7 Tips for Doing Hair the French Way
Very few ladies play with the “big boys” of hair. Paris-based Marisol Suarez is in that elite club. Recognized as a contemporary of top session artists like Peter Gray and Yannick D’Is, Marisol’s distinctive, avant-garde work has appeared in top international publications and even in museums because they’re so special! She’s the chouchou (favorite) of French beauty editors. Her Studio Marisol in Paris’ trendy Marais district is not only a hot destination for chic clients, it’s also a gathering spot for area artists. Recently, a group of Los Angeles hairstylists got a taste of the French flavor of Madame Marisol, when René Furterer presented this special woman for a special evening, inspired by the Golden Age of Paris in the ‘20s!
As Marisol dazzled with her deft techniques, we picked up some cool insights into the French approach to hairdressing. Here are seven tips for adding a little French flavor to your work!
1. Know the Rules Before You Break Them
Classic techniques are essential for any hairdresser to know, believes Marisol. Study your hair history. Learn how to do fingerwaves and pincurl sets. Do your homework. (Check out a book called Art of Finger Waving—Recreating Vintage 1920s and 1930s Hairstyles. It includes detailed step-by-step instructions.) These techniques will be the foundations for any type of work you do in your career.
2. Once You Master a Classic, It Becomes Easier
It takes practice to learn something new, but soon your fingers “feel” the technique and become more nimble and adept. Eventually, you’ll be able to do fingerwaves, for example, with your hands, pins, irons, etc. So don’t give up!
3. Mix It Up!
To avoid creating “period” hairstyles, mix up classic techniques with modern techniques, products and tools, all with your own creative signature!
4. Avoid the Bad Habit of “The Usual”
Once you’ve mastered new techniques, be sure to offer them to clients. Say, “Let’s finish your hair with fingerwaves this time!” or “Why don’t you let me do a pretty braid before you go?” Variety and creative ideas will keep clients coming back!
5. Updos Don’t Always Have to Go Up!
Everybody thinks updos for special occasion hair, but upstyles don’t have to be the only options. Pretty sets with rollers, irons or pincurls; a faux bob; a beautiful, sleek blow-out can all “dress up” a client’s hair for an event.
6. Braids are BIG—Do them now!
Marisol added a Braid Bar in her salon, and on Friday and Saturday evenings, it’s filled with clients who want a cool twist before they head out for the evening. “Let the hair tell you what type of braid to do,” says Marisol. For example, dark hair looks best with simple, graphic braids, while lighter hair is great for looser, frothier braided styles.
7. Get Crafty
For Marisol, her creativity extends beyond hair into fashion—she loves creating her own hair accessories. For example, her fingerwaves were embellished with crisp, waved pieces that mirrored the shape of the hair. They were created with shellac and sprayed with glitter and sequins. And to enhance her braided looks, she mixed glitter and sequence with Rene Furterer Vegetal Sculpting Gel and dabbed the mixture onto the hair with a sponge!