Parisian hair colorist Christophe Robin is adding the first hair color product to his self-named line, which launched in 1999.
Robin is introducing Temporary Color Gel, a root touch-up product designed to cover the first signs of gray hair. The formula consists of 92 to 98 percent natural ingredients, dependent on the shade. Four shades — retailing for $35 each — are set to launch in the U.S. on Sept. 1 on sephora.com and in 250 Sephora doors.
Noticing a fundamental shift in the way consumers are connecting hair health with scalp care, Robin aimed to create an at-home product to cover grays that was both effective and safe for the sensitive skin of the scalp.
“In terms of hair care at home, for sure people are wanting more natural product,” said Robin, who noted that the dry shampoo trend has left many consumers with irritated scalps and clogged hair follicles.
The Temporary Color Gel comes in four shades for now — golden blonde, dark blonde, golden chestnut and dark chestnut, which are designed to blend in with one’s natural hair color. The gel has a nozzle applicator and comes with a small brush — it is meant to be applied to the hair strand-by-strand like a shampoo, and is said to last for six to eight washes.
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“What [consumers] want is a healthy, clean scalp and hair, and with hair color they want as little aggression as possible,” Robin said. “The product is simple and effective, it’s like makeup for your hair — but it’s healthy.”
“More and more women are allergic to chemical products,” added Géraldine Hieronimus, chief executive officer of Christophe Robin. She added that the company held a focus group of nearly 300 women in the U.S. while the product was still in development, and nearly 85 percent of the women surveyed found the Temporary Color Gel matched their natural hair color.
Robin’s product is entering the market at a time when the at-home hair color market is shifting from solely existing in the mass and drugstore channels to include more prestige options. Madison Reed and DPHue are two brands in the U.S. that offer high-end at-home hair color options — both are sold online at Sephora, and online and in-store at Ulta Beauty. Robin’s product will be among the first color products to be sold in-store at Sephora.
Robin is known for his healthful approach to taking care of hair, treating it with a skin-care-like regimen. The bulk of his range consists of treatment masks and rinses formulated with natural ingredients. His U.S. business — the largest of the 21 markets where his products are sold — has seen a growth spurt in the past year, launching at Space NK, Nordstrom and in 45 Bluemercury doors. The brand is now sold in about 200 retail and 50 luxury salon doors in the U.S. Industry sources have said Robin’s Cleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt is the top seller in Sephora’s hair-care category, though LVMH declined to share sales data.