Patrick Alès, renowned Parisian hairdresser and founder of the cult skincare brand Leirac Paris and the Alès Group, has passed away at age 88. Alès is also known for developing “Le Brushing,” a blow-drying technique for creating glamorous full-bodied coiffures that shot to popularity in the 1960s.
“Throughout his life, my father shared with us his passions, his love of plants, his vision and his curiosity,” says Romain Alès, chairman of the supervisory board at Alès Group, and the son of Patrick Alès. “50 years after the creation of Phyto, he built the Alès Group into a company whose brands are now recognized throughout the world. His death plunges our family and all those who were close to him into deep sadness.”
Alès was known as an innovator in the haircare industry, having styled the hair of famous icons like Catherine Devenue and Jackie Kennedy, prior to developing one of the first plant-based haircare lines in the industry—Phyto. In 1969, Alès founded Phytosolba Laboratories, which later developed the Phyto products, before expanding into the esthetics sector with the development of Leirac Laboratories, makers of Leirac Paris skincare products. After nearly 50 years at the helm of the Alès Group, Alès retired from operational management but remained on the group’s supervisory board until 2018, when he was succeeded by his son Romain.
According to a statement released by the Alès Group, “[Patrick’s] life, and the development of his company, were shaped by passions, convictions, and encounters. As visionary as he was groundbreaking, Patrick’s sole motto was ‘making women more beautiful’.”