A name that jolts beauty editors awake is Christophe Robin, the French hair colourist who tended to the locks of Tilda Swinton, Léa Seydoux, Catherine Deneuve and French model Inès de la Fressange. After he made a mark in the hair colouring sector, Robin launched his hair care range in 1999 — a range that featured natural ingredients such as lemon peel and floral extracts.
Later in 2010, he launched a series of hair colouring products. Year on year, he released new products steadily. Yet, it was notoriously difficult to get hold of Robin's haircare products. He famously made them in small batches in France — also arguably the beginnings of Paris's small batch, niche haircare phenomenon. Similar to the Parisian skincare industry, the haircare products are soothing, calming, and nourishing all at once. It all harks back to the notion of a ritualistic pampering of the hair and the individual. Now, these cult-favourite products are available in Singapore, via net-a-porter.com or in stores at Sephora.
Here, four key products from Robin's haircare line:
This 250 ml tub of a dark brown, grainy paste promises lifted roots and fuller lengths — an overall volumising effect on the hair. The product begins with the scent – a strong fragrance of rose extracts. There are two strains of rose extracts present – the Centifolia rose water for its hydrating qualities, and the Gallic glyceric rose extract for its nourishing properties.
The dark brown tint to the paste is natural, derived from the Morrocan Rassoul clay, a lava clay that also happens to be the active ingredient in this product. Like a mineral clay mask for the face, users are encouraged to massage the clay into damp hair and the roots and leave it on for two minutes. The paste eventually washes off like a non-foaming shampoo would, so there is no double cleansing involved here. The Rassoul clay detoxes the scalp's follicles by absorbing impurities. When the follicles are continually cleansed of blockages, new hair growth is encouraged.
The 250 ml bottle of milky conditioner was made for fine and delicate hair. Like most conditioners, it serves to detangle hair. When rinsed off, it leaves a very mild layer of moisture behind. That said, the formula is significantly lighter than common drugstore conditioners, leaving their hair lighter with less products and voluminous when dried. The conditioner is injected with rose oils and extracts, and vitamin A and E to boot.
Most users tend to focus on the shampoo and conditioner but slack off on their after-wash products. Liken haircare to a skincare regime – where there are good cleansers, there should be equally good moisturisers. In the case of hair care, it is a leave-in hydration mist.
The 150 ml mist promises to detangle and moisturise the hair. One of the active ingredients in this product is the aloe vera leaf juice, which holds water content, minerals, amino acids, and vitamins. While the previous two products contain rose extracts and therefore, a strong rose scent, this mist and the shampoo bar below are relatively scent-free.
This modest 100 grams bar is suitable for frequent use on the hair and body – great for those who enjoy a minimalistic beauty routine. There is an unexpected joy in using shampoo bars. It switches up the bathroom routine, and users are in full control of how much product they are using on their hair. Always drop the shampoo bar into a bar soap net, wet the hair and scalp thoroughly, foam up the bar soap a little and brush it around the scalp. Leave the shampoo bar aside, and work up a lather. Avoid lathering the hair with the bar soap in hand, for the plastic gauze soap net might catch and break the brittle, wet strands of hair. While most shampoo bars are on the dryer side, this is surprisingly nourishing and it leaves an adequate layer of moisture behind.
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