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What the Flower: A Hair Salon and Plant Shop in Paris

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What the Flower: A Hair Salon and Plant Shop in Paris

June 6, 2018

Lest anyone not know that hair stylist Justine Jeanin is also a #crazyplantlady, she has a tattoo on her forearm of a woman’s head crowned by a tangle of leaves. For many years, the 30-year-old Parisian kept her two passions separate: By day she cut hair and by night tended her 350 and counting houseplants—and chronicled her passion on her blog and Instagram feed Sweety Oxalis.

A little more than a year ago, she opened What the Flower, her verdant hair salon in Paris’s hip 11th Arrondissement off Rue Oberkampf. In addition to offering coiffure végétal (Justine uses only plant-based hair products, including tints and dyes), she matches her customers with the perfect potted plants and doles out advice, such as the best way to take pilea cuttings and how to keep your cats from eating the greenery. The dual venture has been such a success that she and her boyfriend/business partner, Bernard, are in the process of readying a twice-the-size new Paris location that What the Flower will move into this summer.

Join us for a look at the business that just might spawn a global movement of beauty and botanical hybrids.

Photography courtesy of @WhatTheFlower_Paris and @sweetyoxalis.

The shop is at \16 Villa Gaudelet in a repurposed warehouse. Justine&#8\2\17;s one-year-old cat Lumeau frequently accompanies her to work: &#8\2\20;He&#8\2\17;s got his own fans who come to check on him.&#8\2\2\1;
Above: The shop is at 16 Villa Gaudelet in a repurposed warehouse. Justine’s one-year-old cat Lumeau frequently accompanies her to work: “He’s got his own fans who come to check on him.”
Justine readies pots of Ceropegia woodii, aka String of Hearts, for hanging. She says her nature-loving grandmother led her down the garden path; at age \10, she turned her family&#8\2\17;s backyard into a sunflower field.
Above: Justine readies pots of Ceropegia woodii, aka String of Hearts, for hanging. She says her nature-loving grandmother led her down the garden path; at age 10, she turned her family’s backyard into a sunflower field.
Plant-lined shelves and weathered terracotta planters decorate the entryway at What the Flower.
Above: Plant-lined shelves and weathered terracotta planters decorate the entryway at What the Flower.
&#8\2\20;This space doesn&#8\2\17;t get a lot of natural light, so we painted the walls and floor white, added mirrored surfaces, and installed powerful LED lights that produce daylight and a circadian cycle because our plants need that as much we do,&#8\2\2\1; Justine says.
Above: “This space doesn’t get a lot of natural light, so we painted the walls and floor white, added mirrored surfaces, and installed powerful LED lights that produce daylight and a circadian cycle because our plants need that as much we do,” Justine says.

Of her hanging plants, she says,”The long hair waving down from the pots has a unique poetry.”

Wooden pallets have been put to use as room dividers and plant shelves. The salon has two chairs, but will increase to six at the new location.
Above: Wooden pallets have been put to use as room dividers and plant shelves. The salon has two chairs, but will increase to six at the new location.

Asked to name her favorite houseplants, Justine responds: “Begonia maculata ‘Wightii’, of course Oxalis triangularis, Monstera deliciosa ‘Variegata’, Monstera adansonii … and I’ll stop there or I’ll name all my plants.”

Powdered hair dyes made from plants, flowers, and bark are stored workbench-style in Mason jars secured under the shelves by their lids. In her spare hours, you can find Justine making her own macramé plant hangers.
Above: Powdered hair dyes made from plants, flowers, and bark are stored workbench-style in Mason jars secured under the shelves by their lids. In her spare hours, you can find Justine making her own macramé plant hangers.
What the Flower sources all of its products from Belgium-based plant cosmetics brand Hairborist, which she commends for not only its goods but also its good ethics. Shown here, auburn hair dye being prepped.
Above: What the Flower sources all of its products from Belgium-based plant cosmetics brand Hairborist, which she commends for not only its goods but also its good ethics. Shown here, auburn hair dye being prepped.
There&#8\2\17;s even a potting bench.
Above: There’s even a potting bench.
Monstera adansonii, also known as the Swiss cheese vine. What the Flower&#8\2\17;s after-hours workshops include lessons in repotting.
Above: Monstera adansonii, also known as the Swiss cheese vine. What the Flower’s after-hours workshops include lessons in repotting.
Justine is a proponent of plant swaps and regularly teams up with Brussels-based nonprofit Seeds, whose goal is to &#8\2\20;promote the exchange of cuttings, seedlings, seeds, tips, and also stories.&#8\2\2\1; Plantez-Vous, the next What the Flower–organized swap in Paris, will be July 8 at Point Éphémère. Stay tuned for details about this and the new shop location @WhatTheFlower_Paris.
Above: Justine is a proponent of plant swaps and regularly teams up with Brussels-based nonprofit Seeds, whose goal is to “promote the exchange of cuttings, seedlings, seeds, tips, and also stories.” Plantez-Vous, the next What the Flower–organized swap in Paris, will be July 8 at Point Éphémère. Stay tuned for details about this and the new shop location @WhatTheFlower_Paris.

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