Blame it on Western culture that we simply regard hairdressers as hairdressers. Enter salon. Have hair washed, cut, and styled. Exit salon. Return in two to six weeks. This nearsightedness is born from an ingrained habit: in North America, when it comes to our health (hair or otherwise) we often seek solutions to rid ourselves of symptoms instead of looking to discover the root of the problem. With the opening of its flagship salon and academy in Vancouver at Black2Blond Salon and Spa in Kitsilano, La Biosthétique brings a holistic approach to personal grooming and hair care that is sure to help Canadians look past quick-fix solutions.
Founded by idealistic French biochemist Marcel Contier over 50 years ago, La Biosthétique’s approach to hair and skin health is decidedly more ND than MD, but its foundation is still seriously scientific. In his Paris laboratory, Contier formulated products from natural sources and developed the company with the vision that when clients came to see their hairdresser, they were seeing a beauty expert—one who could provide not just the desired cut and style, but also the tools to maintain that style past the moment they leave the salon. At the unveiling of Black2Blond’s transformation to La Biosthétique wunderkind, it was evident that whoever visits the salon is leaving with more than just a trim.
The total beauty experience at Black2Blond begins with a relaxing tea, a soothing hand cream application, and a hot towel dotted with essential oils. The calming welcome is followed by a dose of pure science: tonics and test strips are applied to test the pH balance and overall health of the hair and scalp. After the litmus test, an invigorating wash is followed with a scalp lotion treatment and relaxing massage. Following a combination of cut, colour, and style (and a visit to a spa room for a facial), a makeup touch-up is offered. As far as first impressions go, Black2Blond leaves visitors swooning.
The salon’s interior is part and parcel to the impressive package. Sleek lines and minimalist design meet masterful functionality in moveable stations. Chairs, counters, mirrors—everything is easily maneuvered. The salon doubles as an academy, and on weekends the floor transforms into a classroom as stylists come to study hair, scalp, and skin care, including the latest dermatological innovations. La Biosthétique academies exist in Germany, Austria, France, Italy, and Spain—but the Black2Blond academy is exclusive to Canada.
The decision to enter the North American market in Vancouver was strategic, as choosing to debut in a city known for its eco-consciousness pairs well with La Biosthétique. While the range of products include a Champagne-infused luxury hair care line and artist-inspired cosmetics, the Natural Cosmetics skin and hair care line is a great example of the company’s desire to innovate and invest in good business practices. In addition to all of the brand’s products being formulated in facilities that run on renewable energy, the Natural line uses organic ingredients that smell good enough to eat. Containers are made of biodegradable plastic that can go straight into the compost—just one of the features that earned La Biosthétique its place as this year’s hair and makeup line of choice for Vancouver Eco Fashion Week.
So while some local salons may also offer a tea and a head massage, the approach of La Biosthétique is that of health: hair, skin, and overall well-being. After a visit at Black2Blond, you feel as if you’ve just come back from a weeklong wellness retreat.