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French Hairdressing Terms to use at the French Hairdressers in France

At the hairdressers in FranceThe Good Life France team met a lady who came to France 6 years ago to live – she had been going back to London every few months to get her hair done because she didn’t know how to ask for what she wanted in French.

What is the French word for Hairdresser?

A hairdressers in France is called Coiffeuse (Hairdresser), Coiffeur is the general term for hairdressing or for a barber.

It seems that there are lots of ladies for whom going to the French hairdressers can be an issue – after all you can’t put the hair back after it’s been cut – at least not straight away or without a wig.

We talked with our friend who was scared to go to the hairdressers about what she wanted – in this case she wanted highlights – with foils. Everywhere she went she was reassured that the hairdresser did highlights – but using a cap, which she didn’t want. She really wanted “balayage” a method of more natural looking highlights with foil!

The lady we met needed to be more specific about her requirements and we put together some terms and words to help her – guess what, she now goes to a hairdressers in France – and she’s happy!

Click here if you want to know about tipping in France – including at the hairdressers.

Basic phrases for visiting the hairdressers in France

Haircut Une Coupe
Blow-dry or straightening Le brushing
Colouring and highlights Les couleurs et mèches, balayage (natural looking)
Setting or styling La mise en pli
Haircare and treatments Les soins et traitements


Vocabulary for hair types, cuts and styles at the hairdressers in France

Your hair Voz cheveux (note: plural/masculine – always)
Fine Fins
Thick Épais
Dry Secs
Normal Normaux
Oily Gras
Curly Bouclés
Frizzy Frisés
Smooth Lisses
Permed Permanentés
Layered En dégradé
Layered on top Dégradé sur le dessus
Short, layered look Une coupe courte tout en dégradé
Cut short or long La coupe courte ou longue
Fringe Frange
Messy/just out of bed look Indiscipliné
Highlights or streaks Les mèches
Highlights with foil Alu mèches
Two tone highlights with foil Mèches alu deux ton
Hair Contioning Treatment Une crème ou après-shampoing
Deep conditioning mask Masque capillaire
Straightened hair Un brushing raide


Useful phrases for visiting the hairdressers in France

I would like to have the colour touched up Je voudrais avoir la couleur retouchée/refaire
Could you take a bit more off at the  sides Vous pouvez diminuer sur les pattes ?
It’s too bouffant. Could you flatten it down a little? C’est trop gonflé, vous pouvez aplatir un peu ?
I would like it to look natural , a little messy Je voudrais avoir look naturel, un peu désordonné
Is that possible with my hair type? C’est possible avec mon type de cheveux ?
I only want the roots redone Je veux seulement une coloration des racines.


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