Female flight attendant closing the overhead luggage compartment.

It’s no secret that flying can do a number on your hair. Changing environments, dry air, and long periods of travel can expose your locks to all sorts of stressors. And yet flight attendants greet you with their sleek hairdos, not a tutchang out of place. Behind iconic flight attendant hairstyles are a few tricks that help keep their tresses in place at 30,000 feet. Here are their dos and don’ts.

Grooming Rules for Female Attendants

Airline companies implement strict guidelines for uniforms, good grooming, and flight attendant hairstyles. They put newly recruited FAs on “glam” training, which includes a hair and makeup class. While every airline has a different standard, many impose these restrictions:

  • Must have natural-looking hair color, like black, brown, and red.
  • The hair must not cover the face.
  • The hair must appear clean, healthy, and well-maintained.
  • Hair accessories must match the hair shade.

These rules make the FAs look professional, competent, and approachable. According to research, people are . So, as intense as these rules seem, they help the cabin crew members perform their duties better and put passengers at ease.

Acceptable Hairstyles for Flight Attendants

Have you ever seen a flight attendant with or bubble braids? While these cutesy hairdos are fun, they are not acceptable flight attendant hairstyles. Overall, their look should be neat and not distracting. Short hair should be worn down with the bangs pinned back. Meanwhile, long hair must be styled in one of these hairdos.

A classic bun is an easy way to keep hair in place.

Every airline company has their own version of the flight attendant bun. The timeless hairstyle suits all face shapes and can fit into a hairpiece like a or a cap, and most consider it the best hairstyle for flight attendants because of its neatness and practicality. The bun is also a good hairstyle to wear on your flight attendant interview! It comes in many variations, too. , chignons, and low buns are the most popular for female in-flight crews.

You’ll need more than just a hair tie to create a bun that won’t budge all day. Use lots of bobby pins or French pins (the U-shaped kind) to tuck it in. First, do a low ponytail and tie it with a band. Twist or braid the tail and wrap it around until it forms a roll. Secure it with another hair band and put in the pins.

A French twist is a more elegant alternative.

Although it looks intimidating, the French twist hairstyle is the quickest way to look polished. Its signature detail is volume at the crown of the head, which also makes it look regal. To replicate this flight attendant hairstyle, sweep all your hair to one side, twist, and lift the tail as if you’re getting ready to put it in a . Secure the twisted section with bobby pins. Tuck the ends in with more pins until no hairs are left sticking out.

Braids add fun – and longevity – to an updo.

Flight attendants like adding flair to classic updos with braids. There are many styles to try, from double Dutch braids and low French plaits to a fishtail braid chignon. As long as the braids are simple and understated, airline companies give them a thumbs up.

A sleek ponytail is practical and approachable.

Yes, even flight attendants occasionally put their hair in a ponytail when they’re short on time. The big difference? Their ponytails are polished with a and two hair ties. 

To achieve the look, divide your hair into two horizontal sections, like you’re creating a half-pony. Secure the upper part with a clip while you put the lower part into a tight ponytail. Next, create a second ponytail with the upper section, making sure the two are as close to each other as possible. Finally, take a section of hair from the lower bun and wrap it around the two ponytails to create a sleek, band-free look. Secure the ends with bobby pins.

Hair Styling Tips for Chic Flight Attendant Hairstyles

Even if you’re not boarding a plane, these tips will come in handy the next time you have a or office gathering to attend. Your hair will look stunning after all the dancing and chatter, people will wonder where you got your hair done!

1. Use serum to style your hair.

Planes use pressurized air to keep the cabin pressure at a comfortable level. One minor but inconvenient downside? The significant drop in humidity and scalp. Using hairspray or styling gel to style your hair can leave dandruff-like flakes on your locks. They can also contain alcohol, which promotes further dryness.

Instead, apply a small amount of hair serum to boost shine and make your tresses more manageable. Use TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Shine Serum, which tames , detangles knots, protects the strands from heat, and smooths your locks. It’s an all-around in-flight and on-ground essential.

2. Use dark eyeshadow to fill in an exposed scalp.

Tight flight attendant hairstyles can pull at the scalp and cause . However, even everyday wear and tear can make your hair part more obvious. If you’re worried about showing too much scalp, camouflage it with an eyeshadow closest to your hair shade. Using a dense brush, tap the eyeshadow onto any spot you want to cover up. Don’t forget to blend!

Meanwhile, to prevent further hair fall, invest in hair maintenance products that nourish the follicles and strengthen the hair shaft. Cream Silk Triple Keratin Rescue Ultimate Hair Fall Defiance Treatment Shot is a budget-friendly option with 3x keratin and 10x hair fall protection. Plus, its compact packaging can fit any bag.

3. Hair accessories are your besties.

There’s no shame in using tools and accessories to make hair styling less of an arm workout. Even senior flight attendants use multiple gadgets to achieve their hairdos in a jiffy and keep them intact.

Be adventurous and experiment with accessories to create the best hairstyle for you. Bobby pins are must-haves – if you don’t have a whole army of them, you’re missing out. Try tools like the donut to help you create a hair bun. Check out French pins, which work better for thicker hair, or a puff maker to add volume at the top of the head.

4. Get regular trims.

make your hair look and feel drab. They’re also not the easiest to work with because you’ll have to deal with two different textures. Getting a trim removes damaged hair and prevents it from growing in weird, uneven layers. If you want to keep the length, ask the hairdresser for a micro trim, which involves snipping off only a few millimeters from your ends. Do this once every two months to encourage healthy hair growth!

5. Wash your hair every four days.

Skipping wash day is helpful for cabin crew – and anyone working in a low-humidity environment – because the extra sebum protects the strands from dryness. Unless you have oily hair, wash only every four days. Doing so will help you achieve sleek flight attendant hairstyles with ease. Refresh the hair with a little dry shampoo when it gets too greasy and limp. Brush the hair to distribute the formula and oil from the scalp to the ends.

Ready to touch down with poise? Try these flight attendant hairstyles and tips to look your best, no matter the altitude.