It's hard to put my finger on exactly what it is about French girls that we Brits find so damn alluring. Perhaps it's their ability to build a timeless capsule wardrobe that always looks stylish or their penchant for a basic makeup product that will stand the test of time. There's definitely something about their fondness for "boring" basics that's appealing to those of us who are maximalists at heart.
Between classic trench coats and pharmacy moisturisers, there's something else I always look to French girls for: hairstyle inspiration. Whether they're stepping out with long locks or short strands, French women always lead the way when it comes to chic, simple hairstyles that look like they haven't taken any time at all. In fact, a few of these styles only take 30 seconds to create.
From messy buns topped with elegant hair scarves to side-swept down 'dos and dishevelled waves, here are 19 French girls I always come back to for chic hair inspiration.
1. Waves and Fringe
Fringes are back with a bang ahead of 2024, but it doesn't mean they have to be high-maintenance. Andrea's choppy fringe looks so laid-back and pairs perfectly with another of summer's most popular hairstyles: The humble ponytail.
Smooth this lightweight lotion through dry hair to reduce flyaways and boost shine.
2. Messy Bun
I think that Aria's messy bun would make the perfect wedding-guest hairstyle.
The key to a truly carefree hairstyle is making sure you don't spend all day readjusting it. This spray from Sam McKnight is a strong-hold mist that will keep that bun in place.
3. Headscarf and Braids
Léna is the Parisienne queen of the head scarf, and it always looks so chic on her. It's a playful way to add print and colour to a simple outfit and also protects hair from the elements.
Inspired by Gucci's 'Flora' prints from the 1960s, this bold silk scarf makes for a fresh and modern take on florals.
4. Curly Jaw-Length Bob
I'm all kinds of obsessed with Franny's curly bob-and-fringe combo, which looks effortlessly chic.
This luxurious conditioner leaves curls so hydrated and smooth.
5. Long Hair With Bottleneck Fringe
When it comes to bringing their fringe A-game, French girls like Leia know where it's at. Her centre-parted bangs look great with her long lengths.
This conditioner has a loyal following (just check the hundreds of five-star reviews) for its ability to leave hair soft without weighing down hair.
6. Curly Balayage
Proving that balayage isn't going anywhere, Hanna's blonde-tinged curls look so good.
This styling gel leaves curls defined and smooth, with a long-lasting hold that doesn't feel crunchy.
7. Claw-Clip Bun
The key to re-creating a French-girl hairstyle at home is to remember the one key rule: Don't try too hard. Camille's gorgeous updo can be twisted up quickly at the back of your hair and secured with a tortoiseshell claw clip. The more flyaways and escaped strands, the better.
This claw clip is on the larger size, making it ideal for long or thick hair.
8. Braided Bun
When French girls aren't opting for dishevelled waves and tiny tendrils, they're stepping out in elegant updos like Claire's chic, scraped-back low bun.
Keep your hair and scalp protected from UV rays with this protective spritz infused with conditioning shea butter, coconut oil and vitamin E.
9. Feathered Fringe
Jeanne has that effortlessly tousled "I woke up like this" hair vibe down to a fine art. I'm totally obsessed with her wonderfully feathered fringe too.
What better way to achieve relaxed French girl hair than with a lightweight, texturising sea salt spray from Jeanne Damas's very own beauty line?
10. Beach Waves
Our resident Brit girl in Paris, Marissa Cox, embraces a French-girl staple hairstyle: breezy beach waves.
Infused with salt and sugar, this volume-boosting spray adds texture to even the finest of hair types without drying it out.
9. Wavy Bob
Marta's short, wavy bob is making me want to cut off all of my hair right now.
A blend of minerals and sea botanicals gently cleanse hair while delivering that tousled French-girl feel to clean strands.
10. Low Ponytail
Getting the hair accessories right is half the battle when it comes to re-creating French-girl hair at home. Xiayan's hair scarf looks simply stylish tied around a simple low ponytail.
This high-shine spray gives hair an expensive-looking glossy finish.
11. Side-Parted Shoulder-Length Hair
French girls embrace one of two parting styles: the classic centre part or the relaxed side sweep, as demonstrated by Clémentine.
Klorane is a French hair favourite, and this dry shampoo instantly refreshes roots without any residue, and it also adds body and volume to lengths.
Let's face it—a topknot is a hairstyle that looks good all over the world. AJ's is super high, super slicked-back and utterly chic.
Keep hair slicked back with this rich gel, infused with coconut, comfrey and lemongrass oils for shine and hydration.
13. Low Ponytail With Micro Plaits
Cool girl Anne-Laure always delivers on hair inspiration, and I can't get enough of this '90s-inspired ponytail complete with micro plaits.
Secure mini braids with these teeny-tiny hair elastics that are so discreet.
14. High Ponytail With Scrunchie
A ponytail takes seconds to do but always looks good. Sabina's scrunchie looks so cute with her minidress.
These oversized silk scrunchies not only look incredibly chic, but they won't damage hair if it's been tied up all day.
15. Curly Pixie
Parisian Ellie reveals the key to rocking a short, pixie cut like a French girl is to add in some hair accessories. Her hair-clip duo on the side adds instant cool points.
Replenish curls, coils and waves with this rich shea butter hair mask that gets to work in 30 minutes.
16. Long, Centre-Parted Hair
If you remember one thing about the best French hairstyles, make sure it's to embrace your natural hair texture. Chloé leaves the natural kink in her hair to reign supreme in this simple, centre-parted style.
Keep your natural hair in top condition with this strengthening serum that protects hair from heat damage and minimises split ends.
17. Cropped Pixie
Nothing says French chic like a cropped pixie haircut.
This hydrating pomade cares for hair with a whole host of hydrating natural ingredients while adding definition and hold.
18. Air-Dried Lengths
Effortless to recreate, but oh-so-chic, Anne-Victoire's subtle waves are soft, shiny and low-maintenance. The epitome of French girl hair.
Work a small amount of this through freshly-washed hair then leave strands to dry naturally. They'll be left soft, smooth and shiny while showing off your natural texture.
Alyssa's pairing of a micro-bob and micro-fringe gives off major French girl vibes.
Keep your fringe looking fresh (without the need for a daily wash) by using these innovative hair cleansing wipes. Perfect for throwing in your handbag for on-the-go fringe maintenance—oh and don't worry, they're biodegradable.
This post was originally published at an earlier time and has since been updated.
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