Christophe Robin Schools Us On All Things Colour Care

I first fell in love with Christophe Robin’s products back in 2015 when his Regenerating Mask brought my snapping, shrivelled, fried blonde hair back from the brink of death. I then fell in love with the actual Christophe Robin three weeks ago when he made a whirlwind trip to Australia to promote his latest release (more on that in a second). The man has reinvented the looks of (and befriended) 90s supermodels and iconic French actresses such as Stephanie Seymour, Elle Macpherson, Catherine Deneuve, Vanessa Paradis, Faye Dunaway, and Emmanuelle Béart. The reason Christophe’s colour care range, launched in 1999, works so well is because he has spent so much time perfecting formulas that swap “quick fix” detergents and silicones for high grade ingredients and pH acid wizardry. What does “wizardry” mean, you ask? It means that, instead of coating and defiling each strand of your hair, these products gently open up the hair follicles and make sweet, sweet love to their very core. (Yes, it is as sexy as it sounds.) Over coffee, between smatterings of donc voilà and mais non, Christophe fired off his top five products and colour care rules. It’s advised you read our interview in his equally adorable and hypnotic French drawl—it may just cheer your hair up by osmosis.

  • The dos and don'ts of summer colour

    “In summer, you can’t say ‘I want to go from brunette to blonde.’ Non. Stop. I will admit I am a little jealous of your lifestyle here in Australia, but your poor hair goes through so much—you have so much sun and UV, and you swim and exercise a lot! Instead of transforming, we should prepare hair for the summer season. Ask your stylist for a hydrating treatment, as well as a little trim, like a manicure for the split ends. For summer, I love to do a little sun-kissed effect—just a kiss of colour—to start it off, and the sun will do the rest. When the hair is bleached, it is porous, which means you should always protect your hair from salt water and UV. My lavender oil contains an SPF of 6. It will help preserve your colour so that it remains sun-kissed and not white or fried. I know you girls love it here, but never leave the salt in your hair for a ‘beachy’ look. It is just so drying!”

  • 1

    Fight oil with an oil-based shampoo

    “When your hair is fragile and sensitive, it should not go near detergent or astringent shampoos. You need to infuse the hair with nutrients. My new soap bar contains a high percentage of castor oil in an alkaline solution, which results in softer, fuller, unbreakable hair with regular use. Shampoo should always be alkaline to open the hair follicle, so you must, must, must follow with the conditioning acid pH Aloe Vera Mist to seal and protect. You can even apply this mist on the scalp or onto dry hair to refresh during washes—it’s full of vitamins and it won’t make the hair or scalp oily.”

  • 2

    Look after your scalp

    “Women with dry or coloured hair are always thinking about their ends, but the scalp is like the roots of a plant: you need to treat it with great care, or it will die. Like your skin, you should always try to keep it clean, healthy, moisturised, and hydrated. Did you know that an oily scalp is one of the first causes of hair loss, because the root of the hair doesn’t properly hold into the scalp? Dry shampoo is a big no! It suffocates the pores. Wash your hair as little as possible, avoid greasy foods, and start the morning with a drink of apple cider vinegar to cleanse your liver—or drink it before bed if you’ve had one too many wines. I remember the women where I grew up used to scrub their scalps with sea salt. This is where I came up with the idea for my salt scrub. And while it may sound weird, I recommend gently massaging your scalp upside down with my scrub to increase circulation and to remove dandruff and product build-up.”

  • 3

    Break the rules: condition before you cleanse

    “The Moisturizing Hair Oil With Lavender and Cleansing Mask With Lemon were two of my first products, and are still two of my favourites. Apply the lavender oil for 20 minutes, 2 hours, or overnight—as long as you can. Tie your hair in a chignon, and let it work its magic. In the morning, work the lemon mask through. Give it a really gentle lather with water—keep adding more and more until it completely emulsifies. Rinse out. Et voilà! This may sound more complicated than a quick shampoo and condition, but doing it the “wrong” way around will really do so much to deeply infuse the hair with reparative nutrients, seal in colour, and make hair weightless. The lemon mask has an acidic PH, which seals the cuticle and makes the hair so soft, bouncy, and shiny. Always rinse with cold, cold water!”

  • 4

    Bring your colour back to life with intense hydration (without having to visit your colourist)

    “My coloured beauties need special care. I don’t really like conditioner because it weights the hair down. Instead, I tell my clients to use the prickly pear mask once or twice a week. It nourishes and repairs hair at the deepest level, and also soothes the scalp. Yes, it’s expensive, but you only need a teeny bit. You can thank the very rare prickly pear oil for that! After so much research and asking women all around the world, I’ve found that it really is the best. Why? It has a much smaller molecular structure than argan or olive oil, which allows it to actually infuse into the hair shaft and repair it deeply. If you can find pure prickly pear oil at a local health food store, buy it and use it for everything: hair, dry skin, cuticles!”