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Rather than a full head of highlights distributed uniformly through the hair, French women prefer to get their hair colored with a more freestyle (but still expert) touch. Mallet says they like a darker shadow at the root, with lighter, washed-out color towards the ends. “The color has to be dimensional. It must be diffused, soft, and non-defined,” he says. “It should blend and melt towards the edges. Overly fine highlights are a big no!”
The Ultimate French Fringe
From Jeanne Damas to Violette Serrat, we’d all like to be able to pull off a French fringe, wouldn’t we? Mallet says the trick is in how they’re cut. “When cutting a long fringe, the ends and edges need to be frayed—it should look like the bottom of trousers when they’ve been worn in,” he says. Forget anything blunt cut or razor sharp. A perfectly square fringe is a dead giveaway that you’re fresh from the salon, says Mallett, and that simply wouldn’t be French.
How to Style Hair the French Way
“A lot of my clients like to create a soft bend in their hair for daytime, and while they don’t like using straighteners for their intended purpose, they do like to use them as a waving tool,” says Mallett. “Another great tip is using your hands to scrunch the hair. Or, for our laziest clients, we advise going to bed with wet hair—you wake up with it naturally tousled!”