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Me, my hair, etc.

Curls rediscovered

Mathilde Legrand

How, at the age of 40, I decided to accept my hair as it is

Like her curls, she is always in motion. Mathilde Legrand runs on Sundays, takes classes at the gym, rushes between her event management agency in Lille, her children's activities, events in France or abroad, and her apartment in Le Touquet, where she can finally breathe. And sometimes she even finds herself in the spotlight at photo shoots. Mathilde loves rhythm, and today she has found the right one. Between her two lovely bathrooms, she tells us how she adores – now more than ever – the bounce in her hair. For a few years now, she has been leaving it natural. And she feels much better.

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Did you not accept your curly hair in the past?

When I was a child, it didn't bother me, I could deal with it. But it was later on, in my twenties, that it became complicated. I think there was a straight hair trend that surrounded me and that influenced me. I was fascinated by silky smooth hair. Like Gisele Bündchen's. And then, above all, I dreamed of having bangs. And you can't have bangs with curly hair; it's really ugly.

And your professional environment didn't help?

No. I was representing quite a few people: I had very regular sports events; I would go into dressing rooms, to see clients, and I had to have my hair done properly. And I personally didn't feel clean when I left my curls natural. I hid them. I forced myself to be like the hosts, dressed in a nice suit and with my hair pulled back. Impeccable. I kept a low profile. And then I was working in a very male-dominated environment. But maybe I was putting this pressure on myself... I think that at the time, I was perhaps not with the right people, those who could have reassured me about who I was.

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I left my curls alone; now everything is easier.
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What did you do to "tame" your hair?

I tried Brazilian straightening twice, but it wasn't really my thing. I had my own tricks. I would tug on my hair much as I could, (laughs) so I would lose the bounce. When I got out of the shower, I smoothed my curls with my fingers. And then I would tie them up. Also, I really liked the wavy look: I would wash it and braid it so that it was wavy. Everything but the frizz. Often, on special occasions, I would invent hairstyles to play with: donut buns, for example. I even tried a very sleek ponytail with a suit, which created a very androgynous style.

What was your wake-up call?

The last five or six years, there have been changes in my life: a separation, new professional commitments... I think I took the time to find myself. I decided to be less of the person that people expected me to be. I wanted to like myself, to find authenticity. So I made some choices and left my curls alone. Today everything is simpler. When I go to a party, I don't style my hair, and I feel confident.
I'm much better off, because I'm not very good at doing my own hair, so it's an advantage to go natural. And as luck would have it, a short while ago, I was contacted by a agent. I was offered to model for photos again. I found myself in the spotlight again, just like when I was twenty. But better in my own skin.
I can be called a tall, curly blonde again, and I don't mind at all. I know that's my advantage. And at the moment, I'm taking on new challenges: I'm training for the Raid Amazones race in Vietnam, and that requires a lot of energy!

Mathilde's routine

I detangle before shampooing with a wide-tooth comb and a shea butter mask that I leave on overnight, every two weeks.

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I detangle before shampooing with a wide-tooth comb and a shea butter mask that I leave on overnight, every two weeks.

Drying au naturel: hair upside down, towel drying it and, if necessary, applying some spray to reshape my curls.

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Drying au naturel: hair upside down, towel drying it and, if necessary, applying some spray to reshape my curls.

Essential accessories: a large 4-inch gold hair clip, a hair elastic around my wrist.

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Essential accessories: a large 4-inch gold hair clip, a hair elastic around my wrist.

And sometimes before going out, I put on my hat and a apply a bit of shea butter day cream, which leaves behind a divine scent.

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And sometimes before going out, I put on my hat and a apply a bit of shea butter day cream, which leaves behind a divine scent.

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