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Describing Hair in French

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Instructor: Rebecca Rosenbarker

Rebecca has taught French and English as a Second Language (ESL). She has a master's degree in ESL. Rebecca currently lives in France.

This lesson introduces three main ways to describe hair in French: hair length, hair color, and hair texture. We'll also go over how to combine these adjectives, and then you can test your knowledge with a brief quiz.

Describing Your Hair in French

Picture this scenario: You're telling your friend Jules about a party you went to last night. While you were there, you ran into Victoria. When you mention Victoria's name, Jules can't seem to remember who she is. How can you help Jules remember who Victoria is?

You would probably try to describe Victoria so that Jules can remember her. Some of the ways we might do this in English are to describe Victoria's size, her personality, her eyes, or her hair. This lesson will give you some vocabulary to describe hair (cheveux) in French!

When describing cheveux, the most common categories to talk about are the hair's length, color, and texture. Keep reading for some vocabulary and phrases for each of these categories.

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  • 0:00 Describing Your Hair in French
  • 0:52 Hair Length in French
  • 1:33 Hair Color in French
  • 3:21 Hair Texture in French
  • 3:59 Combining Descriptions
  • 4:54 Lesson Summary
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Hair Length in French

To keep it simple, let's focus on the three main categories of hair length: long, short, and mid-length. Since the word cheveux is masculine and plural, the adjectives used when describing it will be in their masculine, plural forms.

French English
les cheveux longs long hair
les cheveux courts short hair
les cheveux mi-longs mid-length hair

Let's use these in some simple sentences:

  • Elle a les cheveux longs. ('She has long hair.')
  • Vous avez les cheveux courts. ('You have short hair.')
  • J'ai les cheveux mi-longs. ('I have mid-length hair.')

Hair Color in French

When describing hair color in French, there are two ways to go about it. You can either describe the colors of the strands themselves, or you can talk about the person in terms of hair color. We do the same thing in English. You can say that someone has brown hair, or you can refer to them as a brunette.

When talking about the strands themselves, here are some helpful phrases. Since the word cheveux is masculine and plural, the color adjectives will all be masculine and plural.

French English
les cheveux blonds blonde hair
les cheveux bruns brown hair
les cheveux gris grey hair
les cheveux noirs black hair
les cheveux roux red hair

Here are some examples of sentences describing the color of people's hair by talking about the color of the strands.

  • Il a les cheveux blonds. ('He has blonde hair.')
  • Elle a les cheveux noirs. ('She has black hair.')
  • Ils ont les cheveux bruns. ('They have brown hair.')

You can also go the route of describing the person based on their hair color. Keep in mind that you'll have to adjust the color adjective to match the number and gender of the person or people you are talking about.

French Masculine French Feminine English
brun(s) brune(s) brunette
blond(s) blonde(s) blonde
roux rousse(s) redhead

Let's take a look at these in some sentences:

  • Elle est brune. ('She is a brunette.')
  • Ils sont blonds. ('They are blonde.')
  • Tu es roux. ('You are a redhead.')

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