Christophe Robin Image Credit: Supplied

A lot of people avoid dyeing their hair because of the damage it can often do. But French hair colour expert Christophe Robin says you don’t have to sacrifice the integrity of your hair if you take care of it well. Robin, who was recently in Dubai to launch his eponymous haircare line, told Gulf News tabloid! about his journey in the hair business and how to do haircare better.

What was your philosophy when creating your line of products?

What makes this line unique is the expertise we are able to share. The fact that it is created by a hair colourist, means it focuses on providing deep care for the hair. Since the beginning of my career, it has been obvious to me that healthy hair and a beautiful colour cannot exist without good care.

Another interesting fact is that the lab we have been working with since the beginning, is initially a skincare lab. This is interesting because the products obviously also focus on the scalp and the notion that a healthy and balanced scalp result into healthy hair.

What are some of the biggest mistakes people make with their routine?

Wanting to be somebody you’re not! I always say, nature does a good job. For your colour to look natural, stay around your natural colour and keep some at the roots to create some contrast. It’s also more low maintenance.

Another mistake is using too many styling products, heating tools and harsh shampoos. Treat your hair with care. You would not wash your silks or cashmeres with a harsh detergent. I use a low-poo formula, which is ideal for coloured and damaged hair. It’s the first product I ever created and one of the most gentle shampoos I know — the Cleansing Mask with Lemon.

Is using a box dye really that bad? And why?

Not at all, not all the boxes. If you love your natural hair colour and don’t want to start colouring all of your hair, I recommend trying my Temporary Colour Gel. [We created] the most natural shades (so that nobody would be able to see you did your hair colour)... [and] in this case they really surround the hair without damaging or altering the structure of the hair. There are a lot of permanent and semi-permanent dyes on the market. The idea here was to really come back to a notion of freedom and comfort, meaning that you can stop whenever you want without having roots since the temporary colour gel fades in 5-7 shampoos. The temporary colour gels are between 92 and 98 per cent natural-origin ingredients, hence these are very gentle and respectful formulas, which has always been my priority in the formulation of the line.

Could you tell me a little bit about your journey from being a hair colourist to having your own brand of hair care products?

I started my apprenticeship when I was 15 in a little salon in Bar-sur-Aube. Back then, I was told that I should specialise in colouring and was then introduced to the key idea very early on that hair colouring goes hand in hand with impeccable hair maintenance, in the same way that healthy skin affects the beauty of make-up. When I arrived in Paris to begin working on producing advertisements, I had the opportunity to create Stephanie Seymour’s colour on behalf of L’Oreal, which was then followed by working with Elle Macpherson and Claudia Schiffer. This was the beginning of the supermodel era, the trendsetters of the time. They used colour to reinvent themselves. I was responsible for all their colour changes. Colour became a beauty accessory. I was 24 when I opened my first salon, in a small courtyard off Rue du Mont Thabor. This was my first salon but also the first ever hair studio dedicated to colour. In 1999, I launched my first haircare range for coloured and sensitive hair.

As a master hair colourist, what is your advice for someone trying to pick a hair colour for themselves?

Obviously, every woman is different, and the right shade depends on your skin tone, eyes and eyebrows as well as your natural hair colour. In general, those with dark skin should opt for a darker shade, like deep chestnut browns. If you have fair skin and light-coloured eyes, you can try more vibrant and luminous colours.

How can the average person take better care of their hair?

1. Don’t wash your hair every day: Your scalp, just like your skin gets dry and becomes prone to itchiness and flakiness so make sure you cleanse your hair with a nourishing shampoo and follow it with a deep treatment. Make sure you rinse the shampoo, conditioner or mask really well or else your scalp will get oily again and you’ll have to wash it more often.

2. Once a week, mask and relax: This is actually true all year round. It is very important to really give your hair all the nutrition it needs in order to replace the lost moisture due to the dry air, this also helps prevent breakage.

3. Choose oil-based products to lock in moisture: The Regenerating Range with Rare Prickly Pear Seed Oil is ideal to provide the best treatment to dry and damaged hair. The oil boasts three times more antioxidants than argan oil and penetrates deep into the hair fibre.

4. Use a humidifier and a silk pillowcase or tie your hair with a silk scarf: These will help with static electricity that you usually get because of dry air.