Whenever I travel to Paris (which is not nearly often enough), I spend a lot of time in the pharmacies around the city, picking things up, attempting to make sense of the labels, and putting things back down again in mild befuddlement. Admittedly, this is because I don’t really speak any French outside of restaurant menus (I’m better on German, Spanish and Portuguese), and so I tend to stick to brands and products I can easily recognise, or those things I can easily interpret for myself, or ones clearly labelled in English. I’m not quite a monoglot, but my schooling didn’t include any French teaching. French haircare – unlike skincare – is way outside my linguistic comfort-zone, so I have always avoided picking any up when I travel, afraid as I am to make a costly mistake.
I admitted my linguistic incompetence to the legendary French hairdresser Christophe Robin himself recently, and to say he wasn’t impressed at my self-deprecation in the slightest would be a mild understatement – I ended up feeling like I’d been sent to the headmaster for joking around in class – but luckily, Mr Robin’s products are good enough for me to get over any momentary humilation at the legendary hairdresser’s hands.
For the last month or so I’ve been using the Christophe Robin Cleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt coupled with the Regenerating Mask with Prickly Pear almost exclusively, and I’m happy to say that my experiences with them have been much more pleasant than my experience with the man in person! The salt scrub in particular is amazing. Recommended in particular for oily and/or sensitive scalps, it is almost identical to a body scrub that you would use in the shower only for your scalp. A tablespoon or so massaged into the scalp leaves your head tingling clean, and the oils in the formula make sure you don’t strip the scalp at all, so your scalp is both clean and moisturised. If you’ve ever suffered from an itchy scalp (and I do, regularly, being a sufferer of seborrheic dermatitis) then this product is a godsend. You can also use it to treat your scalp post hair-colouring, if that is something that normally causes irritation.
The Regenerating Mask is great for coloured, or permed, or otherwise damaged hair. After using the Cleansing Scrub, I simply apply the mask through the mid-lengths and ends, leave it for a couple of minutes, then rinse off, much like a normal conditioner. You can also use it as a traditional hair mask, applying a thick layer, then leaving for 20 minutes or so whilst you get on with other things. I find it leaves my slightly coarse and definitely wavy hair feeling soft and silky and very moisturised without feeling heavy, lank or greasy. I’m a big fan.
Both pots are big, and will give around 20 applications per tub, which is fairly economical (I’ve had my tubs for a couple of months now, and you can see the amount I’ve used, but bear in mind I do only wash my hair around twice a week) given the initial investment price of approximately £36-38 for the scrub, and approximately £50 for the mask. But if you wash your hair more often than I do, you could get away with just using this once a week or so. I estimate I’ve got around three more months use at least in each product.
You can find Christophe Robin products at retailers such as Harrods, Net a Porter, and Look Fantastic, just don’t do what I did and admit you don’t speak French …
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