FRENCH WOMEN NEVER HAVE BAD HAIR DAYS—HERE'S WHY
We're not the only ones head-over-heels for French women and their seriously enviable hair. Tina Kunakey, Éléonore Léo Jeanne, Jeanne Damas, Sabina Socol, and Sharon Alexie - E., to name a few - have captured our hearts with their magical manes. Recently, while doing research for a story on hairstylists, I discovered that many of them referenced French women when discussing hair trends and forecast.
But what exactly is the said je ne sais quoi, and why are we perpetually in awe of (and annoyance with) French women who never seem to have a bad hair day? I wanted to find out for myself, so I interviewed some of the best Paris-based hairstylists.
To begin with, French women don't concern themselves with the chance of having a bad hair day. Does less worry breed better hair? Maybe they're on to something. Below are 10 reasons French women always have gorgeous hair, along with some tips on how you can achieve the same.
1. They're Less Picky About Their Hair
French hairstylist and colorist Laurie Zanoletti begins by saying, "I think that the American girls are more picky about their hair than the Frenchies." Compared to Americans, French routines are much more on-point and painstaking. As Frenchman, we instead prefer a light undone-done look."
However, as fellow French hairstylist Olivier de Vriendt points out, "French women love 'natural and free hair', but that 'undone' look still has to be cleverly styled. It's all about natural and glamorous elegance."
2. Their Haircare Is Similar to Their Skincare
According to de Vriendt, "French women love treatments—masks, lightweight oils, and serums—to care for their hair as they do for their skin. They want to look natural and feel beautiful."
According to Zanoletti, French women focus on different types of haircare product such as beach sprays and lightweight oils. Additionally, they might use styling tools like a straightener or curling iron to achieve the look of "perfect, natural, and chic texture."
The Beach Spray
Enchanted Island Salt Spray
Pardon Our Interruption
The Flat Iron
Single Pass Luxe 1” Ionic Straightening & Styling Flat Iron
3. They Don't Touch Products That "Freeze" the Hair
Hairspray is one product that de Vriendt and Zanoletti mentioned that French women stay away from.
De Vriendt confirms that French women rarely use strong hairsprays and fixing products to freeze their hairstyle. Zanoletti says this type of spray is also not common among French women, who want a more relaxed look. She laughs and says, "Many French women don't really know what type of spray to get or how much to put in! We keep it simple!"
4. You Probably Won't Catch Them Wearing Extensions or Wigs
In the U.S., it seems like everyone is sporting clip-ins in their hair; however, this trend is not as popular in France. According to Zanoletti, French women tend to prefer a more natural look and feel to their hair, which clip-ins may go against. Additionally, there is less knowledge about how to apply or use them effectively among the general population.
5. They Prioritize Volume-Enhancing Hair Products
For French women with thin hair, both Zanoletti and de Vriendt recommend using less product to formulas that will embrace their natural volume while still working well with their thin texture. The goal is not about changing the look of the hair; it's already magical!
"I have a specific routine I follow to create volume in my thin hair," says Zanoletti. "First, I use a volumizing shampoo on my roots and scalp. Once applied, I dry my hair upside down to maximum the amount of lift at the base. Finally, I finish by using a texture spray for definition and hold."
If you're not a fan of texture sprays, don't worry–dry shampoo can do the trick just as well. "The key to unlocking secret volume for fine hair is to work with the naturaltexture," De Vriendt says. "You can also use a tool like Steam pod 3.0 from L’Oreal professional."
This amazing heat styling tool works brilliantly for all hair thicknesses and textures, by the way.
6. They Love Their Flat Irons
Styling Cream Touchable Curl Definer
In recent years, flat irons have regained popularity in the United States due to celebrities like the Kardashians and Hadids sporting sleek, pin-straight hair. However, for a while curling irons and wands were more popular among Americans in terms of styling. In other words, flat irons are the go-to styling tool for French women—no matter their hair texture or thickness.
As stated previously, both Zanoletti and de Vriendt love using this tool to create volume for French women with fine hair. It's also a great choice for women with thick hair as it can help control frizz when you're Styling big, beautiful locks.
"If you have thicker hair, I recommend applying a cream or oil to it before you style it," says Zanoletti. "This will help give your strands some discipline. Then, use a straightener to tame the volume."
Mini Straightening Iron with Travel Pouch
7. But They Know When to Air Dry
In other words, French women with curly hair know that to make their waves and coils look amazing, they should let them air-dry naturally. They might use a diffuser occasionally, but according to Zanoletti, it's usually best to let nature do its work and just help the process along with a few key product formulas.
"To style curly hair, start by washing the curls and adding a cream or oil spray," Zanoletti says. "Let your hair air dry without any heat tools to make it as natural as possible or use a diffuser if necessary. For Frenchies, I like to twist each strand of hair individually and using wave spray."
Curl Charisma Rice Amino + Avocado Hydrating Shampoo
Jojoba Oil Hair Serum
8. Healthy Hair Is More Important Than Anything Else
Handy Mixture Nylon & Boar Bristle Hair Brush
According to French hairstylist Harold James, "French women are very focused on the quality of the products they use. The most important factor for them is that their hair is healthy. On the other hand, my American clients want their hair to look healthy. A great brush is one of their favorite hair products as it helps leave their hair shiny and bouncy, in addition to things like silicone-free shampoo, a conditioner, a dry shampoo, and a dry oil."
9. They Go To Bed With Their Hair Wet
Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk
James shares that, contrary to popular belief, sleeping with wet hair is the best way to achieve French bedhead. According to James, all you need is some dry shampoo in the morning. Additionally, "French women with thin hair are addicted to their dry shampoo to create some volume and texture." Consequently, if you want natural tousledtexture and body like a French woman's then wash your before!
10. When In Doubt, They Bun-Up
"To style thick hair, I often emulate famous actress Brigitte Bardot's messy bun look by leaving a few small pieces of hair out," Zanoletti shares.
The Original Traceless Hair Ring