Here is your ultimate guide to getting French girl hair! If you’ve always wanted to get that low-key yet chic hair, I’ve got you covered. Being French, in today’s post, I’ve compiled a list of the best tips for getting effortless French girl hair, plus all the haircare products French women are utterly devoted to. Keep scrolling below to find out the secret to French-girl hair.
1. Wash your hair twice a week
First, the French avoid washing their hair every day as excessive washing thins the hair and irritates the scalp. Also, it’s not worth doing so as it’s usually on the following day hair is the best kind of hair: clumpy, thick, and undone.
Instead, wash your hair up to twice a week. If your hair tends to be oily very quickly, I recommend using a dry shampoo between two shampoos —I love Klorane dry shampoo with oat milk. Also, instead of using your usual shampoo, opt for an exfoliating shampoo like Christophe Robin’s cleaning purifying scrub to detox your scalp once a week.
There are a few French shampoos that work wonder and that I highly recommend:
- Klorane Softening Shampoo with Oat Milk —for all hair types.
- Christophe Robin Cleansing & Volumizing Paste —ideal for fine or thinning hair.
- Leonor Greyl Crème Moelle de Bambou —for long, dry, thick, or frizzy hair.
- Kérastase Resistance Shampoo —for damaged hair.
- Kérastase Blond Absolu Hydrating Illuminating Shampoo —for cool-blonde, bleached, or grey hair.
- Christophe Robin’s Cleaning Purifying Scrub —for anyone with any scalp concerns, such as dandruff or excess oil.
For more details, see my previous post on the cult-favorite French hair care products the French adore.
2. Avoid silicones in hair products
Silicones are commonly used in shampoos, conditioners, and styling hair products. They create a conditioning effect by forming a film around the hair to make it artificially soft and shiny without providing any real treatment.
Over time, silicones can build up on your hair, resulting in a dry feel and dull appearance. The occlusive effect of silicones also tends to prevent the scalp from “breathing”, meaning it quickly becomes oily while hair becomes lifeless.
That is why French women tend to choose gentler, natural-based products free of silicones to treat their hair. I highly recommend the two French haircare brands Leonor Greyl and Christophe Robin that keep silicones away from their formulas.
3. Use a little bit of conditioner
French women generally follow their shampoo with a little bit of conditioner on the length but never on the roots. Using less conditioner will make a huge difference in texture and movement.
There are two conditioners that I highly recommend, depending on your hair type:
- Christophe Robin Volumizing Conditioner —for fine, color-treated, or natural hair.
- Masque Fleurs de Jasmin Nourishing Hair Mask —for dry, thin, or limp hair.
4. Treat your hair once a week
French women know how important it is to take care of their hair. Once a week, they treat their hair by using masks and hair oils to achieve gorgeous texture.
There are a few hair treatments that I highly recommend:
- Leonor Greyl Paris Sérum de Soie Sublimateur —for all hair types, even fine hair.
- L’Huile de Leonor Greyl —for dry, over-processed hair.
- Klorane 3-in-1 Mask with Organic Cupuau Butter —ideal for those with very dry, damaged, or wavy, curly, and natural hair.
- Christophe Robin Regenerating Mask —all hair types, especially those with damaged hair.
You can choose from different types of hair oils for different uses. For example, you can use the L’Huile de Leonor Greyl as a pre-shampoo treatment. Just apply and leave on the hair for 30 minutes up to 1 hour before washing out with your usual shampoo.
On the other hand, if you’re in a hurry, use a dry oil like Kérastase Elixir Ultime Oil Serum just before blow-drying for frizz-free, super-shiny, and hydrated hair. Dry oil is particularly recommended for dry and frizz-prone hair as it gives the hair an intense shot of moisture.
5. Add volume to your hair with rose water
French women generally don’t flat iron their hair. Instead, they are much more into movement and volume than other countries in the world. They love messy hair, and they’re okay with it falling on their faces. To achieve that effortless French girl hair, simply wash your hair in the evening and sleep on wet hair as it usually gives naturally tousled texture and gorgeous body and shape when you wake up.
Also, if you have thin air like mine, use rose water on wet hair before going to sleep to create thick hair. I’m in love with Christophe Robin Instant Volumizing mist which protects color, nourishes the hair, and provides body and volume without drying out the hair —the alcohol-free formula is composed of 96% rose water. It doesn’t make the hair feel sticky or greasy. It works like a salt spray, but without the drying effect and the rose’s smell is absolutely fabulous.
6. Tap into scents
Hair perfumes are perfect to provide an instant refresh! Unlike the traditional formulas, hair mists are made with lower alcohol content, so they don’t irritate the scalp or dry out strands. Some of my favorite hair mists are from Diptyque:
- Ilio Hair Mist —a tribute to the Mediterranean land bathed in light and fragrance with prickly pear, bergamot, jasmine, and iris.
- Don Son Hair Mist —in this fragrance, the sea breeze carries the heady and spicy scent of tuberoses.
- Eau des Sens Hair Mist —a very fresh scent that brings together all the dimensions of bitter orange, from the roots to the top of the tree, including branches, leaves, and fruit.
Just spray the mist directly onto the hair, or coat your brush in the scent before styling. For more, see my previous article on the top 10 Diptyque perfumes that will captivate your senses.
7. Blow dry your hair less often
First, make sure to use a high-quality hairbrush to avoid split ends and breakage. The Mason Pearson Hair Brush is one of the best investments I made for my hair! It stimulates blood flow to the hair roots and the density of the bristles allows conditioning sebum to be more evenly distributed from the roots to the ends.
Also, if you can, avoid blow drying your hair. Indeed, applying heat to your hair when it is already dry can cause brittleness, breakage, dullness, and dryness. And, if you do blow-dry your hair, do not use a brush. Do it à la françsaise by using your hands to rake through the lengths and massage the roots with your fingers tips to get the lift. This provides texture and volume, which give effortless French-girl hair. Another option is to use a diffuser, it’s the perfect tool to get that tousled texture and effortless French-girl hair!
8. Visit your hair salon regularly
French women go to their favorite hair salon quite often, either to maintain their hair color or to get a new haircut —I usually go to my hairdresser up to once a month. When choosing a hair color, they prefer a low-maintenance shade; a natural-looking color that suits their complexion and eye color. And if they go lighter, they will opt for a balayage, an ombré, or tortoiseshell hair rather than a full head of highlights distributed uniformly through the hair.
In terms of haircuts, French women avoid anything that is blunt cut or razor sharp. Instead, whatever the haircut they opt for they want softness, natural movement, and texture on the ends. The same goes for fringes and bangs: the ends and edges need to be frayed. French-girl hair is all about ensuring hair looks perfectly imperfect.
By the way, if you’re heading soon to Paris, here are the best hair salons and hairdressers in Paris. And if you’re looking for inspiration, see the 10 chic French haircuts to ask your stylist.
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Leonce Chenal is a modern lifestyle platform created and curated by a French woman for lovers of everything French. What started in 2018 as an online space to share French beauty tips has since evolved into a destination for fashion, beauty, and the French art de vivre.
Hi Leonce. Great article … I am looking forward to … and I look forward to the next great French Councils. Beautiful day Sylvia
Thank you Sylvia
Do you sleep with lose hair or tie it up somehow? French braid, buns etc?
Hello Anna 🙂
I prefer to sleep with loose hair (it’s much more comfortable). I simply wash my hair before bed and sleep on damp hair to get that naturally tousled texture and shape when I wake up. xoxo Leonce
I really enjoyed reading this about what to do with your hair – I have learned so much.
Merci beaucoup Denise! I’m very happy to hear you enjoy the content here 🙂
Thank you for these tips. Could you please re-share the link to the hair brush you mentioned…when I click the link it says the item is no longer available. Thank you!
Bonjour Sophia! Yes, of course! The hair brush that I love is from the British brand Mason Pearson, they are available at Neiman Marcus here: https://bit.ly/3WVBD74