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When I was planning my trip to Paris, I knew I wanted to experience more than just the sights, sounds, and styles of the city. I wanted to immerse myself in the beauty as well, which meant getting my hair done in a local salon. Although I was nervous, I was excited and curious to see what these French professionals could do for my hair. So, I walked into one of the best salons in the heart of Paris and asked for a makeover! Here’s what happened.
Researching the Paris Salon Scene
Though my title of walking into a salon may sound a bit spontaneous (though it’s true – I walked into it, I didn’t teleport!), the truth is, you actually do have to do some planning ahead of time. Especially if you’re trying to make a hair appointment in a different country.
Before diving into the Paris salon scene, I knew I had to do some research to find the perfect place to get my hair makeover. Hair is such an emotional thing (and a bad haircut can make you cry – been there), so I wanted to ensure that I would have a great experience and be in capable hands. I found this guide about the best hair salons in Paris and started working through the list.
Choosing the Right Salon
I looked at reviews, ratings, tags on social media, pictures, pricing, and most importantly, availability. I ended up booking an appointment at David Mallet. Though I wasn’t David Mallet’s client (though you can pay more and request him), he’s a renowned hairstylist with celebrity clients and salons in Paris and New York. Whether I was seeing him or one of his team members, I felt the most comfortable putting my hair in the hands of a salon with such a good reputation.
Visiting the Salon
The David Mallet salon is in a very posh neighborhood in the 2nd arrondissement and housed in a chic building. Once you ring the buzzer and walk through the salon doors, you are welcomed by soaring ceilings, tall windows, beautiful natural light, and chic furnishings.
Once I checked in, I didn’t have to wait and I was seated right away. The friendly and welcoming team stopped by many times to offer me and my assistant water, coffee, or tea.
Meeting My Colorist
Though I wanted to be open to whatever the team had in mind, in order to make an appointment, you have to let them know ahead of time what you want, so I had originally asked for a color and a cut.
So first, I met with Niko, my very friendly colorist. He asked what I was thinking and I pointed out all the spots where my previous color had grown out and didn’t look good anymore.
Deep down I wanted something natural looking, but I really didn’t want to speak too much and color (ha) anyone’s opinions. I really wanted to hear what they thought the best makeover would be for me!
After Niko assessed my hair, he thought that my faded hair color did in fact need a touch-up. He pointed to the blonde curls around my face and said, “You disappear a bit in these lighter colors. You need something all over, but still a warmer and natural color. Nothing too harsh.”
After coming to an agreement on what he was going to do with my hair color, the hairdresser, Alain, popped over to chat about my haircut. “We all work together to make sure we’re on the same page.”
Echoing my previous thoughts to Niko, the hair colorist, I wanted to know what Alain thought would look best on me.
“You need some shape. Let’s frame your face and give you layers. But long layers. Not too short or it will get frizzy, and your hair is already a little frizzy.”
After agreeing with Alain on his thoughts, he went to consult with another client and Niko got to work mixing up the color that he thought was best.
“I’m going to use something that’s between a toner and a semi-permanent. A toner is too light and will just wash out, but a permanent color gives a harsh line of regrowth. This won’t give you a harsh grow-out line.”
When he combed out my hair, I was pretty shocked by how many different colors it had taken on with my color fading! I wasn’t a fan of the orange, red, and blonde tones, and now know that these colors aren’t flattering on me. Though you can’t tell as much when my hair is curly, I wondered why I waited so long and I was more than ready to get this cleaned up.
After my hair was processed, I was guided to another room where all the hair washing took place. I didn’t have my phone with me to snap a pic, but it was yet another beautiful apartment-style room with big windows and lovely architecture. What happened next was a relaxing hair mask and scrub.
Getting My Hair Cut
With my new fresh color and moistured locks, I was ready to visit Alain to give some shape to my hair.
I was less nervous about my hair at this point. My biggest fear was that something crazy would happen due to the language difference, but we all understood each other and I felt confident that this team knew what they were doing.
Alain moved pretty quickly, but he also took his time scrutinizing the ends making sure things looked even.
As you can see, my makeover is not very drastic. And I’m truly happy about this! The French approach to beauty is natural and effortless, and I’m happy that what they thought would look best on me was just a cleaned-up version of who I already am.
I adore the color. Niko did a fantastic job. Some color jobs I’ve gotten in the past made my hair look almost like a wig – they were too dark and my hair lacked dimension, but I didn’t really know what to ask for. With this color, I still have dimension and depth and that’s what makes it look so natural.
I’ve gotten my hair done before in the states, of course, but I’ve struggled to get the right tone. It usually ends up looking more black and it never really sat right with me. I can see now that a little depth and contrast is good, but I don’t want too much contrast. Black hair on me looks a little too stark. A dark yet warm chocolate brown is my favorite look yet!
And as far as the cut, now that my ends are cleaned up and I have some layers, it looks and feels bouncier – and I just feel fresh!
2 hours and 360 euros later (ouch), I ended up with hair that I love. Though it’s more than what I pay for my hair in the states, it did feel worth it to me.
And no, it wasn’t a drastic change in terms of color choice, but it felt like a drastic difference. I have been told that darker colors suit me and now that I have the confirmation from these Parisian professionals, I have the confidence in knowing what looks best on me!
Though I’m not going to fly back to Paris every time I want my hair done, I feel more confident asking for what I want back home. And at least now I have a reference photo of myself to give!
This was my experience getting my hair done in Paris. Want to read about my experience shopping in Paris? My Experience Shopping With a French Personal Stylist in Paris