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Learn French by Getting a Hair Cut

CoiffeursGetting a haircut in a language you’re not completely comfortable speaking can be a challenging and (maybe a little more for women who often have more hair to lose) terrifying experience. At the same time cutting your own hair or trying to stretch cuts to last long enough until your next visit home isn’t very reasonable either. Here’s a crazy idea, why not take a French class focused on everything you will need to say to the hairdresser or barber and start getting your haircut in France? Heck, after we at French As You Like It help you get the basics down, your hair stylist may become another of the many people in your life in Paris helping you learn French.

pricesLocal hairdresser (coiffeur de quartier) will usually have prices posted in their window. There will be a price for men (homme or lui), women (femme ou elle), and children (des enfant ou junior). Some places may offer special discounts for students (prix or tarrif etudiante). They will also post the prices for their basic services. These may include:

Haircut: une coupe
Shampoo: le shampooing
Coloring and highlights: les couleurs et mèches
Facials and other treatments: les soins et traitements
A blow-dry or blow-out: le brushing

Every Parisian neighborhood has dozens of hair salons and the prices can vary enormously from one salon to another. We suggest walking around, reading the prices, and looking at the people who are currently get their hair done. For instance, if you are a twenty something looking for trendy highlights, you may want to avoid the hairdresser who sets and perms the hair of all the old ladies in the neighborhood.

Once you’ve picked your salon, look at the front to see if they take walk-ins or if you need an appointment (avec ou sans rendez-vous).

Ok, you’ve picked a place, have an appointment, and are ready to get a cut. Here is some more handy vocab that you might need:

Describe your hair (vos cheveux) to the stylist:

Fine: fins
Thick: épais
Oily: gras
Dry: secs
Mixed: mixtes
Normal: normaux
Curly: bouclés
Frizzy: frisés
Smooth: lisses
Damaged: abîmés
Dyed: colorés
Permed: permanents
Dandruff: pellicules

Now describe what you want done:

Short or long: la coupe courte ou longue
Layered: en dégradé
Bob: au carré
Highlights or streaks: les mèches
Bangs: une frange
Hair part: une raie
Hair ends: les pointes

For men:

Sideburns: les pattes
Beard: une barbe
Clippers: une tondeuse
Nape of the neck: la nuque

Then to finish up the cut:

Blow dry with a curly look: un brushing bouclé
Straightened: un brushing raide

Also always remember that it is only hair and will grow back!

Interested in starting French lessons? Call +33 (0)6 66 10 53 64 or contact us at info@frenchasyoulikeit.com.