The Backcombed Beauty Of Brigitte Bardot
9 June 2021
French. Girl. Hair.
From Marion Cotillard and Vanessa Paradis to Audrey Tatou and Caroline de Maigret, the effortless glamour of the French mane has always been in high demand. And if you’ve ever tried doing a google search for the term French Girl Hair over the years, then we know that you’ll be familiar with the sultry backcombed tresses of 60s siren Brigitte Bardot.
A famous icon of the1960s French yéyé movement, Brigitte Bardot’s name has been used to describe everything from necklines & sailor tops to smokey eye makeup. Muse, Model, Singer, Actress… come with us on a journey from Paris to St Tropez as we uncover the beauty secrets of the girl who started it all – the one and only B.B.
THE INITIALS B.B
Brigitte Anne-Marie Bardot was born in Paris on September 28 1934, into a wealthy, bourgeois family. A ballet student who studied at the Paris Conservatoire, she found herself catapulted into the spotlight at the age of 15 when she made the cover of Elle Magazine. Measuring 1.68m, Brigitte was too tall for ballet but had the perfect height and build with which to start a modelling career in the late 1940s. Catching the attention of director Roger Vadim, she would appear in her first film, Le Trou Normand (Crazy In Love) in 1952. This was the first of many films she would star in throughout her lifetime and as for Roger Vadim… well, reader, she married him, but he was only the first of the four husbands who would share her life at various points in time. Brigitte’s radical bohemian attitude towards fashion and feminine behaviour were the start of a new movement.
WELCOME TO SAINT TROPEZ
Saint-Tropez is now famous for its superyachts and designer shops, but did you know that this hub of the high life was once a sleepy fishing village? It was during the filming of Et Dieu créa la femme in Saint-Tropez that Brigitte’s tousled hair, penchant for gingham bikinis, winged eyeliner and pale lips really came to define the Zeitgeist of the 1950s and 1960s… putting both Brigitte and St Tropez firmly on the map of cool.
In the 1960s, she would team up with enfant terrible Serge Gainsbourg and record songs such as Bonnie & Clyde, La Madrague, Harley Davidson, Bubble Gum and Moi Je Joue – songs which continue to be referenced in pop culture today.
Brigitte retired from her career in the entertainment industry in 1973, choosing instead to focus on another of her passions – Animal Rights. Withdrawing from the theatrical spotlight, she campaigns for the protection of the animals that she loves from her secluded villa in, you guessed it, Saint Tropez.
In 2012, Dior paid homage to the effortless cool of Brigitte with their Dior Addict ad, starring model Daphne Groneveld as the spirit of B.B taking once again to the sandy cobblestoned streets of Saint-Tropez.
LESSONS TO LEARN FROM B.B
If you’re going to do something, do it with panache. If there’s one thing that Brigitte Bardot’s early attitudes in life have taught us, it’s to live life to the fullest and to celebrate what makes us feel beautiful. Wear the clothes that make you feel good, be friends with interesting characters and embrace the beauty of growing older. If one day, you decide to leave your fast paced life of stardom behind and go live in a fishing village, you can do it with the knowledge that you have lived as your most authentic self.
GET THE LOOK
It’s time to dust off your knee high boots and take to the streets! Here are our top tips on how to get the tousled French Girl Hair (and the je ne sais quoi, of course) of Brigitte Bardot. Versatility is the name of the game here, as Brigitte liked to wear her hair in more than one vo!ominous style.
Wanting to go out with your hair down a la B.B? This look is all about volume in the roots of your hair. Spray dry shampoo into your roots to boost the volume of your hair and create additional shape and structure. With a comb, take small sections of your hair and backcomb your hair by pulling your hair gently back to the root for additional volume.
Further emphasise shine with a beachy spray which also packs in UV protection. Our favourite range for beachy occasions has to be Kérastase Soleil.
To get the B.B Bun (also known as the CHOUCROUTE – that’s french for cabbage) texture is key. Ensure hairspray is applied to your roots and as for the hair down look, make sure you tease your hair with a comb. Brush your hair to ensure your strands are looking sleek. Split hair into three sections – two small at the front and one large section at the back, which you want to secure at the very end with a hairband.
The next step is to roll this up – making sure to pin this in. Add a slouchy 60s hair band to finish off your look.
Serge Gainsbourg famously sang in his song Initiales B.B that Bardot’s hair was always lightly scented with Guerlain perfume. Whilst we don’t advocate spraying a perfume directly onto your hair (due to the drying nature of its alcohol content), quite a few perfume houses have wised up to this sultry trick of old. One of our go-to’s to emulate B.B would have to be a touch of Dior J’Adore Hair Mist. Ooo la la, indeed. Feeling a bit more playful? Reach for Moschino’s Toy2 Bubblegum Hair Mist Spray.