This article was last updated on April 16, 2022
Leave it to Serena Williams to make her first post-baby red carpet appearance a verified grand slam. The tennis champion enlisted celebrity hairstylist Vernon François to sculpt her high, segmented ponytail at the Glamour Women of The Year Award s. And everyone’s jaw was on the floor.
“Serena’s Versace dress was the inspiration for this hairstyle,” François exclusively tells Refinery29. “With the gold detail and padded shoulders, the look needed to give face, so I was like, Ponytail it is! Snatching her hair up away from the face like this works well because it emphasizes the features.”
Photo: Taylor Hill/FilmMagic.
To prep her hair for styling, François spritzed it with his own Vernon François Mist~Nourishing Water, which happens to be nominated for a Refinery29 Beauty Innovator Award. He worked the Vernon François Leave~In Conditioner through her ends before blow drying her hair with a Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer and smoothing it with a GHD flatiron. “I kept it nice and simple, lightly blowing it out so you can still see her true texture in the hair,” he says.
After securing the hair in a high ponytail, François divided the tail into three sections with two gold hair barrettes from his kit. (You can find similar ones at ShopBop.) As a finishing touch, the stylist dusted Color Wow’s Root Cover Up along her hairline and laid her edges with Schwarzkopf’s Ultra Glued Invincible Styling Gel. He misted a light sheen of Paul Mitchell Express Style Worked Up hairspray over the length to give the pony some extra shine and wrapped a custom gold accessory around the base to complete the look. (Try gold wire to mimic the look.)
But what really made this look stand out was her maternal glow that no product can fake. “Her hair looks beautiful and healthy, having just had a baby, and she loved the look,” François says.
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