The Sleek-Haired French Siren Look

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There are straight-haired women in France and there are curly-haired women in France, as there are in any country. But why then is it that when I think of some of my favorite French sirens, I usually come up with women who have straight hair? Think of Juliette Binoche, Catherine Deneuve, Emmanuel Béart, Carole Bouquet or Vanessa Paradis. Especially that Carole Bouquet — remember her as Melina from the James Bond movie For Your Eyes Only? Her hair was black and waist length, giving her a sexy, sophisticated air that lingered somewhere between Pocahontas, Park Avenue and Paris. Come to think of it, that could be where my dream of what I call “Navajo Hair” began. I have always thought long and straight hair was lovely — partly, no doubt, due to the fact that my own hair naturally grows in loose spiral-y curls that render me more Melina Kanakaredes (from the series Providence on American television) than Melina à la 007. I am not complaining, for the sleek look was mine as long as I was prepared to work for it a little, with a huge round brush and a blow dryer (and the Phytodéfrisant botanical hair balm I buy in bulk at French pharmacies on every trip). When summer hits, though, I am quite loath to spend more minutes than necessary underneath the heat of a dryer, especially when the pool and ocean are beckoning. Well “curly heads,” take heart, for now there is hope for women who enjoy changing their look; for women with curls who despite deft skill with blowouts, never imagined they could achieve the pin-straight look of the naturally straight. You may have already heard the buzz, which has finally reached the most fashionable salons on the East coast of America (and no doubt was preceded by the fashion forward in France, but it’s costly, so was probably mostly reserved for runway models). Americans call the technique Thermal Reconditioning, and it is all the rage in the States, after having been developed in Japan and throughout Asia and slowly making its way into the country via Los Angeles about six years ago. In France, as in America, progressive and in-the-know salons are turning curly tops into converts and giving them the hair they dreamed of without the telltale brittleness and damage that certain other chemical hair processes can leave women to contend with, trading one “problem” for another. The difference is a diluted or weaker formulation of traditional “thio” chemicals that allow the hair to remain in better condition and, with proper care, in less danger of breakage or other post-chemical process damage. FYI- approximate cost is anywhere from $300-800+ depending on length of person’s hair and salon doing it. A Parisian salon that offers hair smoothing for curly hair — what they term “defrissage” in France: Today’s Look Salon in Paris7, avenue Carnot — 75017 PARIS tel: Phone : (033) 1 44 09 77 44at.todayslook.free.fr/us/(Make sure to see the before and after shots – whoa!) In the USA see: The Yuko Salon / Beverly Hills, CAwww.phitenusa.com Bio Ionic – a Japanese-inspired system from CA, now in salons nationwidewww.bionic.com Okyo Salon / Washington, DCwww.okyosalon.com Also:Anderson French Salon / New York City18 E 53rd St., Second FloorNew York, NY212-838-1820 / stylist: Tim Lau Toshi Union Square Salon / San Francisco166 Geary St. San Francisco, CA415-956-4667 VINCENTJ Salon / South Florida3301 NE 33 StFort Lauderdale, FL954-566-6601 ** I am still searching for salons in Paris that are confirmed to offer the specific version of straightening curls that uses the weakened chemicals and straight ironing process that characterize “Japanese Hair Straightening” or “Thermal Reconditioning” – and will post that list as soon as more information comes my way. If you know of one, make sure to post it in the Comments section…merci! Copyright © Paris New Media, LLC
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