Flat and limp or oddly molded and frizzy, almost anyone’s hair looks like hell after a day on the slopes (or otherwise stuck under a hat). Jacqui Stafford appeals to the pros for help
Whether you’re risking limbs and pride haring down the blood-curdling Geronimo run at Big Bear, effortlessly cruising the gentle slopes of Cervinia in Italy, or negotiating the moguls of Buttermilk Mountain at Aspen, at some point, a mulled wine on the outdoor deck of a sun-drenched summit bar becomes wildly appealing. But here’s the rub: while you may have achieved the carefully orchestrated ‘didn’t-try-at-all-to-look-this-fabulous’ mix of snowboarding chic, once you’ve whipped off your Bula Earband or EMS snowflake boarder hat, you risk revealing a head of static-yet-limp, flyaway-yet-flat mop crushed underneath.
Wreaking havoc on ski slopes everywhere
Becky Hanrahan, a top stylist at the St. Regis Salon at the St. Regis Hotel in Aspen is more than used to seeing such hair catastrophes. “People come in here just off the slopes—still in their ski suits—and they want to go back out to socialize as soon as possible. I rub a leave-in conditioner into the hair to remove the static, and then use a small vent brush with big teeth to back-comb the roots.”
Kim Lépine sees all kinds of hat hair at her chic Madison Avenue salon; she even deals with it on shoots for the covers of glossies such as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and W. “The main problem with hat hair is static, which can be controlled immediately by adding moisture,” she says. “Stick your hand in the snow and dab it down the length of your hair.”
Limp and Fine
Adding volume is easy, says Lépine: “Take a small bottle of hairspray with you, and when you take off your hat, quickly turn your head upside down and spray just the roots.” Lépine’s No. 8 Spray Fixatif, Phytologie Medium Hold Botanical Hair Spray, or Les Coiffants Volumizing Treatment Spray Soft Hold from Rene Furterer are all near instant fixes that do, in fact, come in small, portable bottles.
Once volumized, Lépine like to dab a finishing serum on the ends. “It smoothes the cuticles and makes your hair look sleek,” says Lépine. Laminateur from Laurent D, Finish Stick Straight High Gloss Shine Serum from Graham Webb, Lépine’s Finisher No.9, and Paul Labrecque’s Replenish Cuticle Sealant are all perfect for polishing the hair, leaving it glossy and controlled.
“Flattened curly hair needs more moisture to re-form the curl,” says Jennifer Lawrence, senior stylist at the Louis Licari Salon, New York. “Apply a light gel to add some texture, then squeeze the curls to reactivate them.”
Fioravanti No Frizz Gel from Rene Furterer, smoothes even the most unruly hair, and Laurent D’s Defrizz
Relaxing Balm adds shine and defrizzes curls without weighing hair down. Phillip B.’s Drop Dead Straight Gel, despite its stated purpose, leaves curls with incredible texture.
Hanrahan brings curls back to life by using a spray-in detangler or a leave-in conditioner. John Sahag’s Moisturizer Detangle—as well as having the most incredible fragrance—makes a comb easily glide through stubborn knots, and the Light Spray Conditioner from Pantene is a miracle leave-in conditioner that won’t weigh the hair down.
“Never negotiate the slopes without a good spray-in sunscreen,” says Hanrahan. “At over 10,000 feet, a sunscreen is vital for the hair.”
For hair protection, Phyto Plage from Phytologie has wonderful conditioning and moisturizing properties, and Les Solaires Sun Protection Mousse from Rene Furterer has a protective solar filter and jojoba wax. After a day’s skiing, Les Solaires After Sun Repairing Mask from Rene Furterer, rich in sesame oil, is perfect to revitalize dry and damaged hair.
Two looks that sidestep the whole hat hair issue: last season’s Helen-Marden style braids, which are so last season, except when snow is involved; and the sleek, slicked back look from the Celine spring show in Paris. “This is ideal for fine hair and probably the easiest solution,” says Lawrence. Gomma Gel from Terax will set your hair all day, while the fabulous Shimmer Hair Gel from Bloom not only smells incredible, it’s ground zero for gleaming shine.
“Hair accessories like clips and bands are really useful to keep hair tidy,” says Lépine. “If your bangs are long enough, push them to one side and secure with a clip. Instant ski chic.” Hanrahan agrees. “Hair accessories are for the smart girl on the mountain. Use a decorative hair tie to pull your hair back off the face. It’s easy to remove, you look incredibly sexy when you pull it off and shake out your hair at the end of a hard day’s skiing.”•