Effortless, undone, understated luxury and radiant shine. The definition of the ultimate French girl hair is polished, sophisticated and totally laid back – even when it’s brunette. There’s something about how Parisienne women do their hair that makes it so much better than a British version of brown, but until now it’s been impossible to put your finger on. Having been practically every shade under the sun over the last decade, finally I’ve settled on embracing more of my natural tones rather than continually having to battle with a box of red dye. I’m not a hair snob and never have been, being as happy with an at-home colour as I am with an in-salon treatment (because realistically, when you’ve got brown hair there’s really not a huge amount of difference.) Box colours are evolving and becoming even more professional looking, which over the years has left a lot of us wondering why we should be investing in regular salon appointments; blondes are much more likely to see the benefit of a professional technique than us brunettes, but thanks to a new concept launched by L’Oreal that’s all about to change.
Inspired by the quintessentially French approach to beauty, L’Oreal
Professionnel has created the very first French Girl Hair Brunette Bar
to offer a completely bespoke approach to colour. What brunettes have
been lacking until now is a way to enhance their colour in the same
creative and fashion inspired ways as their blonde counterparts; brown
may come in many different tones, but at the end of the day it’s still
brown – and more often than not completely one dimensional. The
innovative Brunette Bar offers four luxe approaches to colour, with the
focus very much being on understated enhancement and a multi-tonal
result. Available nationwide from this July, the concept aims to make salon colour interesting again and provide real value from your appointment (as well as hair that looks healthy, full of life, chic and most importantly: expensive.) With four subtly different looks to choose from, each offers an injection of French Girl Chic into a ‘do that can quickly become dull…
FRENCH POLISH: Subtle, sophisticated, barely-there colour with an ultra-light touch; it’s everything French girl hair should be. This is about layering brown on top of brown with a whisper rather than a shout.
BABYLIGHT BRUNETTE: Effortlessly cool, this micro-balayage technique scatters subtle beams of light a quarter to half a shade lighter around your face, seamlessly blended to provide a youthful take on a French girl look.
TRICOLORE CHIC: With its bespoke blending of three brunette shades, this tribute to the French emblem brings a new creativity to brunette hair whilst still retaining its understated, luxurious feel.
BRUNETTE A PORTER: Taking inspiration from the undone nonchalance of the photo ready Parisian front row, this technique involves blending the traditional foil hair colouring with free-hand balayage to bring the best of both worlds in one service.
I opted for a combination of Tricolore Chic and Babylight Brunette, which essentially left me with three shades of colour to frame my face and the enhancement of hand-applied micro balayage (high and low lights applied by eye, rather than using the rather outdated traditional foil partitions.) The result is a head of hair that’s full of life, bouncy, radiant and incredibly chic; I love it. Although upon first glance you may just think I have a healthy head of brown hair, when you look again you can definitely notice the multi-tonal effect and the radiance it brings. This is so much more than covering my greys and rectfying the damage a week in the sun had caused – it’s about breathing life back into my barnet and giving me the confidence to swish it around with a smile on my face. Historically I’ve struggled to justify the cost of an in-salon service when you don’t have blonde, ombre or bright red locks, but with the Brunette Bar it’s easy to see the difference a pair of professional hands can make. Unsurprisingly I’m converted and will definitely be popping back for a top-up when my greys start to show through again.
What do you think of salon services versus box dyes? Have you been put off by the cost of colour if you’re a brunette? Are you more likely to try the Brunette Bar offering than a standard treatment?
The L’Oreal Professionnel French Girl Hair Brunette Bar is available nationwide in L’Oreal salons from July; prices differ according to location, so check with your local salon when booking. I visited Paul Edmonds in London’s Knightsbrudge and was styled by Jack Howard, who was involved in the development of the concept.
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