The celebrity French hairdresser take us out of the salon, and into his private digs.
words: Robin Hodes
photos: Didier Delmas
Christophe-Nicolas Biot poses before a portrait of Yves Saint Laurent that hangs in the entryway of his apartment.
Whether the occasion calls for a chic messy bun or an elegant updo, a savvy Parisian woman is likely to pop in to Christophe Nicolas-Biot's Bar à Chignon, or "Bun Bar." And you can bet your Louboutins she'll be stepping out of the salon looking like a celebrity. Unless she happens to already be one, as many of Nicolas-Biot's clients are.
The creative force behind five Maisons de Coiffure (Hairdressing Houses) throughout France, three of which are in Paris, Christophe Nicolas-Biot is a trailblazing stylist and colorist. He's the genius behind Le Bar des Coloristes, a concept that enables customers to experience a professional hair color service at home and without the steep salon cost. An expert in plant-based hair dyes, in 2016 he opened L’Atelier BioT - a unique location entirely dedicated to natural haircare and plant-based hair colors. And as recently as the 2020 lockdown, he invented Ma Visio Color, the first remote video-based color diagnosis service, complete with an at-home product delivery service.
Infused with natural daylight, the entrance of Nicolas-Biot's apartment is furnished with a tri-colored velvet ottoman from Flamant, and a sawhorse desk and distressed leather chair from Kaolin. The Hermès vase on the windowsill makes a statement, while a fresh floral arrangement by Oz Garden adds fragrance and cheer.
After ten years of living on the Right Bank, Christophe-Nicolas Biot decided to move closer to his salon in the sixth arrondissement, and settled in the center of Saint-Germain-des-Prés - an eclectic neighborhood where art galleries and antique shops are plentiful, café culture is thriving, and indie boutiques sit alongside major international fashion brands. He fell madly in love with a spacious apartment situated on the top floor of a Haussmann building (which refers to quintessential Paris architecture, where large, elegant buildings feature stone façades and wrought iron detailing).
And who can blame him? From his balcony, Nicolas-Biot enjoys a 360° view of the City of Lights.
Vista Alegre Sol Y Sombra by Christian Lacroix Maison tableware and an Aqua di Parma candle set the scene on the balcony.
It is here that he spends all his nights and weekends whenever he's not traveling. "I try to take full advantage of it, because it is a very bright and quiet apartment in a fantastic location that overlooks the Parisian hubbub," says Nicolas-Biot.
And just as he's always done with his hair salons, he created the décor himself. "I have never worked with a professional interior designer - not for my personal homes, nor for my hair salons. I have always done everything myself," he states.
Each of Christophe Nicolas- Biot's seven salon locations has its own identity, and according to the owner, that's by design. "I always try to create an atmosphere and harmony specific to the locale while staying true to the architecture," he explains.
Located in the former boutique of fashion designer Jean-Paul Gaultier, the approximately 1,485-square-foot L'Atelier BioT is marked by a monochromatic palette, rich woods, soaring ceilings, and industrial lighting.
But while his hair salons - and the nature of the work done there - allow for endless creative expression, it's at home where Nicolas-Biot's personal design aesthetic is able to shine. "My house is filled with personal things, memories, and Art Déco that I would not necessarily put in my salons," he says.
The living room exudes Nicolas-Biot's personal vibe... in no small part because he hand-selected it all himself. sofa by AM.PM.; Falcon Chair by Sigurd Ressell at gallery KRD chair by ; tufted pouf from Made accent table, console, and coffee table from Flamant; rug by Sacha Walckhoff for Yo2; candle from Missoni Home; decorative "insect" objets by Hamilton Conte; "Reverso" Vase by Sacha Walckhoff for Verreum; art photo: Jonathan Bermudes
His spaces pays homage to the fashion icons that fascinate him; portraits of legendary French designer Yves Saint-Laurent, British supermodel Kate Moss, and even a vintage 1960s magazine ad for French fashion brand Courrèges hang in his apartment. Combined with works by notable contemporary photographers Ludwig Favre and Nicolas Bets, Nicolas-Biot's colorful, quirky personality comes alive on his walls. No less vivid are his chosen textiles, which bear graphic patterns and vibrant colors. "Color is part of life... and especially my life," he says. "It is essential for balance and for energy."
Nicolas-Biot's kitchen conveys his whimsical side. art photo above shelf: Bigoudi Party #3 by Nicolas Bets, Yellow Korner; florals: Oz Garden
The dining area is fashioned for an intimate meal with Nicolas-Biot's nearest and dearest. vintage chairs from Stephanie Pol with cushions recovered in a Nobilis fabric; table by Habitat; rug by Toulemonde Bochart; "Butterfly Parade" and "Vista Alegre Sol y Sambra" dishware, Vista Alegre Bicos glassware, and Vista Alegre Domo Mattgold cutlery - all from the Christian Lacroix Maison Home Collection; floral arrangement: Oz Garden; styling: Virginie Duboscq; art photo: Jonathan Bermudes
a dreamy bed dressed with a Missoni Home duvet and throw
The photo is a self-portrait of Nicolas-Biot.
Atop a lacquered "Componibili" bedside table by Anna Castelli Ferrieri for Kartell, a book about one of Nicolas-Biot's idols, silver screen legend Greta Garbo, and a paperweight from Christian Lacroix Maison for Galison, offer insight into the designers and icons that move him. "Space" table lamp by Adam Tihany for Kartell
Nicolas-Biot's master bath is well-stocked with his eponymous hair products, including Mon Protocole by Christophe Nicolas-Biot, a crafted range using only natural ingredients. art photo: "Molitor Summer Time" by Ludwig Favre, Yellow Korner; bath towel from Missoni Home
Nicolas-Biot's collection of new and vintage sunglasses by such designers as Yves Saint Laurent, Nathalie Blanc, Emmanuelle Khanh, Ray Ban, Balenciaga, and Courrèges serve as a design element when they're not being worn. "Sunglasses are as much an accessory as they are protection. I could not live without them," he remarks.
With his tremendous contributions to the world of hair design, Christophe Nicolas-Biot's legacy is firmly established. His personal story is, perhaps, still being written, but his Paris apartment is a meaningful chapter that tells - in the words of Nicolas Biot himself - "the tale of an optimistic boy who loves light in all its forms".
To learn more about Christophe Nicolas-Biot, purchase hair products from his company's online store, or to book an appointment at one of his salons, visit: christophenicolasbiot.com