After a winding year in quarantine, it seems like a lifetime since anyone has stepped outside in general, let alone in a hair salon. So, in honor of the first summer post-lockdown, it’s time to experiment with a new ‘do. If you’re not ready to lose a couple of inches off your hair (understandable), then you can definitely opt to play around with a new color. But before you break out the hair dye, you should add a few Parisian-inspired hues to your mood board.
There’s a reason why Paris is considered one of the biggest fashion (and beauty!) capitals of the world — because, like other stylish metropolitan areas such as London and Manhattan, the French city is one of the few places on the globe where trends are born rather than mimicked. It’s no wonder why people are so obsessed with following French style, beauty, even decor!
While deep, dark neutrals and playful red hues dominated Paris during the winter, hairstyles on the streets of France’s most popular city are starting to heat up this summer. What to expect: a return to more natural-looking hair colors, a few surprisingly colorful twists, and the reappearance of gray hair.
Where’s all of this styling info coming from? Straight out of the mouths of Paris’s coolest “It Girls,” of course. If you want a hairstyle that looks straight out of the glossiest pages of Vogue Paris, then take note of the hair color trends of which France’s finest approve. Here, the eight top trending hair colors in Paris, according to their biggest style influencers, below — and prepare to head to the salon ASAP.
According to Emilie Jospeh, aka one of Paris’s biggest street style stars, overgrown roots are taking over everyone’s heads. There’s a pretty clear reason why: ever since lockdown started, some people would rather just ditch the time (and money) consuming touch-ups. Seeing that visible roots are actually quite stylish is just one more reason why you should stop fretting about your hair and experiment with the look.
“We all know that moment when we are struggling to hide our regrowth, especially before going on vacation or when we have to leave the comfort of our beloved home (office) to go back to the open space,” Joseph says. “Today, this trend makes us feel less stressed and gives us this natural yet trendy look. A few of my colleagues are rocking this technique and I like it!”
A Black Bob
What’s more of a Parisian-couture look than a black bob? Popular French influencer Carrole Sagba says this mod hairstyle is making a prominent resurgence on the streets of Paris, and it’s clear why that’s the case. Its retro vibe and clean-cut look make it eternally fashion-forward, plus its short length “highlights the nape of the neck and is perfect for summer,” says Sagba. “This cut allows you to better withstand the summer heat.”
Embrace The Gray
Ever since the gray hair movement kicked off, people of all ages have started to embrace their silver strands. The global trend has now taken over Paris, and model/creative director Solange Smith says she’s seen heads of gray hair trekking all over France.
“As of late I have been seeing more of my friends embrace their gray hair,” she says. “I started noticing it last year, during those months when we exchanged hair salon visits for a trip to our living room. It went from letting the gray hairs grow out to now seeing people experiment, by adding lighter gray hair to shape their face or turning it into a mesmerizing silver.”
She also notes that though people used to have a negative outlook on graying, she now sees people of all ages and backgrounds not only accepting, but treasuring the trend.
“I feel like many people used to associate gray hair with age as if it were something bad, but I feel like it has a powerful element to it,” she explains. “At the end of the day the older you get, the more experiences you’ve had and the wiser you become. So in fact, gray hair is just an element of wisdom.”
“Au Naturel” Brunettes
Yes, summer is a time for experimenting with hair color, but why not test out a simpler, albeit underrated shade? American PR girl turned Paris transplant Tiffanie Davis says the “au naturel” look, especially when it comes to brunette shades, has been dominating the city recently.
“I would say hairstyles and hair color trends here are very chic, classy, and simple; a lot of dark brown/black/brunette. [I’m] not seeing too many bold colors or anything over the top,” she says. “This is what I'm seeing everywhere, whether I'm having brunch on a terrasse, taking a stroll down Rue Saint Honoré, or during a busy workday in the city. I touched base with a few French friends here too and they agree!”
When you hear about mousy hair, chances are you may think of it as a bit boring — a stopover color before your next salon appointment. But contrary to popular belief, Jospeh says the brunette shade is a sleeper hit in Paris, and it just might be the next shade of your strands.
“Why do we love it? Mousy hair gives a natural look. Because, you know, this year, we kinda want to wear our ‘real’ hair color... but better,” she says. “We love the light it brings to the hair, and this is by far my favorite!”
Brunette Protective Styles
Protective hairstyles are a popular option for curly and coily hair in the summer, and French girls also have a fondness for new trends and classic styles this time of year. Sagba also notes that she’s seen plenty of protective styles strutting around Paris, and has even tried them herself.
“As a Parisian from diversity, hair braided with colored or sober strands are part of my preferences, like these braids [above],” she says. “However, brunette color is more popular.”
Though Davis says that muted brunette shades are one of the biggest trends in Paris, she also notes that there’s a bolder color currently trending (virtually): orange. From more natural ginger hues to vibrant tangerine, orange seems to be one of the biggest hair trends taking over the top Parisian crowns, at least on social media as Davis says.
“I did notice a few girls start to rock this orange trend, but mostly seeing this on Instagram and beauty profiles,” she says. But the unexpected color provides a gorgeous pop of color for anyone who isn’t set on either blonde or red — it’s sort of the best of both worlds.
Brunettes aren’t the only ones having fun this summer. According to Joseph, “vintage blonde” — think nearly-platinum with a hint of warmth — is also popping up, and understandably so. Who wouldn’t want to experiment with this bold, glamorous shade? Even Selena Gomez and Billie Eilish have been spotted with this retro-inspired hair color.
“The comeback of vintage is not only felt in the fashion world. Blonde hair, a classic, is even more daring for a very trendy retro look,” she says. “Spotted a few times on cool girls from the 18th Arrondissement of Paris or near Canal de l'Ourcq. Why do I like it? It's bold, sexy with a touch of je ne sais quoi.”