PHOTOGRAPHERViolet Grey

For many of my friends, hair is like our first-born child. Oh so delicate, fun to dress up, grows in spurts, and requires a lot of maintenance. I have always leaned heavily into the low-key surfer, no heat, balayage look, giving little thought to shampoo. It wasn’t until I went considerably blonder, and dropped an obscene amount on coloring, that I decided to kick my drugstore products to the curb and get serious about maintenance.

A quick survey from fellow blondies or any hair connoisseur and Christophe Robin’s name will inevitably crop up. Robin has been in the hair biz since the late 80s and earned a name for himself coloring supermodels like Stephanie Seymour, Elle Macpherson, and Claudia Schiffer. In 1995 he started his own salon, and in 1999 he created a hair care line specializing in colored and sensitive hair.

19 years later, his products still dominate the market and can be found at fancier retailers like NET-A-PORTER and Saks Fifth Avenue. Here is a man who built his career on coloring, and is French (instant beauty cred), and lives by the whole sulfate-free, paraben-free, silicone-free natural mantra. Reading rave reviews about the Cleansing Mask with Lemon, I reluctantly forked over the $69 bones and convinced myself it was an investment. The cleansing mask is suited for almost hair typesstraight, wavy, curly, very curlyand is a three-in-one cleansing, exfoliating, and nourishing treatment for both the hair and scalp. If you are very serious about your locks, it is recommended to use his Lavender Moisturizing Hair Oil as a pre-shampoo treatment.

First things first, this shit smells fantastic. I immediately feel chic and easily sink into this whole yes-I-spend-fifty-dollars-on-shampoo persona. A milky lemon spa, in a way only the French can do, is the best I can describe this. Looser than putty, pearl-toned yet translucent and thick, I add a quarter-sized dollop wet hair, one dollop to my hair part and one to the nape of neck. The instructions advise to emulsify four to five times (aka add a douse of water) while working the shampoo from scalp to ends. I continue on a more indulgent shower than usual, shaving my legs, emulsifying, double washing my face, emulsifying, heck, I did a full body exfoliation, then emulsified a little more. It is recommended to use the conditioner anywhere from five to twenty minutes. The consistency was more low-lather sultry oil than suds-up shampoo due to it being detergent free. Thankfully, it also rinses clean, but still feels like the strands are nourished.

I did feel like I had a lot of hair come out while I was sudsing and rinsing, but that could be a testament to the deep clean or a result of my lack of shampooing this week. I also find that I go through ebbs and flows of shedding, so it could have just been me, but I’d be curious if anyone else had this happen.

To fully feel the results of the cleansing mask, I skipped my usual deep conditioner dump and my hair didn’t freak out into a frizzy shock. Instead, I have super soft, dare I say, baby soft hair, which is a feat for an unnatural blonde with addiction to surf spray. I loathe the squeaky clean feeling other deep cleaners can create, and this shampoo felt like a gentle deep clean that didn’t strip my hair or leave me weighed down. Instead, it felt weightless and soothing.

Depending on the length of your hair, I would reckon this shampoo is worth the bougie investment. A little goes a long way, and it can be used as a deep cleaning treatment once a week if you’d like to scrimp with a normal shampoo on other hair- wash days.

Overall, this is worth it. 4.5 stars.

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