Beauty, France, Travel

How to Get French Girl Hair // Tips From a Top Parisian Stylist

Hi, everyone! First off, Nicolas and I wanted to thank you all so much for your kind and heartfelt responses to our engagement announcement. We are both so grateful to have so many wonderful and supportive people in our lives!

This post is a continuation of my collaboration with Medley Hair Salon in Paris. If you missed my previous post all about the salon and my experience there, be sure to check it out. Nicolas proposed to me on the same day I got my hair done at Medley which worked out perfectly. (My hair was looking its best in all of the photos. 😉 I am forever grateful for that!) Today I am going to share some advice I received from my stylist Elodie. Elodie is a Top Stylist currently working in Paris. She had her own salon in the east of France for several years before moving to work at Medley. Throughout her career she has received awards for Best Hairdresser in France as well as Best Men’s Cut in France. Elodie has had her work featured in several magazines such as ELLE and has worked backstage at fashion week. (I still cannot believe I had the honor of having her do my hair.) Not only is Elodie an incredibly accomplished woman, she is also extremely kind and fun! I had such a great time chatting with her and hearing all about her life and career.

Throughout the process of Elodie washing and styling my hair, she gave me so many useful tips and tricks. Continue reading if you’re interested in learning how to care for your hair as well as achieve that effortless French girl look.

Products matter.

It is important to use high-quality products when washing and styling the hair. Not only does utilizing high-quality products assist in the actual styling of the hair, it also helps to nourish, protect, and repair. However . . .

Don’t use too much.

I have medium length hair, and Elodie only used a pea-sized amount of oil on my strands! A little goes a long way. It depends on the product and how thick or thin your hair is, but be cautious when applying mousse, serum, or oil. Using too much can make the hair crunchy or limp.

Now lets talk about blowdrying. It has taken me years to become somewhat decent at blowdrying my hair. It has always been a challenge for me! I found out I could be doing a number of things better.

Use your hands.

Don’t take a brush to the hair until it is 80 – 90% dry. Applying direct heat in combination with a brush is only necessary towards the end to straighten the hair. Until then, use your hands to move the hair in different directions and remove all excess water.

Start at the roots and front sections.

The hair at the back of the head is thicker because there is more of it. If you start drying the back first, the roots and front will begin to air-dry. Do the face-framing pieces and top of the head first to ensure it is dried properly.

Hold the dryer parallel to the hair.

WOW. This was life-changing. As you can see Elodie demonstrating in the photo below, holding the hairdryer parallel to the hair does something magical. I am not sure about the science behind it, but my hair had never been so straight until trying this! I still struggle with doing this myself (I’m not that coordinated), but I am working on it.

Don’t make it too perfect.

The secret to French girl hair is to have it look slightly undone. One of my favorite pieces of advice Elodie gave me was this: When using a flat-iron, don’t focus on making the strands of hair stick straight. It is great to use the iron as a smoothing tool to add shine, but don’t go over a piece several times. This will only damage and dry out the hair. Instead, take a comb through a small section. Follow with a flat-iron, slowly gliding from root to tip one time only. This was news to me, as I normally go over a piece at least 2-3 times. The goal is to make the hair look natural and healthy and not as though you’ve spent 45 minutes in front of the mirror in the morning. I really enjoy this method because I don’t feel like I am fighting the natural wave that sometimes occurs in my hair, but it still feels soft and smooth. I swear by this straightener, and I was SO pleased to see that Elodie uses the same one!

Take care of your tools.

Clean and sanitize your brushes and styling tools regularly to remove hair and product buildup. Be sure to store them in a safe place to keep them sanitary and looking pretty. Think outside the box! Elodie uses this gorgeous bag from Wouf which is actually meant to be used as an iPad case. She says it fits her cutting shears and brushes perfectly while keeping them protected as well.

Q & A with Elodie

How often should I have my hair trimmed? Once every 3 months

How often should I wash my hair? Despite the common dry shampoo trend, it is actually okay to wash your hair everyday if you’re using good shampoos that don’t strip your hair.

Elodie further explained to me how she has three different shampoos that she rotates between as it is great for the scalp and the hair. Depending on what her hair needs, she’ll use either a hydrating, volumizing, or basic color-safe shampoo. She always uses the same conditioner. 

How often does the average French woman come in for a blowout/ styling? My method for doing hair is teaching my clients how to blow-dry and style their own hair when they come in for a cut. It is very important for me that my clients know how to keep their hair healthy and do it themselves. French women don’t come in so often for blowouts. We are very much relaxed with the hair and maybe only get it done for special occasions.

Where are your favorite styling tools from? GHD

That’s a wrap!

Thank you to Elodie for such a lovely afternoon and to Sandra for arranging it. I learned so much! Be sure to check out Elodie’s website and Instagram, too. Thank you to Medley Coiffure for having me. I truly enjoyed this collaboration!

xx, Madison

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  • Reply Freja June 20, 2018 at 10:10 am

    Your hair looks absolutely beautiful. All of these tips are so helpful. I had no idea that rotating between shampoos was great for the scalp. I need to do this!

    • Reply Madison Marie June 21, 2018 at 10:17 am

      Hej, Freja!
      Thank you so much. I am so glad you found the post to be helpful! And yes, I have started rotating between shampoos and can see a difference. It also makes my more expensive shampoos last longer. 🙂

  • Reply Kate June 21, 2018 at 7:05 am

    Your hair looks so good! I’d be interested to know what shampoo doesn’t strip my hair as I love washing my hair.

    Kate xx

    • Reply Madison Marie June 21, 2018 at 10:15 am

      I’m not a cosmetologist, but throughout my research I’ve found that any shampoo without sulfates is great! Sulfates are what strip the hair and make it squeaky clean! There are a lot of sulfate-free shampoos available on the market now. 🙂

  • Reply Layla June 21, 2018 at 4:51 pm

    Loving this post and loving all the tips! I personally love the undone look, it’s fab and just has such a lovely look / feel to it!

    Loved the post and can’t wait to see more from you lovely

    Layla x

    • Reply Madison Marie June 24, 2018 at 10:03 pm

      Hi, Layla! Thanks, and yes I love the undone look as well! xx

  • Reply Dorota June 23, 2018 at 3:55 pm

    French women have such a glow about them, I really can’t understand how it works – they never style their hair too much, nor put excessive amounts of make up and yet they look amazing – I really have to know their secret. Blowdrying in the way she shows is very effective, although I am also not coordinated enough to do it. Congratulations on your engagement!

    • Reply Madison Marie June 24, 2018 at 10:04 pm

      Right?? They really have it all figured out! Haha and no worries, I still haven’t figured out how to hold the blowdryer properly like that yet either . . . I hope I do someday! And thank you so much. <3

  • Reply Lydia June 24, 2018 at 9:01 pm

    Love all these tips, your hair looks gorgeous!

    • Reply Madison Marie June 24, 2018 at 10:05 pm

      Hey, Lydia! Thanks so much 🙂 Glad you enjoyed the post.

  • Reply l'ambassadrice June 25, 2018 at 10:38 am

    I loved the little Q&A at the end, it was such a nice touch 🙂 And congratulations on your engagement!

    • Reply Madison Marie July 11, 2018 at 7:51 pm

      Thanks so much! It was so fun doing the Q&A with Elodie. Glad you enjoyed. xx

  • Reply Heather Rowland June 26, 2018 at 2:06 pm

    This was such an interesting little post to read and fab to pick up some tips too – I’m always amazed at how gorgeous French girls’ hair is!

    Heather xoxo

    • Reply Madison Marie July 11, 2018 at 7:50 pm

      Thanks so much, Heather! Yes, I’ve always envied French women’s hair!

  • Reply Danielle June 27, 2018 at 2:37 pm

    Such great tips! Thank you for sharing this! I need to fly to Paris for a makeover! ♥

    • Reply Madison Marie July 11, 2018 at 5:59 pm

      Glad you liked this post! I highly recommend Paris for anything beauty-related! 😉

  • Reply Geniussr July 7, 2018 at 4:24 am

    I always enjoy posts abut hair and welcome all useful tips.. Thanks for sharing such a nice post… I always struggle with blowdrying my hair..the tip about keeping the dryer parallel to hair is awesome…Your hair look beautiful..❤️

    • Reply Madison Marie July 11, 2018 at 5:55 pm

      Yes, I could spend hours reading hair posts! I am so glad you enjoyed this one. 🙂 Thanks so much!

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