While in many countries around the world, women's hairdos tend to be fancier and garner more attention than those of their male counterparts, the men of France give the women a run for their money. With a constant eye to all that is "à la mode," French men often select hairstyles that reflect the ethnic diversity and stylishness unique to their country.
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Although there exists a long-standing myth that the French are not prone to shaving, the men of France have eagerly dispelled this rumour with an unlikely hairdo of their own: bald. Particularly prominent in the world of sports, a smooth-headed style has been popularised by World Cup-winning football player Zinedine Zidane and has been replicated by several other French athletes including football star Thierry Henry and professional basketball player Tony Parker. "La tete chauve," or the bald head, is a lasting 'do among French men young and old, evoking a polished and carefree sense of style.
The slick-back, a male hairstyle created by pushing hair back and away from the face, is a coiffure well-received in professional environments in France. French President Nicolas Sarkozy, often noted for his refined fashion sense, sports this 'do as the political face of the country. The hairstyle can be achieved easily with medium-length hair, any comb or flat brush, and maximum-hold gel or pomade. Versatility is one of this hairdo's championing qualities. It can be done with or without a part and worn straight from work to dinner to the discotheque without looking out of place. French performer Johnny Hallyday wears a looser and more casual version of this look.
Among youths of the arts and music scene, free-flowing locks have been and continue to be a big hit and a representation of the no-rules, no-worries attitude of many French performers. From 70s rocker Serge Gainsbourg to contemporary synthpop band The Teenagers, French entertainers young and old have let their grow out and remain untamed. Rugby player David Skrela displays this hairstyle on the field as an option for athletes. While for many men, this hairstyle eventually becomes long and unmanageable, French men maintain their 'do at a reasonable length above the chin. This creates a boyish appearance while allowing these busy boys to keep their hair out of their eyes and under control. Some French celebrities, such as dancer Benjamin Millepied and road racer Randy de Puniet, keep a bit shorter but still tousled. This unstyled style is a compromise between the professional and the casual, allowing these men the same versatility that the slick-back leaves room for.
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