After many years of neglect, my skin is enjoying its daily dose of sunscreen - but like most others I'm sure, my hair hasn't been getting quite the same attention over the summer months, with a toxic combination of sun and salt (from the sea) leaving its chemical toll and my hair looking (and feeling) sad, dull and very washed out. Us middle-years folk need to take every step possible to maintain the health of our crowning glory, so with this in mind, I discovered Paris-based hair guru Christophe Robin . With a celebrity-fuelled client list - think Catherine Deneuve, Kylie Minogue and Kristin Scott Thomas for starters, I reckoned he must have a few tricks up his beauty sleeve.
Cleansing and Purifying Scrub
All his products sound perfect for me, but for now, the Cleansing and Purifying Scrub came to the rescue. This sea-salt rich exfoliant combines the best cleansing and hydrating active ingredients to absorb the polluting particles that suffocated my hair base, while also calming any sensitivity, thanks to the rich dose of soothing sweet almond oil. Yes, it contains sodium laureth sulfate (or SLS) an active hair cleanser that many suggest avoiding for various reasons, but to me, as with my middle-years skincare regime, some active nourishment is required to complement the gloriously natural ingredients (more to come on this soon) . Apparently it's also great used post-colour treatment to sooth tingling and itching sensations.
The gritty white paste has a gloriously refreshing citrus scent too that instantly enlivened my hair and indeed my mood! Apply a dollop in the shower instead of shampoo and lather it in really well - for far longer than you normally would with shampoo. The paste gradually lathers up, then rinse out to give hair light healthy texture and volume, without drying it. It really does help clear up every trace of irritation caused by product buildup, chlorine or other toxins - trust me and try it!
Christophe Robin's Great Hair Know How
- Protect your hair with an SPF when in direct sunlight - apply it before swimming or sun bathing - if you still do?
- Rinse hair thoroughly and towel-dry it when you get out of the sea or the pool.
- Use a gentle shampoo; The most gentle way to wash hair is with a conditioning shampoo, also known as 'low-poo'. Sun, salt and chlorine leaves hair very fragile, so a gentle formula avoids further stripping.
- Air dry: Give hair a break from styling tools and products (esp those containing alcohol) and use a plant oil instead or a balm to define curls or even a little moisturising hair cream.
- Mask once a week to deeply nourish and repair hair.
Is your hair various shades of green?
Chlorine has a tendency to turn lighter hair various shades of green. A little natural plant oil applied before going swimming helps prevent this. If it's already too late, crush two aspirins and add to regular shampoo. Mix well and spread onto wet hair, as with normal washing. Rinse as normal and the green hues should have disappeared. Regular aspirin contains salicylic acid, which when used on the hair counteracts the alkalinity of the chlorine and neutralizes the green.
Finally if you get hooked on Christophe Robins range - then his intense regenerating balm overflowing with prickly pear seed oil - sounds divine too! Will keep you posted on that!
Christophe Robin products are available on line or at SpaceNK amongst other outlets.