salon secrets

Carita The Celebrity Meeting Place

April 10th 2015

From Parisian high society to Hollywood stars via royalty, the Carita institution has seen a host of celebrities pass through its doors, cared for from head to toe by Carita’s expert hands.

 Rosy, Maria and everyone who’s anyone in Paris

Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, the salon’s doors are constantly opening and closing and the telephone doesn’t stop ringing. In this high-class Parisian neighborhood, word of mouth is how things work, and Rosy and Maria cultivate their network. They are close to the contemporary art world, and spend their evenings at premières, private viewings, dinners at the homes of famous artists or behind closed doors with fashion designers, while Sundays are reserved for shopping. Joëlle Poulain, who began working here in 1966, says : “ I used to take the train in. One day I saw the Baron de Rothschild, another I saw Catherine Deneuve. They never closed the shop, everyone lived there together”. The very wealthy had their treatments done at home. As such, Joëlle would go to the homes of the Queen of Jordan, the King of Morocco or other African presidents.

 Sophia, Ursula, Marlon and the other

The salon was just as crazy. Sophia Loren came in to buy her famous wigs, five at a time. Ursula Andress used to arrive out of breath having run to escape the paparazzi. On Mondays, the salon opened only for Jayne Mansfield, having left Hollywood in the middle of August, draped in a white mink coat. Christophe Carita, who himself also worked in this frenzy, tells a very peculiar anecdote in The Carita Saga: “One day I see a discreet gathering in one of the salons {…}, it was Marlon Brando, stripped to the waist, explaining to the young employees that he didn’t need a private booth and that he intended to dye his hair for the movie The Young Lions.”

 Carita and the cinema

Many film-makers and producers entrust their actresses’ hair to the Carita Sisters. The tomboy cut, at the time called ‘the Jean Seberg’ for A Bout de Souffle, was a stroke of genius by Rosy, who to congratulate herself said “she’s going to shatter the screen, that’s all”. Just as audacious were Mireille Darc’s bangs, cut on a whim, the blonde Deneuve, Brigitte Bardot’s pony tail, Simon Signoret’s huge bun for Casque d’or, or Juliette Gréco’s short hair. “And how do you see Marlène Jobert in my film?” asked Audiard.

Not wanting to be self-important, Maria says of celebrities “I don’t see the difference”. She taught her staff that they should treat their ‘everyday’ client as if she were a queen.


Carita Sisters
Photo credits ©Carita