In an era devoted to curl-and-set rollers and Elnett Satin hairspray, Kérastase’s launch in 1964 in France made more than a few waves with its treatments for hair and emphasis on care. The beauty industry hadn’t yet adopted mane ideals like lustrous, manageable, and healthy hair. The notion of elasticity was still a burgeoning one in skin care, let alone in the salon. But Kérastase quickly gained a cult following for its diagnostic approach and results, championed by visionary founder François Dalle of L’Oreal.
“The purpose of the line was advanced formulas that would actually treat the hair and hair fibre, and leave it in the healthiest condition possible,” says Alanna Widgiz, a Calgary-based Kérastase stylist expert for the brand. “That’s the whole concept of Kérastase: bringing skin care to the hair and scalp. Before it was just mousse, gel, hair spray, that was basically it.” Kérastase wanted to offer something totally different. “Most product lines out there are topical. They say they have certain ingredients, but they kind of just sit on the hair. These products will actually get absorbed into the hair and the scalp so you’ll notice a huge texture change.”
The current Canadian roster of products is divided into 13 different collections, packed with cleansers, treatments, primers, and more for specific hair types and concerns. Among its innovations, Kérastase was an early pioneer of hair masks and sun protection. Early products, such as the Bain Equilibreur and an anti-dandruff treatment, were focused on treating the scalp. “It’s a very scientific approach to doing hair,” Widgiz explains. “You’re treating different areas of your hair. You’ve got your scalp and the root area, which need to have a little more texture otherwise the hair just falls flat. Then your ends, especially with everything going on with the ombré trend. You want to address all the different parts of your hair: your ends, your scalp, your mid-length, your root.” A consultation with Kérastase goes well beyond the length of a new bob and ends with a personalized prescription of products. The basic formula is: cleanse, treat, and prime. Widgiz also recommends getting a trim every six weeks as well as a Fusio Dose treatment. After all, the healthier the hair, the better it looks and the better it holds its style. With its proven formula, Kérastase’s success only stands to keep growing.