Getting that certain je ne sais quoi...
I've been dyeing my hair on and off again since I was fourteen and have probably done a world of things you "shouldn't" do: too much heat styling, rubbing it dry with a towel, too much product, etc. etc.
As I've gotten older and fallen into minimizing certain areas of my routine into a more French Girl-like approach, like everyday makeup, it made sense to do the same with my hair. I have semi-fine hair that's dried out a lot because I still get it dyed, but I also have a lot, and I mean A LOT of hair. Trying to curl, pin curl, etc. is a pain often because there's so bloody much and not even in an "oh but all the volumeeeee" kind of way because LOL no my hair isn't playing that way.
Here are some of the hair secrets I've picked up through extensive research aka Googling "French Girl Hair Secrets" and through my own trial and error. Obviously, your hair mileage may vary on what works and doesn't work for you but here are a few guidelines that can be adapted as needed.
Don't shampoo everyday
This is one of those "no duh" tips. It's becoming more common to skip daily shampooing in favor of going 2-3 days before the next shampoo, filling the gap with the occasional spritz of dry shampoo to keep oils at bay if they get too out of hand. The idea is to not over strip the scalp of moisture but also shampooing on the daily can really mess up of color-treated hair and fade the color faster.
That being said, don't go too crazy on dry shampoo either; that stuff builds up. I recently had to get some of the Carol's Daughter Lisa Hair Elixir and scalp oil treatment because I had been a bit too dry shampoo happy and my scalp was like "LOL NO, BITCH" in return. Which by the way, the hair elixir and oil are the bomb at clarifying the scalp without stripping.
Condition post-shower with leave-ins, oil, serums
This one was an interesting one to try because I was a little skeptical, but you know, it works! I've found when I skip in-shower conditioner and opt to spritz a little oil or a light leave in or serum, it conditions and my hair has better movement and way less heavy-feeling. This is mainly a great tip if you have finer hair and struggle with movement or hair feeling too weighed down.
One other thing I'll use in place of conditioner, if I know I'm not blow drying, is Kristin Ess Air Dry Créme. It smooths and does this thing where it makes your air-dried hair not look like a frizzy poof and gives you that cool girl effortless hair that is actually effortless and not "this took a lot of effort and like twelve steps, but I'm going to lie and say I woke up like this." The picture below is what my hair air-dried like when I used this product. Trust me, my hair isn't that nice when it air dries without assistance.
Hold back on heat
As much as I love how my hair initially feels when I blow dry it, it's pretty clear too much heat styling also fries my hair, and since my hair is not delicious tater tots, this isn't exactly ideal. So, I've been giving my blow dryer a break and opt to air dry my hair. If I know I'm going to curl my hair I will at max only do it twice a week. In fact, my rule I didn't realize was a rule until now but more I fell into this habit is that I will only heat style twice a week if even that. The rest is up to God and the product.
Masks/treatments on weekends
According to Christophe Robin, French hairstylist, and creator of the eponymous haircare line, it's common for French girls to spend the weekend doing a lot to nourish their hair as prep ahead for the week. They'll do oil treatments, apply conditioning masks and leave them in a long time and then repeat the next day. So think of Saturday and Sunday as hair spa days where not only are you practicing some delightful self-care and treating yourself, you're also treating your hair and getting it in good shape for the week.
I tried this out recently, using the aforementioned Carol's Daughter hair oil and their Sacred Tiare conditioning mask and it definitely left my hair feeling pretty awesome for the first half of the week. I like the Carol's Daughter mask, but I really prefer my hairstylist's conditioning treatment, I Dig Your Hair Repair Conditioning Hairapy, better because it doesn't have silicones and she put a lot of excellent ingredients in there. Also, I really want to support her business because she works her ass off on these products and in the salon and getting the word out. I'm not even sponsored or get anything for mentioning this, by the way, I just really love and believe in her products and her as a woman-owned independent small business.
Does this approach sounds like something you'd like to try? Let me know!