Chez Soi

Adventures of a Year Abroad

Does This Make Me Look More French?


Last week I got my 2nd haircut in Paris. Pal Shannon turned me onto this salon. And I generally just let the guy, Leo, do whatever he wants to cause my french is pretty “mauvais” and he seems to have a handle on it. Plus I have a sense that if I let him, he might actually make me more chic. I have no idea what that means in reality, but sort of a *poof* moment will happen, and like Cinderella, something will be changed.

This was my first one…


I didn’t realize this “secret” desire until getting a postcard from Jubie back at home and she asks, “have you upgraded your style since moving to Paris?” and I was like YES, YES, YES. I have. I have no idea what that means but, YES. Recognizing, of course, that it could just be wishful thinking on all our parts.

It’s a funny thing to want to be French. I love the language and even though it’s not “sticking” in a way that I’d like, I so honor it that I want to learn it really well. I want to be more relaxed about the small things, like Bringing up Bebe pointed out. I want to be more “in the moment’ to enjoy the city. All these things and more, I want to be changed by Paris. Author of Bringing up Bebe, Pamela Druckerman, recently wrote that she’s applying for dual citizenship for France. And I had this little niggle that one day I might do the same.

Does a haircut change us? The food we eat? Perhaps those are just things we are doing while we are being changed by the essence of the place itself.


Author: nilofermerchant

Strategist. Passionate about igniting cultures of innovation. HBR Writer, O'Reilly Author (published January 2010) of The New How, and former CEO of Rubicon.

2 thoughts on “Does This Make Me Look More French?

  1. Both beautiful haircuts but I like the second one best. The sleek look gives you an air of French sophistication. Ooh la la.

  2. They are both great cut/styles: different, I think, than what you’ve had in the U.S. But I agree that the most noticeable chicness comes from within. Cultivating changes in one’s internal self from the culture of the place will shine through even more than a great blowout. 🙂

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