of his best bits of wisdom to keep your mane perky on the plane.

"You know dry shampoo is not only a temporary fix when you haven’t got time for a wet shampoo, it’s actually a styling aid. Take a travel-sized bottle with you and spray the dry shampoo on your roots, or anywhere your hair goes flat. Wait a minute or two and use a good brush, like Mason Pearson, or a tail comb—a comb with a long spike at the end—to fluff up your hair and give it some volume. Hair spray is not a must if you use dry shampoo.

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Everyone can do a pony tail when your hair is long enough: twist and snap on a rubber band, or put it up in a messy bun. Don’t underestimate how sexy and chic a messy bun is, especially a homemade one, gathered loosely with pins. If your hair is very long you can do a loose pony tail for the plane and then let your hair down when you arrive. You hair will have some wave to it.

If you have short curly hair, try a hairband, and go for different textures: smooth out the hair in front with a little water or pomade, and put on the hairband and let the rest curl. With really frizzy hair I would use a texturizer and water. Carry some Evian spray or bottled water and apply to the front and sides. Be careful that you don’t use a hairband that’s too silky; otherwise use some hairspray on the inside of the band to keep it from sliding. A hairband with a rougher texture, like suede, is perfect. Don’t forget your sideburns, push them back to make clean sweep in the front. Place the hairband not too far in front, and not too much toward the back.

If there’s one item to take with you to another country, take shampoo. Even if the water and the climate is different, your hair "remembers" how to react to your favorite shampoo. And a cold water rinse does wonders for your hair and scalp. It’s important to have sunscreen products for your hair too. There are hair sprays with UV protection that come travel ready. Also, experiment with skin care products with a good SPF factor; you can apply them to the part in your hair, or anywhere hair is thin. Some are lightweight and non-greasy so they won’t weight your hair down.

The bottom line is a good shampoo, a great brush, and a greater haircut will keep your hair looking good wherever you are."

Photo credits: Woman shampooing via Shutterstock

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