Tennis Anyone? All About the Hair…

Julien Farel and Wawrinka

Full disclosure, ethical muse is all about the hair. A good hair day or a great blow-out always leave us with a spring in our step. We also love tennis. What do these two things have in common? Julien Farel.

A month ago, the US Open was in full swing. Ball placement, number of aces, speed of serve, brand of racket and clothing are all facets of this spectator sport. Or, perhaps your focus is on Djokovic’s two-handed backhand or Serena’s serve. Whether court-side or watching from the comfort of your living room, have you ever considered the hairstyles of these top-seeded players? We were intrigued to learn that for the past decade Julien Farel has been the official hairstylist for the US Open. With over 30 years experience in the hair industry, he has styled CEO’s, celebrities…and tennis icons. Let’s learn a little bit more about how two of our favorite subjects come together in this week’s post… 

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How did the idea for a US Open pop up hair salon for the players come about? My first exposure to hairstyling at tennis tournaments started in Paris while working at the French Open. After opening my salon in NYC, I knew I wanted to be the Hairstylist to US Open tennis players because it is an event that aligns with everything I believe in – commitment to hard work, excellence, and the competitive spirit. It also made sense from a strategic point of view to add a new facet of fitness and wellness to the brand. And, I love tennis!

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What services does JF offer at the Arthur Ashe Stadium? We offer haircuts, blowouts, braiding, male grooming, gel manicures, YSL manicures, pedicures, mini-facials from Natura Bisse, and this year we added YSL lip bar.

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Describe what a normal day is like for JF Salon during the US Open During the US Open we service, on average, about 50 appointments per day. The highlights include Novak Djokovic dropping by to make an appointment literally minutes before his match, Flavia Pennetta coming in for a haircut and manicure, Boris Becker coming in for a shave and Stan Wawrinka getting a haircut.

Why do you think it is important to offer your service to the players? The US Open is one of the world’s most prestigious sporting events and it comes with lot at stake that people outside of tennis don’t think about– rankings, prize money, sponsorship deals. I see my job as providing the players one less thing to worry about so they focus on what’s most important – competing at their personal best!

The ethical muse duo always feels great once we’ve had our hair done. This usually involves a typical blow-out, but we don’t recall ever seeing the ladies on the court with this classic look. What is their preferred hair style? Mary Jo Fernandez always blows out her hair after competing and before going on air. But you’re right, normally before a match, they prefer a braided ponytail.

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We can’t forget the gentlemen. What do they prefer? Haircuts that keep hair out of their eyes! We have also done a lot of grooming so that men can sport a tailored scruff.

A lot of players go through a ritual while on the court (bounce the ball twice before a toss, get three balls and throw away one etc.). Do any players have a “ritual” of always getting their hair done?  Yes, we normally see Rafa in the chair in Manhattan along with Bethanie Mattek Sands.

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Are there particular products that you recommend for any of the players? Since all of the players are in the sun a lot, we use Calm Elixir on their scalp to alleviate itchy and sunburnt scalp. It’s also great for people who color their hair at home to soothe a sensitive scalp.

We believe no chemicals are allowed at the Arthur Ashe stadium due to security reasons. ethical muse is a huge advocate for natural, chemical-free products. Does JF carry such products? That is correct, the USTA does not allow use of chemicals on players but we are allowed to use our line of anti-aging hair care and hair treatments on the players because the line is based on the science of skincare applied to the scalp and hair. Some natural shampoos contain natural surfactants that are not strong enough to clean. We use a combination of natural bio-actives to bring down the use of synthetic chemicals to treat the scalp because we prioritize safety and efficacy in our products. Also, we use second-generation sulfates derived from coconuts, which are milder than typical sulfates due to the fatty acids. Julien Farel Haircare is about efficacy and safety because, after all, the scalp is the hair factory!

What hair care product should we not live without? Definitely Restore Hair Treatment. It’s a 3-in-1 hair treatment to cleanse, treat and condition your hair and scalp in just one simple step. Restore comes with an applicator tip to apply directly to the scalp. You massage it in to bring some microcirculation to the scalp and then add water to create a creamy texture. Restore doesn’t lather. It treats your hair and scalp with key anti-aging ingredients. After you rinse, you’ll see that your hair will feel naturally voluminous and silky.

It replaces shampoo and conditioner on the day of use so it’s one step to cleanse, condition and treat your hair. You can use it every other time you shampoo.

Best go-to hairstyle for a bad hair day Hat or ponytail.

Myth or Fact – a woman should go lighter with her hair color the older she gets? Myth! Depends on the skin tone.

Tell us a bit about your anti-aging hair care line Julien Farel Haircare is the Science of Hair with a mission to create the most innovative haircare products. We utilize 30 bioactives and 6 propriety compounds to elevate the performance of haircare. Marrying skincare technology with proven skincare ingredients is the bedrock of our haircare technology to strengthen, deeply hydrate and improve hair texture over time. Most importantly, our breakthrough technology, Anti-Aging Balance (A2B) Technology ensures the speedy delivery of vital bioactives to the scalp and hair.

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Why did you decide to become a hair stylist? I was obsessed with hair from an early age…and I love architecture. As a hairstylist and haircare creator, it combines my passion for the art and science of hair.