Bent hair

I last got my hair cut in Australia, six months ago. So, it’s been in need of a cut for some time, but my lack of hairdresser vocabulary had been putting me off.

Today, Julia (another Aussie at BTL) and I took the plunge and went to the Tchip on Boulevard Sebastopol. Tchip is a chain of cheap hairdressers in Paris – a cut and blow-wave is €19, add a colour and the total is €29, have foils instead of an all-over colour and it comes to €39. Given that some places charge €70 for a cut, it seemed like a good idea.

It’s about four hours later now, and it doesn’t look like I’ve had anything done. I just wanted the split-ends taken off and some layers around my face, but the girl didn’t cut it short enough.

I actually commented on it when it was done – “je veux que les fins être saines – est-ce que c’est assez?” (I know, bad grammar, I need to practice more).

The hairdresser looked at me and raised a brow – “oui.

So much for le client est roi. Oh well, it should be enough to last the next six months! I’ll deep condition it this weekend – it will be fine.

Vocabulaire de coiffure*

Hair: cheveux
Oily: gras
Dry: secs
Normal: normaux
Curly: bouclés
Smooth: lisses
Dyed: colorés
Fringe: une frange
Cut: une coupe
Layered: en dégradé
Blowdry: brushing
Soin: moisturising treatment

Most of this I knew, though lisses, soin and bouclés were new. The hairdresser asked if I wanted my blowdry lisses or bouclés, and I chose bouclés. What I didn’t realise was that her definition of curly looked as though I had woken up and brushed my hair upside-down, then hair sprayed it upside-down, and then gone for a walk in the wind. I brushed it out as soon as she finished.

Now that I know it, I quite like the word bouclés. I already knew the term boucles d’oreille, or earrings, so now I think of gold earrings as small, golden curls.

Boucle also means buckle . . . buckled hair? Well, if you think of someone’s knees buckling, or someone hunched over a desk as they buckle down to finish their work, I suppose you could also translate les cheveux bouclés as bent hair, which is pretty accurate.

The verb boucler can also mean to close or to shut (e.g.: boucler la maison), and what is buckling a belt or a shoe if not shutting it?

What can I say – I like words. I’m an English teacher.

*Please see Expatica for a more comprehensive list.

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