Jacques Dessange is a name that is highly respected in the hair care industry, as this man’s accomplishments are many and quite legendary. Establishing the House of Dessange in 1954 (still open today), his work became famous as France’s most luxurious hair dressing house, coiffing socialites and celebrities alike. As far back as 1958, Dessange had partnered up for the Cannes International Film Festival and was named the Official Partner in 1986 — a title that continues to this day.
Several unique facts have elevated Dessange above the ordinary, beginning with how he was one of the first hairstylists to “recognize the cut” and how “hair should follow/accompany the movement of a woman’s head” a concept which then evolved into the creation of his famous “Coiffé-Décoiffé” (tousled) look. Thanks to his first wife’s connections as an agent & publicist, he was subsequently introduced to Brigitte Bardot and in 1963, he created her iconic “blonde Dessange” for her film role in ‘Et Dieu Créa la Femme’ (And God Created Woman). Finally in 1983, Dessange invented the ‘California Blonde‘ balayage-style highlights where colour is “painted on” after the haircut. You might say that this is a man who definitely knows his blondes.
Fast forward to 2015, and even though the Dessange Paris haircare range has been available in Europe for some time, these products have only recently hit Canadian shores. After having thoroughly tested the California Blonde Collection, I for one, couldn’t be happier. My hair so totally agrees.
My hair type & colour: long, medium-thick, slightly wavy (the wave began only after I started colouring my hair — before that, it was stick-straight) and processed a pale champagne/baby blonde.
The original blonde bombshell, Brigitte Bardot
Dessange Paris | California Blonde Collection
Dessange Paris | California Blonde Collection
Illuminating Shampoo | (CAN $12.99) Created with passion flower extracts to provide the hair with lasting nourishment and enhanced radiance, this is a milky white fluid bearing a good consistency (neither too thick nor runny) and a little goes a long way. I usually prefer two shampoos, but have found that one is plenty with this system. The scent is simply DIVINE and I am highly addicted to it, especially when it becomes enhanced by the steam of the shower; once dry, the fragrance becomes unobtrusive and leaves hair smelling wonderfully fresh & clean.
After having already gone through 1 bottle each of the shampoo and conditioner, I couldn’t be more thrilled with the results. In fact, I notice that even before applying conditioner, my hair feels totally manageable as well as clean – I’m not a fan of the squeaky hair feel that some shampoos can leave behind, so this is a huge plus.
Dessange Paris | California Blonde Illuminating Shampoo (ingredients)
Illuminating Conditioner | (CAN $12.99) Bearing the same yummy scent as the shampoo, the creamy white formula bears an excellent consistency, one which spreads easily through the hair upon application.
My usual routine is that after shampooing, I slather on a healthy amount of conditioner (my hair is long and there’s plenty of it, so one dollop just doesn’t cut it) all over my hair; I begin and the ends where I concentrate most of the product, and work my way all up to the roots (yes, I apply conditioner to the entire length of my hair). I then leave that in while I complete my shower, and rinsing out is my last step before finishing. It’s my belief that this system allows the product to properly penetrate (especially using the hot shower steam to work it completely into my hair) and offer up maximum benefit; after rinsing out thoroughly, I’m left with hair that’s so easy to comb through – another plus, as this ensures less breakage and a healthier mane overall.
Dessange Paris | California Blonde Illuminating Conditioner (ingredients)
Illuminating Elixir | (CAN $14.99) Filled with the same heady scent as the rest of this range, this leave-in treatment is a white medium consistency fluid that adds an extra touch of moisture to areas that need it most (such as the ends), while providing an overall radiance to the rest of the hair.
After towel-drying my hair, I dispense about 4 short pumps into my palm and rub my hands together to spread the product out, then proceed to apply this to my hair, starting from the ends and working my way up – although I do avoid the root area. I’ve also found it easier to start with my head turned downwards so that I can grab all then ends in one go. Whether I blow-dry my hair or let it air-dry, the California Blonde regimen — bolstered by the Illuminating Elixir — leaves my hair not only silky soft and smooth, but super shiny and with minimal flyaways (it is Summer here after all; some flyaway are inevitable).
Dessange Paris | California Blonde Illuminating Elixir (ingredients)
CC Brass Color Correcting Crème | (CAN $14.99) A deep violet-coloured cream product with the same scent as the rest of this collection, meant to counteract unwanted brassiness in blonde hair (like someone might actually want brassiness? Right.)
I’ve only used this once thus far and the way it works is that you apply it after your shampoo & conditioner, leave it on for about 5-10 minutes, then rinse out thoroughly. This can also be alternated with the Illuminating Elixir, although I always use a leave-in treatment just the same. Since my colour isn’t brassy (thanks to my incredibly talented colourist), I can’t really say how effective this product is, but violet-coloured treatments similar to this are well-documented in their brassy-tone cancelling effectiveness. If I were to judge by the rest of this series, my hunch would be that this Color Correcting Crème is worth investing in for those whose blonde needs a lift. Bonus: an excellent product to have on hand when travelling, to help cancel out any potential damage from either chlorinated or salt water.
Dessange Paris | California Blonde CC Brass Color Correcting Crème (ingredients)
In all my blonde mane glory!
I am a bit obsessed with moisturizing: my skin, my body, and most importantly, my hair. It’s a fact that blonde hair actually absorbs light more than dark hair does, which in turn makes it harder to look as shiny; the Dessange California Blonde Collection not only protects my hair, but leaves it feeling nourished, smooth and above all, ridiculously shiny. Add in the dreamy fragrance, and we’ve got gold … or rather, blonde. I’ve used many different regimens geared towards my hair type & colour, and at varying price points; the fact that this collection is readily available and at a cost that won’t cripple the bank account + the proven results (well, at least proven to me), makes it so worth looking into. Indulge, and then sit back to reap the compliments. You’re welcome.
Apart from the California Blonde Collection, the following ranges are also available: Solar Blonde Naturale Collection (clarifies & lightens natural blonde hair), Color Restore Collection (for colour treated hair), and Oleo Miracle Collection (intense nourishment for restored & healthier hair).
Available exclusively through Shoppers Drug Mart/Pharmaprix locations across Canada.
Press samples kindly provided for my unbiased consideration