A growing number of women are experiencing seasonal hair loss. Kérastase’s Genesis collection gets to the root of the problem.
According to Google Trends, breathing apps, CBD skincare and sound baths were some of the most commonly searched items under the category of wellness in 2019. Indeed, many of us are looking for new ways to feel better and live healthier lives—now more than ever. But while we are applying hyaluronic acid-infused sheet masks to our faces, getting regular pedicures and dry brushing our bodies, there’s one area we may be overlooking: our hair. But something called seasonal hair loss, or hair fall, is changing that.
When the seasons change, your body takes notice and it loses a little bit of hair, says David D’Amours, hairstylist and editorial director at Kérastase. “It’s not a drastic change, but it’s a small change your body feels,” he says, and it’s enough to cause more stray strands than usual to appear on your cashmere sweater.
While hair loss has traditionally been viewed as either a male concern (something our dads, brothers and boyfriends need to deal with) or a side effect of aging, that’s not the case, says D’Amours, who has worked with celebrities like Celine Dion and the former first lady of France Carla Bruni. In fact, it’s the number one hair concern among millennials, which makes sense considering that 88 per cent of women experience seasonal hair loss by the time they are 40 years old. It’s no wonder that another trend, coined “hair wellness” by the beauty industry, is gaining momentum.
Canadian women know first-hand how our hair reacts to frequent and often extreme temperature changes (a fact of life in Canada that inspired the popular meme that we have 11 seasons, not four), but there are a number of other factors that cause hair fall, says D’Amours. There’s daily exposure to pollution and UV rays as well as our collective obsession with heat styling tools that weaken our strands, causing them to break off mid-shaft. Meanwhile, at the scalp level, our diet, in addition to biological factors like fluctuating hormones, can trigger hair fall from the root, as can the stress of a busy lifestyle or, say, living through a global pandemic. When D’Amours reopened his Old Montreal salon in June after closing because of COVID-19, he noticed hair loss in many of his clients. “Even the quality of hair had changed,” he says, adding that Genesis, Kérastase’s collection of products developed to prevent hair fall that serendipitously launched this spring, couldn’t have come at a better moment. “The pandemic caused a big change in our lives. And I think it’s why more people are noticing hair loss.”
The new collection features six products that work together to reduce hair fall by both strengthening the hair fibre to prevent breakage and stimulating the roots to reduce long-term hair fall. And just because they work doesn’t mean they need to smell like they belong in a medicine cabinet— which is why they are infused with a luxurious bergamot and citrus scent conceived by Calice Becker, the woman behind popular perfumes for fashion houses like Marc Jacobs and Oscar de la Renta.
One of the key ingredients, Aminexil, is believed to inhibit an enzyme that tightens collagen in the scalp—one of the causes of hair fall from the root—and works in tandem with caffeine and ginger root extract, two more scalp-targeting ingredients that stimulate circulation. On another front, edelweiss native cells provide moisture to hair and protect fibres from extreme environmental conditions. (Hello, polar vortex.)
There are two shampoos for different hair types: Bain Nutri-Fortifiant, which helps smooth thicker hair for less breakage when detangling, and Bain Hydra-Fortifiant, which is ideal for finer hair because it removes pollution and excess oil from the scalp to restore volume to limp strands, says D’Amours. Volume for all hair types comes via the Anti Hair-Fall Fortifying Serum and Treatment Ampoules. While some of D’Amour’s clients worry that using extra products might weigh their hair down, these have the opposite effect. They add body but feel very lightweight in the hair, he says. But his favourite product in the collection is Défense Thermique, a heat-protective spray that works for up to 220ºC. He recommends it to his salon clients (who use their flatirons to do beachy waves at home) as well as his celebrity and model clients (whom he instructs to bring a bottle on photo shoots and film sets). D’Amours loves that, as with all Kérastase products, he can customize treatments, allowing him to mix and match Genesis products with other lines depending on hair type and colour as well as other needs—something that reminds him of a favourite destination in Paris. “It’s like a trip to the French pharmacy,” he says.
While Genesis products take a strategic approach to preventing hair fall, maintaining healthy hair and a healthy scalp is a holistic endeavour, which is why Kérastase developed the line with the guidance of a dermatologist. Dr. Laura Scott says that losing between 50 and 100 hairs a day is normal but cautions that when there is extreme breakage, or when hair is significantly sparser in a specific area, it needs to be addressed.
At the salon
D’Amours says that whether his clients come to the salon for a blowout, balayage or bangs trim, they love the instant results of Fusio-Dose. “It’s one of the most popular treatments in our salon,” he says of the customizable hair application that’s now available in the Genesis range. Applied at the sink and rinsed out, the treatment takes just a few minutes, which is why it’s ideal for busy clients, he says. It can also be mixed and matched with a selection of boosters from other ranges that do everything from brightening blond to thickening strands. And while the at-home version of the Genesis treatment Masque Reconstituant is a great DIY option, it’s a nice treat to top off your service when you’re in the salon, says D’Amours. “It’s like the cherry on the sundae.”
SPECIAL OFFER: Want to try the Genesis range? Enter the code FASHIONMAG at checkout to get a special gift with purchases over $75. To discover more professional luxury care for your hair, follow @kerastase_official on Instagram. To find your nearest Kérastase salon, click here.