Of all the beauty woes we come across (whether logical or….not so much) hair the most prominent. Can you relate? I know Garance can. There are so many questions and reservations when it comes to hair, whether you’re dying it, cutting it, getting a keratin treatment, the list goes on. It’s hard to separate the good information from the bad. Which is why I’m so excited to have Christophe Robin as the hair expert for our French Guru Series.
Christophe is a master of color, yes, but also a master of all around hair care. He’s been working in the industry since he was 15 years old and has built up a client roster of some of the biggest names in fashion and beyond. Think Claudia Schiffer and Catherine Deneuve… He also has a full range of beautiful products for all kinds of hair types. Saying he’s an expert may be an understatement. And today, he’s answering all of our questions!
How do you define perfect hair color and how does a person achieve that?
The perfect hair color is the one you don’t notice. I like the fact that you notice a beautiful woman, not a beautiful color!
To achieve a beautiful color, healthy hair is essential, so I always suggest sleeping with vegetable oil applied to your hair once a week, as well as applying some before any color or chemical process. Washing your hair with a shampoo that contains no harsh sulfates is also essential in maintaining a beautiful color.
Is there a way to elongate the time between having to get your color touched up?
I always compare haircare with skincare. If you take good care of your skin, you don’t need to touch up your make up all the time, same for hair, take good care of it and your color will last longer. Giving it the right nutrients, the right pH, means the color won’t turn. For instance, if you notice your highlights are turning a yellow, something like my shade variation care in baby blonde will restore a pure blonde, or if you notice brassiness in your cool brown hair, my shade variation care in ash brown corrects that.
For women who color their hair frequently, what are the must do steps to properly care for their hair?
Before any color/highlight process in my salon, I use my moisturizing hair oil with lavender which was specifically formulated to protect hair and its color. It does not block the color pigments, quite the contrary actually, it allows the pigments to grab onto the hair much better and make your color more vibrant.
In the summer, the oil is also a must have! Bring it with you to the beach, before you go swimming in the ocean or the pool.
What is the biggest mistake women make when choosing to color or maintaining their colored hair?
Wanting to be somebody you’re not! I always say, nature does a good job. For your color to look natural, stay around your natural color and keep some at the roots to create some contrast, and allows it to be less maintenance.
Another mistake is using too many styling products, heating tools and harsh shampoos. Treat your hair with care, you would not wash your silks or cashmeres with a harsh detergent! I use a low-poo formula which is ideal for colored and damaged hair, it’s the first product I ever created and one of the most gentle shampoos I know!
Is protecting hair from the sun an important aspect of hair care? If so, how do we do it affectively – and when?
Yes! Protecting your color in the summer is essential. A product like my moisturizing hair oil with lavender that contains an SPF which blocks the bad rays and keeps your color intact.
Washing your hair with a gentle shampoo, or low-poo shampoo will allow to restore moisture onto your hair all the while washing it after things like sun, salt, and chlorine have dried out your hair. Also don’t forget to apply a deep nourishing mask once a week… at least!
How does our lifestyle – diets, activities, smoking habits etc., affect the health of our hair our hair? Any advice?
When you drink too much, you might notice in the morning that your skin and scalp are oily, this is because they are linked to your liver. A good tip to detoxify every once in a while – and especially with Spring, is to drink warm water with lemon, diluted apple cider vinegar in water, or even birch sap is very good. In terms of diet, I always recommend a well balanced nutrition, seasonal fruits and vegetables and foods rich in Omega 3s.
What are some other non-negotiable aspects of general, healthy hair hair?
Shampoos that contain silicones, or dry shampoos, used daily tend to asphyxiate the scalp and weigh hair down and makes scalp oily on the long term. It’s important to detox your scalp every once in a while to get all the styling product residues out and let it breathe again. Oily scalp is usually the first cause of hair loss, so it’s important to take good care of it!
Healthy hair start with a balanced scalp!
What is your take on coloring hair as you age? Should we go lighter as we get older? Embrace the natural? Focus on our roots?
I always compare hair color to make up. At 20 years old, you have fun and try it all, even if it looks awful! Anything’s allowed, it’s a learning experience!
At 30-40 years old, you find the right hair color, usually staying around your natural color. To not alter color, I recommend not washing hair too often.
After 50 years old, it’s important to have very healthy hair so it doesn’t look like it’s colored and stays very natural.
After 60 years old, to keep a natural color it’s good to go a bit lighter. For instance, if you are a dark brunette, going a little bit lighter will feel more natural rather than keeping a very dark shade which at 60 doesn’t look as natural. For blondes, a few golden shades give a nice boost to the complexion.
Are the hair color habits different among French women than American? Both in young women and as they get older?
French women like low maintenance! This is why they tend to have more contrast in their colors, even with aging it feels more natural. Good maintenance is also important! Once a week they do a nourishing mask.
Ok what about heat tools – is there a way to truly protect your hair from frequent use of heat?
No. The only way to protect your hair is by nourishing and hydrating them constantly. My moisturizing hair cream is great for that, but all those ‘heat protectors’ only bring a little hydration, but nothing ever protects against heat tools! A tip is to start drying your hair from afar to not overheat it. I use the Dyson Supersonic and love how they are well calibrated to not overheat the hair.
Is coloring your hair by choice worth the damage it may cause? What advice would you give to a woman who is considering coloring their hair?
Always stay true to yourself and embrace your personality.
Wanting to look like someone you are not will never work, a good color will unveil your eyes and your complexion. Before going to the hair salon cut out in a magazine the things you like and the things you really dislike, it’ll be easier to communicate with your colorist and will avoid any communication mistakes!