Parisians take their appearance seriously, especially the women. Women get facials and massages, their nails manicured and their hair done on a very regular basis. Hair salons offer fidelity plans for washing and drying and almost all beauty salons that offer facials, nail care and massages have these cards, too. You will be encouraged, if not expected, to pamper yourself.
Remember that you are moving to a new city and that changes in environment, along with the stress of the move, can affect your skin and hair. Paris water has a high mineral content that can make your hair and skin dry and also affect your nails. Talk to a pharmacist for special shampoos and skin care that may help offset the effects while your body adjusts to the change. It is also a good idea to bring your favorite beauty essentials from home to hold you over until you can find a replacement in Paris, if they do not have your particular brand. This also applies if you color your hair. Have your hometown colorist convert it to the metric system so it will be easier for the colorist in Paris to understand.
There are many reasonably priced chains of hairdressers throughout Paris that offer reliable service. They are less expensive than the smaller, neighborhood coiffures, but as anywhere, the quality of the service depends on the individual stylist. Ask friends and acquaintances for recommendations. If your French is somewhat weak, try to find an English-speaker who will be able to understand what you want. Also, familiarize yourself with some of the terminology in French. It is always helpful to find a photo or two from magazines to show the stylist what you want.
- Jacques Dessange, http://en.dessange.com/en, is a well-known, upscale chain with its own line of hair products, several branches, and a training school. Visit their website for locations and hours. (English version available)
- Jean-Claude Biguine, http://www.biguine.com, is in practically every arrondissement and is a chain of reliable, reasonably priced hairdressers.
- Stylepixie Salon, http://www.stylepixiesalon.com, offers moderately priced hair services in an English environment. It is outside of Paris in Ivry-sur-Seine, but accessible on the metro, line 7.
- Univers Phyto, is an upscale salon with specialists for damaged, curly or frizzy hair. The salon is located at 109, rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, 75008, Paris, 01 45 22 13 14, (http://www.phytospecific.fr), but you may have noticed their products in your local pharmacy.
- Institut Dior at the Plaza Athenee, 25 avenue Montaigne, 75008; http://www.plaza-athenee-paris.com/fitness_spa/index.html This luxurious spa with up-to-the minute trends in skin, hair and nailcare is located in one of the most beautiful hotels in Paris.
- Hammam Medina Centre, 43-45 rue Petit 75019, http://www.hammam-medina.comThis upscale Middle Eastern-style spa offers indulgent beauty services and delectable treats, as well.
- Spa Valmont at the Hotel Maurice, 228 rue de Rivoli, 75001; http://lemeurice.com/fitness_spa/index.html. Another luxury hotel-based sublime spa with treatments based on Swiss botanicals.
Nail and body treatments
Manicures and pedicures are expensive and time consuming, sometimes 2 hours, in Paris, with manicures averaging over 20 Euros for a simple one with polish. Facials, on the other hand, are quite reasonable. Massages vary depending on the technique and the spa or salon. Neighborhood nail salons and esthetique (beauty services) can be small, but reliable and convenient. Always ask about subscriptions or fidelity cards. Note: A sign stating “Pedicure” is actually a podiatrist office and not a place for manicures/pedicures. Some pedicurists will prefer that you visit the podiatrist first for callous and rough skin removal before they provide a pedicure (filing and polish only).
- L’Onglerie, http://www.l-onglerie.fr, has several locations in Paris and specializes in manicure and pedicures. They are reasonably priced within the market and some stores have English-speaking personnel.
- The Nail Factory, http://www.nailfactory.fr, has three locations in Paris and is one of the first “nail bars” that comes close to the less-expensive, quick mani/pedi’s of New York. The prices are quite inexpensive if you take a monthly membership. You can pop in for just a quick polish or linger for the full-luxury paraffin manicure/pedicure. What’s nice is that you have the option to choose what is convenient for you.
- BodyMinute, http://www.bodyminute.com, is an inexpensive, no frills chain, which offers manicures, pedicures, facials, waxing and massages at low prices for their monthly subscribers. If you use the services on a regular basis, it is a very good deal.