It was in France where men began styling women's hair for the first time, and many of the notable hairdressers of the time were men, a trend that would continue into contemporary times. The first famous male hairdresser was Champagne, who was a born in Southern France. Upon moving to Paris, he opened his own hair salon and dressed the hair of wealthy Parisian women until his death in 1658. By 1777, approximately 1,200 hairdressers were working in Paris.
Well, today I experienced the French coiffeur sophisitacation first hand. Finding a good hairdresser seems to be the biggest challenge for me every time I move. I had been dreading this confrontation and therefore simply went back home to have my hair cut last time!
Last month I had taken my Expat boy to have his hair cut down the avenue and while I was waiting one stylish lady after another kept popping in asking for Bénjamin (pronounced with a heavy French accent) to the point where I began to wonder. I decided to take a closer look. Today I went back with the excuse of Expat boys haircut and there he was "le Benjamin"! A terrrrrrribly Frrrrrench man with a dark curly main, 3-day beard carefully groomed, AND an attitude.
After watching him prepare a lady's hair to perfection I took the plunge. After ten minutes of cutting, combing, fluffing, more cutting, combing and fluffing I had a smashing haircut. It was a world-revealing experience for me. Why? This French man had decided that I needed to change my parting from one side to the other. Now, this might not seem like a big deal but - believe you me - after having had my parting on the same side for over 40 years it seems like a revolution to wear it to the other.
HOWEVER, it worked! After another ten minutes of blow drying, throwing my head over forwards and then back again, and again, a bit of hairspray, I walked out of that hair salon ready to conquer Hollywood. I have NEVER felt this revolutionized about a new hairdo, ever!
Voilà à ma nouvelle vie parisienne! Vive le chic parisien!