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Hair Talk

What the French Can Tell Us About Hair

What the French Can Tell Us About Hair

What exactly is it that makes the French brunette so special? This is a style that’s all about cultivating hair that looks as unstyled as possible!

Have you been thinking about giving your hair a radical new makeover?

Before you shoot the works, with short, sharp spikes or rainbow-dyed accents, here’s something to consider:

Sometimes, a small, subtle, understated change is all it takes… make a world of style and glamour difference!


This lesson comes from Paris...the birthplace of world-changing beauty and fashion trends for literally centuries.

Woman sitting on a leather chair

“Since the 1700s, the women of Paris have been setting the pace of fashion and beauty.”

From Paul Poiret’s rejection of the corset in the womenswear breakthroughs of Coco the stunning creativity of hairstylists like David Mallett and Christophe Robin…

...French designers and stylists have changed the way we look, the way we dress...even how we think about beauty.1

But the true brilliance of French stylists is in their understanding of the power of simplicity.

It’s a watchword they’ve taken to heart when crafting their latest world-sweeping hair trend:


The truth is, this dynamic coloring style was actually first developed by a British hair colorist.

But it wasn’t until it made its way to Parisian salons that it took on a life of its own!

Among those seen sporting the French brunette look are actresses Eva Green, Charlotte Gainsbourg, and Oscar nominee Bérénice Bejo (The Artist).

So...what exactly is it that makes the French brunette so special?

Well, that’s the interesting thing:

This is a style that’s all about cultivating hair that looks as unstyled as possible!

young brunette girl in a village wearing a dress with natural sun light

“How long do you think it took to make her look like her style took no time at all?”


You see, the key to a classic French styling routine is creating the effect of effortlessness.

That means cosmetics that shape a skin tone and imperfection-embracing “true” face…

...and hair that always looks like you just tumbled out of bed...blessed with chic tousled waves!2

Naturally, this beauty philosophy extends to French hair coloring as well.

Unlike techniques that focus on complex, dimension-enhancing textures, with immediately noticeable accents of gold or copper…

...the French brunette offers a “pure” brown tone...with a deep, uniquely rich intensity, and low-key, seamlessly integrated highlights.

confidence in a woman

“The French brunette look is all about embracing the vibrancy of natural hair colors.”

The result:

A vibrant, organic-looking hue so even and smooth...only your closest loved ones will even know you’ve had it colored…

...and maybe not even them!3


Now, an important note regarding the French brunette coloring technique:

That initial salon treatment is going to be somewhat time-consuming.

That’s because the dyeing process that achieves the French brunette is a two-step process.

First, your salon colorist will do a pre-treatment to prep your red, blonde, or light brown hair for the new shade.

Then, they perform a hand-painting procedure called balayage to intensify the depth and dimension of the brunette color.4

And, if you’re looking to lighten your hair from black to the French brunette…’s possible your stylist will have to bleach your hair first...and you know what kind of damage that could do.

In short, the French brunette requires a serious initial commitment.

So be sure to discuss this change in depth with your colorist before you embark on this new styling adventure.5


And now for the good news:

Thanks to the balayage technique, the French brunette style is easier to maintain than most color-treated hair… long as you use these tips that’ll keep your newly deepened tresses fresh-looking and fabulous:

Woman looking over her sholder

“Treat your French brunette locks right, and you’ll soon discover...blondes don’t always have more fun!”

  • Change the color gradually...this will be easier on the hair itself, and give you time to gauge the depth of hue you’re looking for
  • Tell your stylist to choose a “cool” looks and feels natural for longer, making touch-up trips to the salon less frequent
  • Don’t overwash your hair. 2 or 3 times a week should keep from stripping the toner from your strands too fast. Or, if you’re feeling truly daring, you could go the way of most French women... and only wash once a week!6  

Keep these maintenance practices well in mind when you’re caring for your French brunette hair…

...and you’ll be blessed with the worry-free confidence that’s made Parisian beauties the envy of the world!7


As a woman who juggles the daily demands of family, fitness, work, and play… know all about the overpowering allure of making it all look easy.

That feeling of effortlessness is right at the heart of French salon style.

And no hairstyling trend in the world today captures that feel quite like the French brunette.

If you give it a try yourself, one thing is for sure:

They’ll never guess you gave your hair such care and attention… achieve such natural beauty!



  1. Marie Claire, “A Brief History of French Fashion.”  
  1. Xue, Faith. “French Women Never Do These Things to Their Hair.” Byrdie, Byrdie, 8 Sept. 2017,
  1. Images, Jacopo Raule/GC Images/Getty. “How French Hair Color Is Different.” The Cut,
  1. “French Brown Hair Colors for 2017.” Best Hair Color Ideas & Trends in 2017 / 2018,
  1. “How to Get Your Hair Colored French Brown.” Hair Trend News – L'Oréal Pro,       
  1. Lawrenson, Amy. “The Hair Secrets French Women Know (That You Don't).” Byrdie UK, MyDomaine, 5 Mar. 2018,
  1. “How to Care for Balayage Hair in Five Easy Steps – Brewing Up Style.” Brewing Up Style, 17 May 2018,