Essential French Vocabulary: At the Hair Salon/Chez le Coiffeur


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Essential French Vocabulary: At the Hair Salon/Chez le Coiffeur

All the essential French words and phrases you might need when visiting the hair salon in France.  

Salon magazines = magazines des modèles (magazine day mod-elle)

Cut = Coupe, coop
Style = Brushing, bruh sheeng
To colour = coloris, Coo-lor-ees

Shampoo = Shampo, sham- pwaw

If you are adventurous and you want a truly continental look, tell the stylist to do what ever she thinks is best! Say “Faites ce que vous pensez m’irez bien” (fet suh kuh voo pon-sqy mee-ray bee-en).

Some of the real magic in the French salon happens in the wash basin. First, a lovely shampoo followed by a head massage that lasts at least five minutes! At this point they might ask you a couple of questions: would you like a soin – a conditioner to protect your hair (for an extra charge). You can ask how much, combine ça coute? (Comb-bee-en sah coot?) Or just a simple oui or non merci will do. When asked ça vous va a temperature de l’eau? You are being asked: is this water temperature okay? (Sah voo vah lah tahm-per-ah-chur duh low?)

If you have thin hair, they might propose a special shampoo that adds volume, or de-frizz for frizzy hair défrisage (day-freez-aj).

When the stylist is finished they might ask if you would like a styling gel or spray – Vous voulez du produit coiffant? (voo voo-lay doo pro-dwee kwah-fon?) And you answer oui or non.

For men – les hommes

The stylist will need to know how long it has been since your last visit, so that she knows how much hair to cut. It has been one month (two months) since my last cut = ca fait un mois (deux mois) depuis je ne suis allez chez le coiffeur (sah fay uhn mwah (dhu mwah) duh-pwee zhuh nuh sweez allay chay luh kwah-fer).

It is best for the stylist to begin with your sideburns and neck while your hair is still dry.

To shave your neck = un fondu de nuque (uhn fon-doo duh nuke)

Short sideburns (or thinned) = les pattes courtes (ou juste désépaissies) (lay pat court (day-zah-pez-ee)

Keep the length please, but cut the top = garder la longueur mais coupez le haut (Gar-day lah loh-ger may coop-ay luh oh).

Short all over = court partout (Coor par too)

Useful French Phrases: At the Hairdresser’s

French spelling is really different from English. Use the pronunciation guide in italics to say these phrases. The oo is like the oo in moon and the zhe is like the s in pleasure.

I would like to make an appointment: Je voudrais prendre rendez-vous

I would like to have my hair cut: Je voudrais me faire couper les cheveux

I would like to have a trim: Je voudrais me faire faire une coupe d’entretien.

… on Tuesday at 10am: … le mardi à dix heures

Not too short: pas trop court

I wash my hair every two days: Je me lave les cheveux tous les deux jours

I wash my hair every day: Je me lave les cheveux tous les jours

I washed my hair this morning: Je me suis lavé les cheveux ce matin

Do you have greasy hair? Est-ce que vous avez les cheveux gras?

I have dry hair: J’ai les cheveux secs

Could you put highlights in my hair? Pourriez-vous me faire des mèches?/Pourriez-vous me faire un balayage?

I want to dye my hair: J’ai envie de me teindre les cheveux

I want to have a perm: Je veux me faire faire une permanente.

Would you like me to blow-dry your hair? Vous voulez que je vous fasse un brushing?

A set: une mise en plis

A fringe: une frange

Conditioner: Après shampooing

Hair spray: La laque

Des fourches: split ends

Les cheveux crépus: frizzy hair

With thanks to Maya O’Riordan.

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Whether you’re a second-home owner or an expat living in France, learning French is an essential part of integrating into local life. FrenchEntrée is here to help with our handy verb and vocabulary lists, essential French phrases, and top tips and advice for learning French.

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