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Bella Interview: Cristophe, Hair Stylist

The only thing I love more than a famous hairstylist is a famous hairstylist who makes his hair-care products affordable. Such is the case with Cristophe, who creates some of Hollywood's most famous hairstyles in his Beverly Hills salon. While a cut with him costs hundreds of dollars, his unscented, sulfate- and paraben-free hair-care collection (glowing review here) is well priced and available at CVS. I recently talked with him about his philosophy behind his line, so read on.

Why was it important to you to do a line that doesn’t have any dyes or sulfates or fragrances?
My goal was always to make products that are performance oriented. Obviously the primary objective is to have a product that is good for you; we have these reports now that say things like sulfates are maybe not good for you. So this is really an initial move to see how the consumer reacts to this, if they would rather switch to a more natural product or not.

To find out why the man who commands $500 for a haircut decided to make his products affordable,


You can charge hundreds of dollars for haircuts, so why did you decide to do a line that was more affordable?
First of all, I think that fashion is changing tremendously and we are communicating faster, so I think that there is a need for good-quality products. By that I mean if someone is wearing the new eye shadow from Chanel tonight, the rest of the country will hear about it by tomorrow. And most likely, most people have the buying power to do so.

So what I wanted to do was create a line that was competitive, where you could find the products just around the corner. That is why we decided to go to the drugstore because you can find it anywhere. The price is very affordable compared to, say, Kerastase, so pretty much anybody can buy it. But you still have to be willing to embellish a little bit on your hair as opposed to buying a drugstore brand like Pantene, which is essentially cheaper.

Is it true or is it a myth that drugstore shampoo and conditioners like Pantene are going to leave wax and buildup on your hair compared to something that is more formulated for a salon?
Well, I really don’t know about Pantene. All I can tell you is this: It costs me more to manufacture my products than what [drugstore shampoos] are retailing for. And so, if you get the ingredients in a bowl of shampoo, it may be the same — but some of them have 99.9 percent water and .01 percent of the key ingredient. Some other ones are loaded with chalk! So it does depend on the formulas, and the way they are formulated has a big impact on the performance.

Come back tomorrow for more of the interview!

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