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Learning French

How do you say…? The most popular French phrases to get by at the hairdresser

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During your French immersion in France you need to go to the hairdresser, but this is not always easy! How to tell the hairdresser exactly what you want and what not, in French for sure! Here are some typical French phrases that will help you to make yourself understood at a hairdresser and to express exactly what you want.

Most popular French phrases to get by at the hairdresser

How do you say? Essential French phrases at the hairdresser

1. « Je voudrais prendre rendez-vous, s’il-vous-plaît. » (I would like to make an appointment.)
First you choose your „salon de coiffure” (Hairdresser). Often in France you see outside written « Hommes, Femmes, Enfant, Coiffure Mixte ». This means specialized for: Men, women, children or all. Be careful, if you see only „ trois pelés et un tondu ¹ “at the hairdresser! Better do not go there!

You can make an appointment over the telephone or directly at the hairdresser. If he is available, he says: « Il me reste de la place ce matin; à 10h30, ça vous irait ? » (I have an appointment left at 10:30 this morning, is this ok for you?). If there is no availability and he says: « Désolé, nous sommes complets le matin, mais j’ai un créneau libre l’après-midi. » (Sorry, this morning we are fully booked, but in the afternoon I have a free space).

2. « Installez-vous ici pour patienter un instant ; je finis cette coupe de cheveux et je viens vous chercher. » (Take a seat for a moment, I will finish a haircut and I will pick you up.)

Soon it is your turn. You can use this opportunity to read newspapers or to get ideas for haircuts in specialized magazines. At some hairdressers there are also specialized hair-stylists to give you advice. « Qu’est-ce que vous me recommandez ? »:(What do you recommend?). He will help you to choose the best matching hair cut for you. Do not accept all recommendations if you think they are „ tirées par les cheveux ² “.

3. « On commence par le shampoing : installez-vous dans ce fauteuil et penchez la tête en arrière. » (We start with the shampoo: Sit on this chair and tilt your head backwards.)

The hairdresser will « laver les cheveux » (wash the hair). He regulates the water temperature depending on your preference: « La température de l’eau vous convient ? Dites-moi si c’est trop chaud. » (Is the water temperateur good for you. Tell me if it is too hot). He is also liklely to ask: « Vous les avez lavés quand? » (When did you wash your hair last?). He likes to find out if you have dry or greasy hair. « Je vous propose un soin? » (I suggest you a treatment?) If you agree, he will apply hair oils, conditioners and other care after shampooing. If you are not interested „ ne vous arrachez pas les cheveux ³ “, just decline the offer.

4. « Alors qu’est-ce que je vous fais ? » (So, what can I do for you?)

After shampooing the hairdresser will install you on a chair in front of a « miroir » (mirror). He will give you a « cape » (cape) to protect your cloths and he will prepare his tools: « ciseaux, rasoir, brosse etc. » (Scissors, shaver, brush, etc.) and he will ask you: « Vous avez choisi ce que vous voulez? » (Did you decide on what you want?).

Following typical expressions that you need in different situations, so that you know how to say French phrases at the hairdresser:

  • You only want to have your hair slightly cut: « Coupez les pointes, s’il-vous-plaît. » (Please cut only the tips) or « Vous pouvez rafraîchir la coupe? » (Can you refresh the cut?)
  • You like to have your hair extended: « Vous posez des extensions? » (You can put extensions?); « Je voudrais me faire poser des rajouts. » (I would like to have extension placed).
  • You like to change your hair cut style : « Je voudrais changer ; j’aimerais bien une coupe au carré, mais j’hésite : un carré court ou long? » ; (I would like to change, I’d like a bob, but I hesitate, long or short?)
    « Dans ce magazine, j’ai vu cette coupe tendance qui me plaît ; vous pouvez me faire ça ? » (In the magazine I saw a modern cut, which I like. Can you make this?)
  • You like to change the structure of your hair. « J’aimerais faire une permanence pour gagner en volume. » (I would like a perm to gain in volume.); « Vous pouvez me les lisser? » (Can you straighten them?)
  • You like to change your hair color: « Je voudrais faire une couleur. » (I would like a color); « Je voudrais les décolorer. » (I like to discolor them).
  • You go to a big event, a wedding, for example, and you want a sophisticated hairstyle: « Je voudrais une chignon, qu’est-ce que vous me conseiller? » (I want a topknot, what do you recommend me?)
  • You do not know what kind of haircut you want and you „ ne vous faites pas de cheveux blancs 4. You tell your hairdresser: « Je vous fais confiance ! Faites ce que vous voulez. » (I trust you! Do like you want.)
  • After having cut your hair the hairdresser will ask you how you like to have your hair styled. « Je vous fais un brushing? » (Ich will blow-dry?) or; « Je mets du gel ? » (Would you like gel?) or « Un peu de laque pour fixer la coiffure ? ». (Some hair spray to fix the haircut?). Sure you can refuse: « Je préfère un séchage naturel. » (I prefer to let it dry naturally).

5. « Ça vous plaît ? » (Do you like it?)

At the end the hairdresser will take a mirror and show you the « coupe de cheveux » (haircut). If you like it you could say: « C’est très joli, c’est exactement ce que je voulais. Merci beaucoup! » (It is very nice, exactly what I wanted, thank you!). If it is not that nice you can, without „ vous crêper le chignon 5 tell the hairdresser: « Je préfèrerais plus court. » (I would have prefered shorter.) or « Je pensais que ça serait moins court. » (I thought it would not be that short).

6. « Ça vous fait … euros, s’il-vous-plaît. » (I cost you … Euros please)

At the end the hairdresser will announce the price: « Ça vous fera… euros. » (It makes … Euros). Let’s hope that the price will not „ fera pas dresser les cheveux sur la tête 6 !

We hope that thanks to these French expressions your next visit to the hairdresser in France will be easier for you. For many people visiting a hairdresser abroad is an adventure. Listen to the song Epoustouflante of Lynda Lemay, it will make „ mettra de bon poil 7 !

trois pelés et un tondu: hardly anyone
2 tiré par les cheveux: far-fetched
3 s’arracher les cheveux: tear your hair out
4 se faire des cheveux blancs: worry yourself sick
5 se crêper le chignon: scratch each other’s eyes out
6 faire dresser les cheveux sur la tête: make one’s hair stand on end
7 mettre de bon poil: have a good mood