La Biosthétique Creative Director Marc Riese and Black 2 Blond stylist Dylan working on Aurora’s hair – she’s such a lucky girl!
On Tuesday, November 5th, the Style by Fire team was introduced to La Biosthétique at Black 2 Blond salon in Kitsilano, the largest Biosthétique Academy Salon in the world. As I made my way up the steps, the shining, bright lights welcomed me into the home of Canada’s La Biosthétique flagship location. The brand was brought to Canada about 5 years ago, and has been in Vancouver for the past 3 and half years.
Although new to Canadians, the Biosthétique brand was founded over 50 years ago by French biochemist Marcel Contier, who was not only a scientist but also a visionary. The brand uses mostly natural and organic ingredients whenever possible. Contier “perceived the hairdresser as a beauty expert and created a culture of total beauty.” True to his beliefs, when you go to the salon “you should not only get your hair cut, you should expect an overall beauty treatment.”
Exquisite hors d’oeuvres by Taste to Savour Catering
Marc Riese prepping hair at the wash station
A nice head massage
Miranda and La Biosthétique General Manager Philip Jung
Swatches for testing pH levels
The colour bar
Hive Mind Millinery owner Dominique Hanke gets her hair done by B2B owner, Teresa Polson
The Natural Cosmetic Organic Care line
La Biosthétique’s products are not only organic, they packaging is biodegradable as well
The top of the line luxury collection with ingredients such as pearls, champagne, and silk
And that’s exactly what the Black 2 Blond salon team delivers. That night, fashion bloggers and other media had the opportunity to try facials, hair treatments, hand massages, and makeup styling. Aurora & I both received hair treatments. With what little hair I had, it was still an amazing experience.
When I first sat down at the stylist’s chair, I was greeted with a ‘welcome tray’ that included a hot towel, cup of tea, and a bottle of hand lotion. My stylist, Sue, explained to me that everyone who comes into the salon gets to wind down with the welcome tray, especially for those who bus there. Up until recently, I was mainly a user of public transit, where just traveling to the salon took approximately an hour. How nice it would have been if salons and other establishments catered to the transit crowd the way B2B does!
The men’s collection
Day and night care in packaging that reminds us of pearls
The beautiful reception desk
Randa Salloum of The Unprecedented and I See Noise Prints giving the service 2 thumbs up!
Fashion stylist Claudia Da Ponte glows with freshly done makeup and hair treatment
The tools of the trade for testing your hair’s health
The welcome tray
Gel pads, Himalayan salt hand scrub, and more!
Philip Jung and Dominique Hanke
The writable surfaces: great for ideas
Shortly after, Sue took a swab of my scalp to determine how healthy my hair was in terms of pH levels and oiliness. According to a La Biosthétique’s “SALON beauté” publication, “the scalp can react just as sensitively to stress as the skin on your face.” She also asked me to choose between two scents, which indicate whether I have sensitive, normal, or dry skin. Stylists use this information to narrow down which type of hair treatment to use, which I find fantastic because everyone has slightly different health and beauty needs.
Just after Sue applied the hair treatment, she brought over another tray of goodies. This time, it was stocked with gel eye pads and a pink Himalayan salt scrub. She asked which I wanted to try. It didn’t take a moment’s hesitation for me to answer, “Both!” The Anti Age gel pads were cool to the touch, and stayed on for the duration of my hair treatment. As for the salt hand scrub, I was absolutely in love with it. I’ve had dry skin for as long as I can remember, and my hands felt like heavenly, buttery goodness once I rinsed the salt off. I couldn’t help it but purchase a bottle to take home!
La Biosthétique Canada General Manager Philip Jung, Artistic Director Marc Riese, and publicist Lyndi Barrett of LJ PR
I had the pleasure of taking a tour around the salon with La Biosthétique Canada General Manager, Philip Jung. I was interested in the environmental efforts the brand engages in, and he informed me that the Natural Cosmetic Organic Care line is 100% natural, with up to 30% organic farming. According to Canadian distributor Key Beauty Systems West, La Biosthétique’s “facilities were just part of an intensive renovation that cut down their energy and heating consumption by 34% and are now run by 100% renewable energy from wind and sun.”
I asked Philip what would be best for dry, wavy hair like mine in the wintertime. He mentioned the new CURL line for curly hair, as well as an add-in conditioner. And what were his thoughts on the brand? “It really has its focus on putting natural energy and ingredients in the products but always combined with modern research. So it’s outstanding performance, and outstanding luxury for your hair,” says Philip.
A “selfie” by Aurora
Back at the salon stations, I caught a glimpse of La Biosthétique Artistic Director Marc Riese and Black 2 Blond stylist Dylan both working on Aurora’s hair at the same time. I couldn’t help but break out in laughter! Or maybe it was in envy, as she had two very talented and good-looking men’s attention. Regardless, I also caught a bit of the conversation when Marc was sharing his styling advice with Dylan.
He mentioned how Aurora’s hair had been styled too “perfectly,” and that hair tension is intimidating. He illustrated how when someone is flirting, she twirls her hair to break that tension to create a more natural, comfortable, and attractive environment. We both thought this was an insightful point about the psychology behind hair. I’m confident that the stylists who train at La Biosthétique are equipped with much more than technical training; they also learn the psychological and emotional aspects of beauty.
Black 2 Blond General Manager Francesca Smith and Owner Teresa Polson
Black 2 Blond, a former Aveda salon, had recently undergone a renovation in July, and formally debuted its new minimalist look and partnership with La Biosthétique this September. I asked salon owner Teresa Polson how everything came together, and she smiled and said, “The partnership came to be through a breakup of a partnership.” After she became sole owner of the salon, her team encouraged her to check out La Biosthétique’s seasonal trend show. It’s pretty much been history from then.
A veteran of the industry who has owned 3 other salons with her husband, Teresa had easily fallen in love with the Biosthétique brand. “What I liked about it was first of all its philosophy and how it treats people: It looks as people as a whole, not as components.” This is why the salon offers scalp swab testing, hair cutting and dying, skincare and makeup, as well as massage therapies. “It’s total beauty, which is a different concept for Canada because North America doesn’t look at the body that way.”
The beautiful welcome set relaxes every customer
The Black 2 Blond reception desk
Pops of colour punctuate the minimalist salon space
The colour bar
As for the interiors of the salon, its modern design came together by a local friend as well as a German designer. The team had turned the salon upside down, and inside out. Where there used to be an unused lounge area in the front, the space is now filled with modular stylist stations. The movable stations accommodate weekend training sessions. The wash stations were brought to the back via a new set of stairs that also lead to the massage rooms. The colour bar is set up near the back of the salon with writable table surfaces where stylists can jot down their ideas for the latest colour concoctions.
While the salon is mostly white, with some black, in the theme of corporate La Biosthétique design, it doesn’t take away from Teresa’s love for colour.” My thing was colour. I needed to have colour. I love colour,” says Teresa. The seasonal campaign posters, floral arrangements, and accessories punctuate the salon with pops of colour. I love that it’s black and white with colour, but at the same time it doesn’t feel too clinical or too conceptual, but more so you get a feeling of freshness – physically and trend-wise.
An Instagram photo of the gift set from La Biosthétique!
At the end of the night, Aurora and I walked away with a generous gift: La Biosthétique’s luxury hair collection. Opulent ingredients in the 3-item set included “extracts of pure silk, champagne and pearls plus a complex of blossoms and fruits from Traditional Chinese Medicine for health and elastic resilience.” Even the metal placard on the bottle added a high-end appeal to the packaging.
Thanks to La Biosthétique and the Black 2 Blond team for giving us one of the best salon experiences we’ve had! This partnership definitely creates a “Culture of Total Beauty.”
Keep your eyes peeled for a follow-up article where Aurora will talk about her experience using the luxury line.
Photos by Aurora Chan
Words by Miranda Sam