Hair salon vocabulary - French

Sep 21st, 2006, 06:55 AM
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Hair salon vocabulary - French

In Paris this weekend, went to a hair salon (Franck Provost) with a girlfriend for a blowout. Is this done in Paris? I asked for “un brushing” and “beaucoup de volume” and “plus de volume”, but left with my hair plastered to my head except of course for a few errant hairs which were not smoothed down. I did however have a marvelous scalp massage which nearly cured my hangover. My girlfriend, who communicated mostly by hand signals, also departed with flat hair, although her French is worse than mine, so who knows what she told the stylist. Does anyone know where I can find vocabulary for the hair salon and how I ask for an “American-style” blowout?
MaddieAstrid is offline  
Sep 21st, 2006, 08:06 AM
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A blow what?
lobo_mau is offline  
Sep 21st, 2006, 08:51 AM
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PalenqueBob is offline  
Sep 21st, 2006, 10:11 AM
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Well, I'm just taking a flyer here, my French speaking hairdresser in Brussels fortunately knows pretty much what I want.
If you got nowhere with asking for more "volume" you could try asking for a something "un peu plus bouffant" and show a photo from a magazine of what you'd like and use your hands to indicate what you want. You don't want a true bouffant B52s do, of course.
Generally, the "big hair" thing simply isn't as popular in much of Europe. And there are some hairdressers in Europe (as in the U.S.) who just don't pay attention to what you want, no matter how well you express yourself. I've been to salons where I got the cut and style the hairdresser wanted to give me, even if it was not at all what I said I wanted (and in those cases, I have to say, I was right and they were wrong. Ugh).
FYI, while blowdrying your hair, you may be asked if you want it styled "exterieur" or "interieur" which means do you want the hair flipped up or under. My hairdresser knows that no matter how much she blows it "interieur", after an hour or two it wants to flip up.

P.S. Those scalp massages are great, aren't they? Except they're over too quickly.
Where I get my hair done in Brussels, she often has young trainees in the back who do the shampooing, conditioning and scalp massages. They tend to talk to each other nonstop in low, hissing tones. The Hair Whisperers.
BTilke is offline  
Sep 21st, 2006, 10:23 AM
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I think in the US that is usually called a blow-dry, not blow out, at least in all the places I've lived. It sounds like just the stylist you got, as the term in French is just "un brushing", and if you asked for more volume, that should do it. Volume is pretty clear. I guess you just didn't get what you liked, but that's common even in the same language, in my experience. I wouldn't ask for an "American style blowout". I'm American, and I wouldn't even know what that means. People go to hair salons all the time for shampooing and brushing in Paris. I do wonder if maybe the style you want is not too full and your idea of plastered to the head is different than mine, but there is a limit to what you can do with a hairdryer, even in the US, so maybe not. It has been stylish to blow dry hair rather straight and flatter in the last few years (or use a ceramic flatiron), but you'd blow dry that a different way, and I don't think that is an issue of nonAmerican vs. American. People do that more in the salon where I go in the US now, it's just a matter of style. I think that looks better on younger women myself, but it is partly a matter of style and your general look and bone structure. I would take a photo maybe, but lots of salons have magazines in them you could use as examples.
Christina is online now  
Sep 21st, 2006, 01:58 PM
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I did not go in because I wanted big hair . . .but board straight hair, in my opinion, is not particularly flattering on most people, especially those people who are no longer teenagers (Demi Moore excluded). My hair is so dark brown it looks black and is naturally super straight sans blowout…a little severe I think, but I added some red lipstick and went with it. None of the female stylists in the salon were sporting the poker straight look with which I departed. I considered the fact that my stylist just ignored my wishes, but thought it was odd that my girlfriend’s hair also lacked any visible body. I will try again at a different salon next time, a bad blowout certainly is not a tragedy. I do, however, think it is really funny that the term “blowout” is not universal in the U.S., I can’t remember ever calling it anything else (and I get one 2-3 times a month and whenever I have a big event out of town). I hope this isn’t because I grew up in Kentucky (I almost never say y'all anymore)…. Anyway, I am still looking for a list of vocabulary words relating to the salon if anyone knows where I can find something on the internet. I found out quickly that my language skills are lacking in this area. Thanks!
MaddieAstrid is offline  
Sep 21st, 2006, 02:25 PM
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Just gotta chime in... I have never heard the term "blow out" either. I'm afraid it just might be a down South thing
suze is offline  
Sep 21st, 2006, 03:20 PM
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Me neither. At least in California, it's a blow-dry. For more volume, back-combing.
Underhill is offline  
Sep 21st, 2006, 06:48 PM
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So what is a blowout? I don't know either, and I live in the U.S (the west). It doesn't sound like it's just blow-drying, but it's not big hair either.

I would think if you could find a picture of what you want (or close to it, anyway), that would work the best.
Lexma90 is offline  
Sep 21st, 2006, 09:49 PM
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I agree with the other posters that asking for "plus de volume" should have got you what you wanted.

I have a pretty low opinion of those "walk in" chain salons like Franck Provost, Jean Louis David, etc - I've been to a few of them and more often than not I've left feeling dissatisfied. I find that their staff are often pretty young and inexperienced, and when it comes to styling, they tend to do what *they* want to do and you have to be very insistent to get them to do anything else!!

I remember one stylist refusing to angle the cut of my bobbed haircut so that it was slightly longer towards the front, as she said it was "impossible"! Another actually cut my bob shorter at the front than at the back, but kind of beehived up my hair at the back so it looked like it was all the same length. It was so horrible that I actually went to another hairdresser the same day to get it cut again!

So I never expect great things from those places. I'm glad I earn a bit more these days and can afford to go to a decent hairdresser!!
hanl is offline  
Sep 21st, 2006, 09:52 PM
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In retrospect, I've been to some expensive hair salons that weren't much better than the cheap places, so ignore my last comment!!
hanl is offline  
Sep 21st, 2006, 10:08 PM
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Just type the word/s that you need to know and you can hear it in French.

I understand "blow out", you must be from NY ?
Scarlett is offline  
Sep 21st, 2006, 10:09 PM
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OK, I see that you are not from NY but that is where I learned to say Blow Out ~
Scarlett is offline  
Sep 21st, 2006, 10:51 PM
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MaddieAstrid, you used the correct wording. Probably the stylist just did what he wanted to do without listening to you. As BTilke says, the voluminous hair-style is out of fashion here but anyway, if that's what YOU want that is what you should get, especially since you made very well clear what you wanted. Maybe try another salon next time.
MyriamC is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2006, 01:04 AM
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Hanl, who do you go to in Brussels? I go to Zen on the Ave. Louise. They are a Redken salon and are most noted for their hair extensions, which I can't imagine having done. Way too fiddly! But I like watching the other customers getting them done.
BTilke is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2006, 02:02 AM
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In the UK we also say blow-dry, not blow out; I've only ever heard that expresion used for the consumption of a huge meal eg I had a real blow-out last night!
annhig is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2006, 03:30 AM
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I don't like completely flat hair either, which is also the way most stylists in the UK do it, from what I've seen. However, I've been going to my Brussels stylist for several years, so she knows that a) I don't like anything too short and b) I do like a little volume up top. I get more volume than I'd probably get from a UK stylist but less than I'd get from an American stylist.
I'm about to head off to Brussels for five or six weeks (with a long week-end in Paris thrown in) so when I'm at the hairdressers, I will make a careful note of all the terminology.
BTilke is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2006, 04:28 AM
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Hi BTilke,
In Brussels I've been a few times to Tony & Guy, but last time I wasn't happy with the cut or colour I got so I probably won't go back. Although they do have a stylist working there who's the spitting image of Nigel from Spinal Tap (spray-on skintight jeans, mullet hairstyle, cowboy boots, sleeveless t-shirts - last time I was there he was even wearing spurs!!!)

Next time I might try Zen, as I have a friend who's been there and said it was good.
hanl is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2006, 04:57 AM
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I'm from NY and the term is blow-out
LoriNY1 is offline  

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