October 26, 2021

How To Get French Girl Hair

This is how French women achieve that effortless look.

The French have long been lauded for their effortless beauty. Their hair is so coveted that the term ‘French-girl hair’ has been coined to describe the perfectly undone Parisian approach. Virginie Gayssot, the head of education and talent manager at French salon Franck Provost, told Gritty Pretty French-girl hair is encapsulated in the French phrase je ne sais quoi—it has a certain quality that you can’t quite put your finger on. “I would say that it’s more of an approach, it’s chic, it’s natural, polished yet far from perfect and it is never too done,” says Gayssot. 

Musician Lou Doillon, French makeup artist Violette Serrat and model Jeanne Damas all have that quintessential French-girl style. Sweeping curtain bangs combined with a tousled wave that looks equal parts slept-in and refined. “I think the appeal is that it is subtle yet sexy, effortless yet elegant. It’s also fuss-free and never too done or perfect. French girls prefer an undone aesthetic that never looks like they have tried too hard. This relaxed approach is easy to pull off and works on any hair type.”

Movement through the hair is the secret—the French hardly ever wear their hair straight. “We love movement and bounce, so we tend to use less product and hair tools and rarely straighten our hair. I think the approach can be summed up as less is always more.” 

To recreate the look at home, Gayssot suggests working with second-day hair. “What works well is the “I woke up like this” style: add a bit of sea salt spray (or volume powder) to bring back some waves.” Those who want to create extra movement can use a hair straightener to create a bend in the hair. Avoid creating waves that are too symmetrical or polished as this takes away from that lived-in look. 

If you want to channel your inner Parisian but have freshly washed tresses—oh non!—Gayssot recommends a good quality dry shampoo to add a little bit of grittiness and texture. “I like to brush the dry shampoo out, flip my head over and finish with a light mist of hairspray et voila—French-girl hair!” You can then go in with a hair tool to add some additional waves, s’il vous plaît

For those with curly or coily hair, scrunch a curl cream into dry hair to emphasize your natural texture—look for one with hydrating ingredients if the hair is particularly dry. You can also spritz the hair with a curl refresher to maintain the look throughout the day. “Honestly, the less you do the better!” insists Gayssot. “We tend to wash our hair less (every third day) and focus more on the quality and health of our hair.” 

Here, we’ve pulled together some of our favourite stylish French-girl hair moments for you to try at home. Amour!

Musician Lou Doillon, French makeup artist Violette Serrat and model Jeanne Damas all have that quintessential French-girl style. Sweeping curtain bangs combined with a tousled wave that looks equal parts slept-in and refined. “I think the appeal is that it is subtle yet sexy, effortless yet elegant. It’s also fuss-free and never too done or perfect. French girls prefer an undone aesthetic that never looks like they have tried too hard. This relaxed approach is easy to pull off and works on any hair type.”

Movement through the hair is the secret—the French hardly ever wear their hair straight. “We love movement and bounce, so we tend to use less product and hair tools and rarely straighten our hair. I think the approach can be summed up as less is always more.” 

To recreate the look at home, Gayssot suggests working with second-day hair. “What works well is the “I woke up like this” style: add a bit of sea salt spray (or volume powder) to bring back some waves.” Those who want to create extra movement can use a hair straightener to create a bend in the hair. Avoid creating waves that are too symmetrical or polished as this takes away from that lived-in look. 

If you want to channel your inner Parisian but have freshly washed tresses—oh non!—Gayssot recommends a good quality dry shampoo to add a little bit of grittiness and texture. “I like to brush the dry shampoo out, flip my head over and finish with a light mist of hairspray et voila—French-girl hair!” You can then go in with a hair tool to add some additional waves, s’il vous plaît

For those with curly or coily hair, scrunch a curl cream into dry hair to emphasize your natural texture—look for one with hydrating ingredients if the hair is particularly dry. You can also spritz the hair with a curl refresher to maintain the look throughout the day. “Honestly, the less you do the better!” insists Gayssot. “We tend to wash our hair less (every third day) and focus more on the quality and health of our hair.” 

Here, we’ve pulled together some of our favourite stylish French-girl hair moments for you to try at home. Amour!

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