How An L.A. Stylist Does French-Girl Hair

Fashion month — in all its trendsetting, paparazzi-packed, exhausting glory — ended yesterday with its final official show in Paris. Many of us pay close attention to the trends, designs, and political statements that come down the actual runways, but over the past few years it's turned into far more than a spectator sport.

"Nobody has time to sleep," hairstylist Anh Co Tran jokes. (He's the celeb hairstylist behind some of our favorite trends, cuts, and techniques; a L'Oréal Professionnel ambassador; and co-owner of L.A. "It" salon Ramirez|Tran.) "There are so many shows in such a short amount of time, there's hardly any down time. If we’re not getting someone ready for a fashion show, then there are dinners and lunches and parties… It’s nonstop."

The changing landscape means big business for brands, artists, and influencers — but on the inside, it's probably a little different from what you pictured. That killer leather jacket on your favorite editor? It's on loan for the day. That perfect mid-strut shot of a blogger on Paris' picturesque Champ de Mars? She walked in slow motion for the street style photogs.

The same goes for beauty: Many influencers have an entire team behind the scenes creating looks that are sure to get snapped, yes, but also tend to be more influential (and wearable) than many of the styles on the runway. Game recognizes game.

Tran and makeup artist Mai Quynh invited us along as they hit Paris Fashion Week with Song of Style's Aimee Song (with her 4.6 million followers just an IG Story away). Check out their diary — and catch plenty of behind-the-scenes secrets and styling tips — ahead.

Photo: Courtesy of Anh Co Tran.
“You can never be over prepared,” Tran says, noting that he and Quynh travelled with many suitcases of extensions and products. "I never know when I’m going to do,” Quynh says, “So I generally try to take a little bit of everything and make it work. I definitely have to pack down, but I still manage to take everything and the kitchen sink!"
Photo: Courtesy of Anh Co Tran.
“Aimee doesn’t travel with a stylist, so we all give our opinions,” Tran says. “She travels with endless amounts of bags, clothes, shoes, and jewelry, but what I found interesting was she would wear the same earring or bag or shoe — she would just do something different with them, like heels with socks one day and no socks the next. It was inspiring for me to see how her style brain worked."
Photo: Courtesy of Anh Co Tran.
Tran put his signature “nu wave" technique to good use on Song several times during their trip. The technique includes clamping a large barrel curling iron over sections of hair — similar to how you crimp hair — to create sweeping peaks and valleys. Mixed with traditional barrel curls, it’s a new take on the beach wave. The best part? It’s very easy to pull off at home, just read Tran’s how-to.
Photo: Courtesy of Anh Co Tran.
Tran bumped up the volume and texture of Song’s waves for the Kenzo show with a hit of product. "I wanted it to have body and texture so I applied L'Oréal Soft Curls on the roots and Depolish on the ends,” he says.

Quynh also built on Song's existing look with a graphic eye. “This was such a fun look because it was so different and editorial,” she tells R29. "I wanted to do black liner in a not-so-typical, rectangular shape. I kept her skin neutral with some light contouring, then paired it with a matte, taupe-y nude lip."
Photo: Courtesy of Anh Co Tran.
Tran got creative while prepping Song for the Chloe show. "The ribbon is actually from a Chloe shopping bag,” Tran explains. He first installed his own Lived In Hair extensions, then slicked her dry hair into a ponytail before tying off with the ribbon. "I finished the ends with a curling iron and Next Day Hair Texture Spray.” Then, to keep the top smooth all day, Tran misted a flat toothbrush with Infinium Hairspray and brushed it over any flyaways.
Photo: Courtesy of Anh Co Tran.
Quick changes are key, so Tran untied the ribbon and Quynh bumped up Song's glam for Balmain. Insider tip: Knowing that she needed to do a change later in the day, Quynh kept Song’s Chloe look muted and soft, which allowed for a quick pop of color later...
Photo: Courtesy of Anh Co Tran.
“It was all about that lip,” Quynh says. "I wanted her to have really neutral skin with almost nothing on the eyes except for lashes.”
Photo: Courtesy of Anh Co Tran.
Tran and Quynh packed suitcases of product, but not everything gets used. The MVPs of the weekend? "My EX1 foundation,” Quynh says, “You always have to have amazing skin, no matter the look, and I know this product will do the job.” Tran also plays favorites, noting L’Oréal’s Soft Curls as his most-used product on the trip. "It gives the hair more body with a little hold."
Photo: Courtesy of Anh Co Tran.
In their most adventurous look from the week, Quynh hit three trends in one: monochromatic colors, metallic finishes, and color-spiked highlighter.
Photo: Courtesy of Anh Co Tran.
Tran captured Song’s daily glam, his own inspirations, and BTS moments like this on his camera. "Everyone gets dropped off from all different directions so it’s different from a red carpet,” he says. “The cameras move to wherever the person is and then quickly go onto the next.”
Photo: Courtesy of Anh Co Tran.
Song’s most glamorous look was for Saint Laurent. "I wanted her to have a colorful smoky eye, so I chose a deep, shimmery green/brown and paired it with nudes on the rest of the face,” Quynh says.

Tran continued the sophistication with our favorite hair look of the week: Sleek and pushed back, but not as glossy as the wet look that swept Hollywood this year.” The secret? Mousse.
Photo: Courtesy of Anh Co Tran.
"Mai and I stayed together,” Tran says, noting that having a partner in crime glam made the trip special. "We would go eat and walk around whenever we had a chance.”
Photo: Courtesy of Anh Co Tran.
Of course, it was still fairly non-stop, he says. "On our most relaxed day, I think we got to sleep until 8 a.m.,” he jokes,” But we did get to catch the Vivienne Westwood show, so that was super cool."
Photo: Courtesy of Anh Co Tran.
Most of us need to clock a full 12 hours of sleep after a hectic work trip — and Tran wasn’t exempt from the exhaustion of the week — but it was also inspiring for him. "I felt a reboot when I was on this trip,” Tran says. "Creating with Mai and Aimee was magical and reminds me of why I went into hair in the first place.”
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