When attempting to quantify the ineffable attract of the femme française, one apparent trait is correct in our faces—and theirs, a lot of the time: French lady hair. Its pure, unfussy texture units the tone for an effortlessly cool look, inspiring girls world wide to ditch the styling instruments in favor of rumpled, slept-in waves seen on Caroline de Maigret and the convoy of avenue type stars we’ll be watching as Paris Vogue Week kicks off right this moment.
However French hair hasn’t at all times been so uncomplicated. Marie Antoinette’s quite a few coifs—essentially the most memorable being the pouf, created by hairstylist Léonard Autié on the Dauphine’s request—outlined luxurious of the time with elaborate additions and ever-increasing peak. The bob was popularized by the French within the 20th-century because of a want for less complicated shapes, in addition to the Parisian manufacturing of the Ballets Russes’s Scheherazade, which showcased the clean-cut type paired with flowing Arabian garb. Coco Chanel famously adopted the reduce in 1916, as did the French-American artist and feminist Niki de Saint Phalle—the magnificence muse behind Dior’s Spring 2018 present—within the ’60s, although Joan of Arc may be credited as the unique innovator.
The bouffant, worn by Brigitte Bardot and Catherine Deneuve, reimagined ’60s sensuality—notably when paired with a wing of black liner—whereas Françoise Hardy’s naturally straight hair and bangs impressed a wave of styling insouciance the world over. Expats from Josephine Baker to Carla Bruni knew that calling Paris residence got here with the duty of adopting a directional coif. Immediately, It women Lou Doillon and Clémence Poésy possess waves that solely genes can ship, together with the type of aspirational texture that retains dry shampoo in enterprise. It’s a glance that has vary, as confirmed by the newest Bond lady, Léa Seydoux, who hit the massive display screen (and infrequently, the crimson carpet) with a sophisticated tackle the unofficial nationwide coif. From Édith Piaf to Audrey Tautou, above is a short historical past in photos of the most effective French lady hair of all time.