French women and their hair is the subject of many ongoing conversations.
What is it about their hair that makes us pay so much attention? Is the French way of hairstyling something we can adapt and work?
Simply put, the French way is the messy way.
French girls encourage volume and wear their hair in a relaxed fashion. The blow dry is tussled, never slick; the cut is longer and not severe, falling ragged on the ends.
I admire the look but I have a feeling that this is a French girl rather than a French woman way of styling the hair.
I would enjoy nothing more than to emulate this hairstyle but I am not entirely convinced the complete “messy” works on an older woman. I have tried (unintentionally) this summer to let the locks go, work with the I-am-natural look; I am not going there.
I think this “natural” look requires way more work than at first inspection. A good cut and great colour to start with. I am feeling that the grey (yes, still hanging in with that) works better slick. Somehow grey frizz, grey tousled has the wrong connotations. My grey left to its own devices really does look like “bed hair” and not the sexy kind like the women featured.
I won’t be beaten.
There is something about this messy hair. The carefree, not too put together and not trying so hard is natural and refreshing. The key is to adapt the principles to an older face.
I am already convinced that as we age, longer hair is the way to go. Long hair is gentler, kinder to the face and has elegance. Yes, much grooming is required but so worth it. FIne hair is the exception and makes this transition harder; finer hair is most likely better shorter. Think of the superb Helen Mirren and her short haircuts.
Slightly razored on the ends gives the hair that less structured, messy look that French women wear so well. “Shaving” the points is more modern than a blunt cut and provides plenty of movement. Intentional styling that looks unintentional.
There is nothing natural about “natural”; I have finally worked that out.
Messy is about trial and error. Finding that mix of rumpled and controlled that works with an older face. Too messy and we look like we don’t care; too controlled and we can appear too prim. There will be nothing quick or easy about this dishevelment but I’m working on it this winter.
These French beauties made me re-think hair.
Looking like these gorgeous girls might be a stretch but adapting the style to suit is something entirely possible. I’m up for it, are you? xv
images via byrdie