Last Sunday, all eyes were on Caroline Wozniacki, the powerhouse Danish tennis player, as she squared off against Serena Williams in the final match of the U.S. Open. (Williams won, and the close friends celebrated that night with selfies and drinks.) This week, the 24-year-old blonde got a chance to play the spectator, sitting in the equivalent of courtside seats at the spring shows. To anyone familiar with her tournament style—smartly tailored ensembles by Stella McCartney for Adidas (she has served as a brand ambassador since 2009), paired with a classic braid—her interest in fashion and beauty comes as little surprise. And so it was that, following the Michael Kors show yesterday, she made a beeline for Serge Normant’s downtown salon in search of a fresh cut.
The crisp early fall air seemed reason enough for a change—or perhaps it was the parade of plaited models at Kors that helped spur Wozniacki into action: Two weeks ago at the U.S. Open, her long braid got caught mid-match around the grip of her tennis racket, costing her a point. (“Hair trouble!” read her Instagram caption.) Now, nestled into the salon chair, she was entrusting her mane to Serge Normant, the French superstylist behind Sarah Jessica Parker and Julia Roberts’s signature waves.
“You have a great head of hair! It’s really healthy,” Normant said, fluffing out the strands that cascaded over her shoulders. No need to lose too much length, they both agreed. “I definitely want to be able to put it up in a ponytail. Otherwise it’s going to be a mess whenever I play,” Wozniacki added. They settled on going a few inches shorter and fine-tuning the shape with long, softly textured layers, for a look that has “more structure, more edge—a bit of sophistication without being harsh,” the stylist explained. After making the baseline cut in a few decisive snips, he set about layering, working section by section with precision.
Halfway through, it was decision time once again; to highlight, or not to highlight? Wozniacki offered up a confession: Back in March, in a moment of Rihanna-induced color envy, she fearlessly dyed her hair red at home only to discover that it faded all too quickly to an undesirable pink. “My ideas in the past haven’t always turned out great, so I might just go with his!” she said good-naturedly of Normant’s prescription—which included a sprinkling of sun-kissed, “baby blonde” highlights (painted balayage-style by colorist Gina Gilbert), to give dimension and flatter the face. “The brighter, the better,” he said.
Another hour and a polished blowout later, the finished look earned the tennis star’s praise. “I like it! It’s fun; it’s young. And I guess now my hair won’t get stuck in the racket!” she said. The lightweight cut should also be easier to style, she added. Good thing, because she’ll need the extra time. After flying to Tokyo today, where she’ll embark on a series of tournaments in Asia, she plans to ramp up her ongoing training for her first-ever running race, which just so happens to be the New York City Marathon in November. She’s raising money for Team for Kids, an organization that helps start running clubs and introduce healthy habits to children. “I’m a very spontaneous person,” she explained of the spur-of-the-moment decision to sign up this past June, which—much like her sudden hair transformation—was promptly put into action. As Wozniacki says with a laugh, “When I get an idea, this is what happens!”
Serge Normant, 147-149 Grand Street and 30 E. 76th Street, New York City; sergenormant.com
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