Virgin Diaries :: Airtight Hair

virgin atlantic travel hair techniques[trip style = any]

{Editor's Note: Virgin Atlantic’s got the market cornered on runway-ready beauty (pun intended). Intent to find out how flight attendants look hot on high, I flew to London to attend their grooming school, a three-pronged skin, makeup and hair course EVERY uniformed staff—guys and gals—goes through when they sign up, up and away with Branson’s birds.}

Following this week's Virgin Diaries in Sky-High Skincare and Inflight Makeup, the final leg of our journey achieves lift for airtight hair, before touching down on solid ground.

Airtight Hair virgin sky hair techniques During Virgin's hair demo, everyone attending the class stood in awe as Helen Kavanagh, Virgin's Grooming Standards Hair Manager, teased, pinned and wound the crew member/model's golden tresses into red carpet territory. Whether she was doing a french twist, voluminous bun or pouffy pleat, each hairstyle clocked in at six minutes flat---six minutes for a gala-coiffed updo! To say she left me in shock and awe is a huge understatement.

virgin atlantic updo

Once the demo was over, Helen styled my locks into a pouffy, side-swept do a la Mad Men era. All it took was a little backcombing basics and haircare essentials like bobby pins, spongy hair donuts {Helen is holding one above} and L'Oreal Elnett hairspray to achieve six-minute liftoff.

To get the look, Helen backcombed the top of my tresses, smoothed it over with a brush and secured it with a low, side pony, which she flipped over and weaved through a part just above the elastic. Leaving a few strands out to wrap around and cover the elastic, she wound my ponytail from the bottom up around a squished donut, fanned the hair over it, then pinned it to my head.

Virgin’s Airtight Hair Tips virgin atlantic hair 1/ According to my class and the Virgin manual above, you MUST secure the essential ingredients; a teasing brush, L'Oreal Elnett Hairspray, dry shampoo, suzon hair pins or large bobby pins, non-tear hair elastics and a mesh donut. 2/ A little teasing goes a long way for mile-high hair. 3/ Ladies, wearing your hair up inflight means it won't get messy and dishevelled for landing. 4/ To give it some va-va-va-room before landing, re-tease and spray over flyaways.

Recalling my skin and makeup sessions, I gleaned the grooming day's theme wasn't about spending hours on my roaming routine, but learning the travel beauty basics, plus the best products for the job. Now, every time I fly, I operate by this mantra: WWAVCMD {what would a Virgin crew member do}?

Virgin Atlantic Inflight Beauty Tricks

Trip Styler Tip :: As we mentioned late in 2011, Virgin’s birds are flying West {again} this summer. Starting May 14th, a seasonal non-stop service takes flight from Vancouver to London {return}. Yay!

[photos by @tripstyler (as well as one from Virgin's crew grooming mag) taken when I was a guest of Virgin Atlantic in London]