Hair vinegar is an opportunity. Think about it: the thrill we once got from “French girl beauty” stories has been tragically dimmed by their sheer ubiquity online. Embryolisse Crème Concentrée, Bioderma micellar water, Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse, all worthy, all on repeat in those endless posts. (Here’s one I wrote for Beautygeeks, trying to deviate from the formula: French Pharmacy 2.0 Beauty Finds.)
So it’s a glad shock that Paris-based hair stylist Christophe Robin – pronounced row-ben – has a product that real-life actual French women adore, but that is not yet a regular part of our North American routines: hair vinegar.
An old wives’ ritual of rinsing your hair with vinegar after shampooing, “vinegar is antibacterial, keeps your scalp clean, closes the cuticle of your hair and enhances the shine,” explains Robin.
His Christophe Robin Hair Finish Lotions (from $48 CAD at sephora.com; $40 USD at nordstrom.com) are luxe fruit, flower or herb-infused vinegars that you “keep in your shower” says Robin, “and very last, after you finish rinsing your hair, just pssht, pssht, pssht and that’s it. It’s something very normal to use.”
Yeah. Normal if you’re FRENCH.
The vinegars were the brainchild of Robin’s business partner and muse, Catherine Deneuve, so who wouldn’t be pleased to take hair-care cues from one of the world’s legendary beauties?
Deneuve, whose colour Robin has been tending since 1995 after she saw his work on Claudia Schiffer, is the perfect test subject for new haircare products.
“When you’re an actress you have to do your colour every six to eight days,” he explains; film stars need their colour to be consistent throughout a three- or four-month shoot.
“She’s not a real blonde, obviously,” he says, dropping this earth-shattering bomb as an afterthought in the middle of our conversation. (Am I the only person who didn’t know this?) “The lavender oil, the cleansing mask with lemon, are two favourite products she’s using since decades, since 20 years, and the prickly-pear seed oil mask.”
Ah, the prickly pear seed oil mask. Formally known as the Christophe Robin Regenerating Mask With Prickly Pear Seed Oil ($94 CAD and $71 USD at sephora.com), it smells fantastic and magically revives even the saddest and most straw-like damaged hair.
In North America, his colour reviving Christophe Robin Shade Variation Masks ($70 CAD and $53 USD at sephora.com) are best-sellers. The Baby Blonde, a pearlized, purple cream banishes ugly brass from blonde and silver hair.
Our favourite is the Christophe Robin Multipurpose Regenerating Balm with Prickly Pear Seed Oil (from $48 CAD and part of this $50 USD travel kit at sephora.com), which smooths hair and is great on dried-out hands and cuticles. Robin himself uses it on his face, feet, hands and hair and let me tell you, the man has lovely skin.
But for the most French-Girl-cool points, try the best-selling-in-France-but-not-here vinegars, and feel way ahead of the crowd.
over to you
Is hair vinegar a new concept to you? Or is it something you remember from your childhood?
Have you ever tried a hair vinegar? Or would you?
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