Beauty School Drop-Out

Olivia Newton John


Are you 35 years old? The musical Grease, is! And, because of its major influence, the Frenchy fun has continued, in insane proportions, with beauty salons located all over, going by a name that includes “Frenchy,” or a different spelling of this Grease character’s name. There are even hair products going by the name of “Frenchee Grease.” OK. In both the 1978 and the 1982 movie releases, Didi Conn plays the Rydell high school dropout, wannabe hairstylist. Frenchy is a charter member of the Pink Ladies, who, in beauty school, experienced some difficulties in tinting class, and wound up with pink hair. Her iconic pink jacket trended huge, for quite a while.

Time Warp
By the time the Grease hit the big screen, the days from which its storyline was modeled were long gone, yet this iconic movie hit ranked huge with audiences–particularly the pre-pubescent 8-year-old American girl. Grease wound up becoming a right of passage until it was somewhat temporarily replaced by the era wannabe, American High School. Now, Grease reemerges as the ONE, and may forever be the ideal embodiment of a time gone by. With its release date of June, 1978, the 50s were long gone, being forever tainted, in a “Garden of Eden” kind of style, by the savvy 60s and 70s. So when the movie featured Frankie Avalon singing this song, only the baby boomers (and Frenchy) would get the total significance of his role here. There was surely a time when anything to do with Frankie Avalon would have produced the same level of frenzy as the Beatles’ debut on the Ed Sullivan Show in the early 60s.

Grease Hair Now
Among the incidentals, no hairstyle can ever shock us today, as we complacently sit flipping mag pages and surf the Internet. There’s a whole lot of interest in paying tribute to the now 35 YO Grease, and when it comes to hair, what could possibly be better than Frenchy-pink? Anyone going for a full-on Frenchy will need to understand that in order to get any vibrant color outside of the blonde, auburn, black and brown fields will have to first clear the canvas–as in removing all existing color before beginning. Without this important step, maybe no. Manic Panic still has some great coloring products–and a great side effect is that they don’t rub off on stuff after you’ve colored. There are other similarly qualified products for going Frenchy pink, so assuming you’ve done the prerequisites, let’s move on to the Frenchy style.

Those “Roll” Curls of Frenchy’s
In going for any style from any particular era, it would make the most sense to simply use the same curling methods for creating the look. The problem is that while we’d love to laboriously create our hair, we’ve just got too many other competing issues to dawdle while wet tresses dry on pink sponge rollers of that time. Plus, you KNOW that Frenchy would have been all about a curling iron! In order to create those iconic pink curls, it’s the 1” barrel you want. Go bangs! There is every bit of attention to under curling the bangs with this style. And Yes, it was once a “thing.” You begin this look by sectioning off your hair in manageable parts. Under curl–or curl downward–everything. After completing this, come back and pull strategic ¼” strands to curl independently of everything else. These will be managed as tiny and sporadic pin curl-looking effects to complete the Frenchy style.

Sandy Style
Ladies, those disco pants she morphed into–as legend has it, had to be sewn onto her. And her fab red topped wooden bottomed mules (which belonged to Olivia N-J!) make a perfect combo for today. Short, tight bangs, big, flirty curls, leather jacket and underneath, a hint of a top waiting to reveal too much. Everything but the cigarette dangling from her lips. We’re in!

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