7 years ago by


How does one achieve the effortless mess that is French hair? I come out of the shower positive my hair will work with me today, but the frizz starts too soon and the curls are out of control – especially in these cold, windy months to come. Blowdrying damp or sleeping on wet hair leaves me looking borderline homeless. I look to Lou Doillon or Jeanne Damas, the French queens of cool hair. I need my hair to lay wavy on the side of my face, but also be able to look model-off-duty while blowing in the cold, New York wind rather than looking like a shivering poodle.

So tell me, is it the shampoo? Is it the post-shower product or serums? Or should I take the time to style it? I know these gals were born cool, but I’m not stopping at any costs if one has a secret to attain undemanding locks. So someone send help, and fast. I can sense the frizz.

By Kat, intern at the Studio.


Add yours
  • Natalia Petro October, 26 2016, 3:58 / Reply

    Are you using enough conditioner/ hair oil? It helps to keep the end looking luscious and moisturised… I always sleep in a braid to have cool and messy waves but than again i have thick hair that’s in good condition…

  • i have very thick, kinda wavy, usually frizzy hair. i love the casually wavy look too but hate spending time on my hair in the morning and like you, going to bed with wet hair seems to keep the frizz away but also demolishes any volume. my hairdresser advised blowdrying my hair using a hairnet. this actually seems to work for me – i pile it all in, get it mostly dry, and when i take the net off, the hair has some bounce and life to it and seems markedly less frizzy.
    i do not let my boyfriend see me in the hairnet as i am certain that would be the end of all bedroom hotness.
    give it a shot!

  • fabienne October, 26 2016, 4:57 / Reply

    No hair dryer, no comb nothing in the morning ! Just out of bed and go…..meanwhile brushing hair before bed and using a bit of L’Oreal laque. No waist of time, no waist of money….

  • Aveda Smooth Infusion products! My hair is thick, curly, FRIZZY, coarse. And I live in Seattle! The Aveda “Smooth Infusion” stuff has made such a difference. I can even wear my hair down (not tacked up in a bun) on rainy, breezy days and No Frizz. A drop of coconut oil or Cristoph Robin’s Lavender Oil (ym) just before I go out the door in the morning keeps my hair smooth, flat and shiny all day long.

  • Il n’y a pas vraiment de “trucs” en fait. Tu te laves les cheveux, les séche à l’air libre si tu veux, ou au séche cheveux, tu te coiffes…la différence, je pense, est qu’il faut jouer avec ses cheveux toute la journée, les ébourrifer, y passer sa main…. Etre naturelle, bien dans sa peau, et donc, avec ses cheveux..(oui je pense sincérement me reconvertir dans le monde de la pub capillaire prochainement..haha)
    There aren’t “stuffs” or miracles actually. Wash your hair, dry it (with hair dryer or not), brush it…The difference is, I think, to have to play with your hair all the day, tousle it, pass your hand into it…To be natural, feel comfortable…That’s the secret! :)

    Bisous de Paris

  • En fait, il faut comprendre quelque chose de très simple, les cheveux sont beaux quand on leur fout la paix et qu’on laisse leur nature de cheveux s’exprimer (comme les humains finalement).
    Donc la quête capillaire ne doit pas se concentrer sur “comment avoir les cheveux de Lou Doillon” mais sur “quelle est la coupe parfaite pour la nature de mes cheveux”, et je ne crois pas qu’il existe une nature de cheveux qui n’aurait pas doit à sa coupe trop belle, la vraie difficulté est d’accepter ce qu’on a pas. Et après plus besoin de lissage de bouclage de brushage de tous ces trucs qui nous emmerde la vie le matin et quand y pleut et quand on danse et quand on veut se baigner et tout le temps en fait. Sérieusement, ça change la vie. Voilà.

  • coeur avec les mains !
    je suis 100% d’accord avec ce que tu dis !

  • Montse Orjales November, 7 2016, 4:41

    Décidément c’est parfaitement exprimé et j’en rêve de trouver la coupe adéquate et de ficher la paix à mes cheveux. ..mais je ne trouve pas cette coupe…

  • Hi! I only use the John Frieda Frizz Ease and no hair dryer. Let dry your hair “alone” during the day and that’s all!

  • I brush my hair at night before bed, and the next day: either I use my fingers to “brush” it or – If I wash it – I blowdry without a brush, and leave it a tinsy bit humid to leave it to dry.
    The main point with parisian hair: less is more

  • Forget about your hairdryer!

  • So I have thin-to-medium thick, naturally blonde, frizzy hair. I spent years straightening, curling, blow-drying, etc. I finally found the fool-proof way to avoid heat and to have nice-looking waves: I use Lush Seanik shampoo, followed by a very moisturising conditioner (right now, Davines Love, but I also like Dove Dry Oil Conditioner), and then when my hair is still wet, I use a dollop of serum and moisture cream (Dove Dry Oil and Davines Momo Cream) and then as soon as my hair dries, I use my fingers to massage in some dry shampoo (Batiste). The dry shampoo gives volume, and the serum and cream keep the ends shiny and piece-y. At night, I sleep in three very loose braids to keep the waves “pretty.” And voila!

  • That is still a mystery to me!


  • There is no miracle, as your hair is pretty unique!
    My hair likes a LOT of moisturizer/coconut oil mask. I should do a mask once a week (leave coconut oil overnight) and condition with every shampoo, 2/3 times a week max. I use a comb after my shower when my hair is still wet. And I don’t touch it until the next shampoo/shower!

    Be careful of your stress level and what you eat, I find that my hair is quite sensitive to that.
    Also – acceptance of how your hair is helps ;-)

  • I add sea salt and sleep on wet hair to get the coolest (possible for me) look. My hair is short, fine and wavy. And blow-drying doesn’t work, it adds 10 years to me instantly :/


  • I’m French and my hair never looks like that naturally (not even in Paris). But these girls have very thin hair, which is not my case (thin but A LOT of it). I live in Oslo now though and I get the same “French hair” effect by using “Anti snap” product by Redken, it’s anti frizz and it smoothes my hair, but it’s not heavy so my hair stays wavy anyway.

    For the waves, I guess you either have them or you don’t, just embrace your hair’s nature and let it live. You can also ask your hairdresser for a cut that will make it wavy.

  • You should add Louise Follain to your french-hair-goddess list! I just got my bangs just recently (yes, because of her and the two ladies you mentioned) and I’m quite impressed with how much work it is. My hair is super straight and fine, so I use OUAI’s texturizing spray and wave spray (they work wonders!). If you’re looking for a good hair oil, you should look for the Alterna Caviar Anti Aging hair oil. It’s quite pricy, but it’s the best hair oil I’ve ever tried! (Sephora does stock it).

    Good luck with your hair – I feel you!

  • two words: NEW WASH

  • Hear, hear!!! Hairstory all the way.

  • Après des années de recherche, voici ce qui fonctionne sur moi :
    – Brosser ses cheveux avant le shampoing, et jamais après
    – Une petite dose d’aloe vera : ça fait une sorte de gel naturel totalement invisible, qui ne désèche pas, et les aide à rester sans frisotis et ne pas prendre trop de volume
    – Bien sécher ses cheveux à la serviette, et les laisser à l’air libre. Je mets juste 2 petites pinces sur les côtés pour lisser légèrement les mèches autour du visage, et en même temps créer une ondulation au bon endroit (la partie tirée par la pince est plus lisse, et ça crée une petite vague à l’endroit de la pince)
    – Si il pleut un peu : une casquette ou un bonnet le temps qu’ils sèchent pour pas qu’ils frisottent
    – Si il y a beaucoup de vent : une tresse lâche le temps qu’ils sèchent pour pas qu’ils s’envolent dans tous les sens et triplent de volume

  • For me, there are three things that I found to work:

    1 – wash your hair in the morning and let it dry naturally, never blow dry because it creates the fuzz by drying your hair out
    2 – wash it with your usual shampoo, (i like Klorane with Cédrat ) then put some Christophe Robin crème lavante au citron all over your hair. There is a video on youtube on how to use it properly and it is a game changer!
    3 – put some Davines oi all in one milk that will make your hair soft and shiny and less fluffy in that cold weather

    Thats is my current haircare routine and my hair have never felt as french as it does now …

  • What kind of hair do you have? And do you put in the Davines oi when your hair is wet?

  • Hi Al! I have pretty thin hair, and an oily scalp, so I wash it every two days and use Klorane dry shampoo in between, which I find also makes my hair look pretty french-y. As for the Davines, yes, I put it in when my hair is still wet, and may also put it again when it dries up, just to give it some extra moisture and shinyness! Hope it helps!

  • Comme dit au-dessus, l’important c’est de ne pas se prendre la tête tous les matins, faire un rituel de coiffure simple et reproductible tous les jours, accepter sa nature de cheveux, et surtout trouver LA coiffure qui va bien non seulement à son visage mais aussi à sa nature de cheveux.
    Comme l’avait écrit Garance (parce qu’elle s’y connait bien en cheveux, je crois même qu’elle donne des consultations en privé ;)))) ), les Françaises telles que décrites (donc en vrai les Parisiennes) ne se prennent pas la tête avec leurs cheveux au quotidien (mais seulement en allant chez le coiffeur), les Américaines (donc en vrai les New Yorkaises et Californiennes ?) se prennent la tête. Vu de France les Américaines ne sont pas naturelles (niveau cheveux), et vu des USA les Françaises sont un faux naturel à atteindre. Bref la culture du cheveux est différente.

  • Allo Kat,

    Il faut que tes cheveux soient bien hydratés. La nuit avant de dormir il faudrait les humidifier très légèrement. Moi j’utilise un mélange d’eau de rose melangé avec un peu d’eau et du conditionner ou d’huile d’amande dans une bouteil qui peut spray. En suit j’attache mes cheveux en chignon au dessus de ma tête. Le lendemain je les dettachent et je les placent en utilisant mes doigts pour les démêler. Tu peux utiliser un peu de leave in conditionner pour calmer les frisoties. Morrocan oil en a des pas mal.

  • Well young lady, the different between your/my hair and these cool gals hair is that if they woke up and saw that frizz that’s looking like a “borderline homeless”, they will embrace the F out of it and that is a fact. it’s about your mind not your head, let’s you/me work on that.

    Ok… sure they have good locks to start with so, yea.

  • Je crois que ça dépend beaucoup de la coupe de cheveux. Il faut qu’elle soit un peu effilée pour que les cheveux bouclent légèrement. Personnellement mon petit secret, c’est de bien essorer mes cheveux, je répartis ensuite du surf spray et je laisse sécher à l’air ou à la rigueur avec un diffuseur.

  • My hair improved immensely by not washing it often and just protecting/moisturising it with some natural conditioner every now and then. I felt I hated products that leave a residue.. any sort of “texture” because I feel I need to wash my hair more often, which I feel messes with your hair’s condition. It look and feel great for a day, but already not anymore on the next which I can’t deal with cos, as you say, you want it effortless in the true sense of the word. So I look out for any texture-building ingredients. I include jojoba oil to this, which may just be something in my head :p, but there are other oils in what I use. I use this: Aqua, Cetearyl alcohol* (Vegetal), Cetearyl glucoside* (Vegetal), Cetyl alcohol*, Glycerin (Glycerol, non GMO), Lactid acid (Mjölksyra), Helianthus annuus seed oil (Solrosolja), Tocopherol (E-vitamin), Persea gratissima oil (avocado, feels ok and don’t anymore feel like buying any new product.

  • i cosign with passant… i wake up practically every day with a head full of frizz, but hey that’s my hair texture and i love the hell out of it.

    embrace what you’ve got and stop trying to make your hair look like the mythical perfect French creature’s mane. my advice to you is to stop working against your hair texture. effortless hair has no nationality and the best way to ensure your hair looks great, especially if you have curl or wave (and I have corkscrew curls) is to wash only when necessary, condition adequately, rinse with cold water to close the cuticle, and moisturize effectively. don’t pile on tons of styling products either – it causes you to wash more. the more curl you have, the less likely the oil from your scalp is to make it to the ends of your hair shaft, so use an oil (argan, sweet almond, sunflower, coconut, whatever floats your boat) on your ends to keep moisture in. pile your hair on top of your head or braid it up at night and sleep on something that doesn’t snag your hair like a silk or satin pillowcase. Voila! Le cheveux parfait.

  • Je crois que les françaises ne se prennent surtout pas trop la tête. C’est marrant comment les gens des autres pays nous voient. Mais en fait, tu prends ta douche, tu sèches un peu tes cheveux (histoire de pas attraper un rhume) un coup de brosse ou avec la main histoire de les dresser un poil et basta ! C’est bon :)

    Vraiment, il faut se détendre de la fibre capillaire :)

  • My hairdresser always asks me what I want ; straight or wavy before she applies anything .. she uses a certain kind of product needed to get the best results. So I guess it’s not the shampoo, they are merely used to keep the color longer fresh and shiny. I’m pretty sure it’s that particular kind of serum/oil she uses just before she starts blowdrying, straightening or making waves.
    It definitely works for me as I can keep my style for at least 5 days in a row. If you want, I’ll ask her for specifics and brands.

  • I agree with a lot of the ladies here, don’t fight your texture! I have mid-length wavy and frizzy hair. I wash it with a co-wash (super moisturizing conditioning) shampoo and conditioner for curly hair. I apply John Frieda Frizz-ease serum and let air dry. Blow dryers create frizz and sleeping on wet hair is a disaster. As it dries, I spritz some Living Proof anti-frizz styling spray in there and it makes the most wonderful curls. Then…I try and stretch that do for as long as I can with dry shampoo before I do it all over again.

  • After years of never being able to have my hair down, I recently discovered the “formula” that works for me:

    1. Davines shampoo and conditioner. Love or Oi.
    2. Haircut- tell your styles to point cut the ends, slice thin layers even in between to create texture and decrease bulk. And concentrate in bulky areas.
    Then wear it wild and don’t worry about it. Life is too short.

  • It is best to use a good shampoo and then if possible do not dry the hair with the dryer and if you have more remedy, use the dryer but to the minimum of your pontencia.

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