How To Style Your Hair Like A French Girl

When it comes to style, French women can seriously do no wrong. From the way they cuff their denim just right to the deceptively effortless way they pair gold chains and faux fur with basic black, their outfits are just always on point. Unsurprisingly, that same sentiment goes for their tresses — blown out, tousled just so, and styled to undone perfection. And, we got the secrets.
We called in hair magician Marc Mena to break down three classic, effortless blowouts inspired by Parisian femmes that don't require an entire beauty crew to do: sleek and straight strands, a swooped and textured bob, and tousled waves. Click on through, and pick up a blowdryer — your inner Francophile is waiting.
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The Straight Blowout
Taking cues from Carine Roitfeld and Caroline de Maigret, Mena created a straight hairstyle that stays put for days thanks to some masterful blowout tricks and products, ahead.

Reiss top, Topshop crop top, Ellery trousers.
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Start off with damp hair. But, instead of rubbing your strands with a towel, try squeezing out the water with an old cotton T-shirt instead. This'll cut down on potential frizz and flyaways.
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Section away the back of your hair starting from the crown. Then, part the front of your hair into three sections: right, middle, left. When clipping them down, make sure to tuck in the ends with a few bobby pins lest they dry in awkward crimps. If you have bangs, leave them out of the sections — we're going to dry them first, ahead.
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Now, the blowdrying fun begins. Since bangs dry the fastest, tackle them first — you don't want them to air-dry with weird bends. Spritz your strands with a heat-protectant spray, and then direct the dryer at the roots while brushing them with a flat brush from one direction to the other for movement.
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Once your bangs are set, unpin the back section of hair, grab a round brush (try one with a large barrel if you've got long hair), and start drying. "If you start from the front, you could get tired and lazy by the time you get to the back of the hair, so I like to start there," says Mena. "Make sure that the root and shaft of the hair are dry first before going to the ends. Otherwise, the ends will be overly dry, and the hair won't have movement."

When you're done with the back, dry the rest of your hair section by section in the same way. Finally, take the topmost layer and aim heat at the underside, right at the roots, for added height at the crown.
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If you have wavy or curly hair, you can run a flat iron from the mid-shaft to the ends for a straighter finish.

Topshop rings.
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For extra staying power, set your tresses with a cool shot of air from your blow dryer.
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A finishing product like Kerastase blowdry creme from mid-shaft to ends will keep things sleek and shiny. Focus it on the ends where hair tends to be the driest.

H&M ring.
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Ici: Straight, glossy hair that didn't take too much effort.

Via Spiga shoes.
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The Swooped Bob
Using Garance Doré's short chop as inspiration, Mena took the look one step further with serious height and a moody side swoop. See how he does it in just a few easy steps.

Dion Lee dress, Helmut Lang vest, Erickson Beamon earrings, Stanmore rings and bracelet, Aldo ring.
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Emulsify the balm into your hands really well, and work the product into your hair from the roots to the ends starting from the back of your head. Mena suggests this method so the front of your strands don't get weighed down.

Prime damp strands with a texturizing product for major lift, volume, and hold.
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"Then, pick up a paddle boar-bristle hair brush, and comb one side of your hair from the ears all the way around your head while blasting it with your dryer to get it straight," says Mena. You can also get a more undone look if you use your hands in place of a brush. Just rake your fingers through while blowdrying.
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Do the same thing on the opposite side of your hair. And, don't forget about your bangs — you dried them first, right? Then, to get that piece-y effect, rub some wax in your hands and apply from the back of your head to the front. "You want it to look messy not sleek in this case," says Mena.
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Just one final touch: Pull some hair over your eyes for a punch of attitude and mystérieuse.

Via Spiga shoes.
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The Windswept Waves
We've yet to master the art of bedhead-chic the way It Girls Lou Doillon and Clémence Poésy pull it off — until now. Mena recreated and refined their signature strands just for us.

Reiss top, Araks trousers, Topshop shoes, Topshop ring, Aldo ring, Topshop ring, Catbird ring.
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Just like with the first look, section your hair into four different sections to prep for your blowout. You want to start from the back using a paddle brush, then work your way to the sides, and then finish in the center with a round brush (which we'll show you how to do, next).

H&M ring, Topshop rings.
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Set up your tresses for a blowout sans breakage and damage with a heat-protectant spray.To get windswept waves like Shelby here, "pull out a section of hair, and wrap it around the round brush away from your face," says Mena. Doing so will give you that I've-got-a-windblower-on-me-at-all-times look. Apply heat for a few seconds.
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Now, this is the crucial part of any lasting wavy blowout: "As you release your hair, rotate your wrist so your strands fall into a curl," says Mena. Depending on your preference, you can also pull the hair downward as you release, so the curls end up more like waves.

Repeat this rotate-and-release move all over your head, making sure that you always curl away from the face so that pieces don't "interlock and sit on top of each other." Curling away from the face will make the hair separate and add body to the look, he adds.
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For that undone Parisian look, spritz the ends with some dry shampoo scrunch in the product. Now, this step is totally optional, but we suggest it because it lends that messy, lived-in look that French women are known for. Flip your hair a few times to break up the curls naturally and create more movement in your strands.
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Et voilà! Can you believe you don't need a curling iron for that volume?

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