Our ongoing Q&A series features Leonor Greyl brand ambassadors who share our passion for luxurious, healthy hair. We talk about their career paths, celebrity encounters, style secrets, and more. This time, we’re excited to introduce Julie Chung!
Paris Born, Dallas Proud: Julie Chung Introduces French Haircare Philosophy to the Lone Star State
Salon owner. Educator. Runway stylist. Julie Chung has spent the last two decades dedicating herself to natural products, hair health, and high fashion.
Born in Paris, Julie settled in Texas with her family when she was a teen and enrolled in beauty school at age 16. In 2002, her entrepreneurial spirit moved her to open the sophisticated Jovie Salon just outside of Dallas. Now Julie has three celebrated locations in Allen, McKinney, and Frisco in the Dallas suburbs.
When she’s not in her salons, Julie brings her artistry to fashion weeks in New York, Paris, and Miami.
A big believer in the importance of scalp health, Julie fell in love with Leonor Greyl’s botanic and natural products, traveled back to France to train at our L’Institut, and introduced LG’s exclusive 11-step hair spa treatments to the Dallas area.
Read on to learn about Julie’s philosophy about hair health and get her tips on how to take care of the longer hairstyles that so many of us have embraced during the pandemic.
LG: What brought you from your native Paris to Dallas, Texas?
JC: My parents were always fascinated with the States, so we had a summer house in Dallas when I was growing up. Learning to speak English was always very important to my family.
When my parents decided to take early retirement, our family (I have two sisters) settled year-round in Dallas. Funny, now I’m the only one who’s still here and hasn’t moved away.
LG: As a kid, was that a hard move?
JC: It was exciting and a little sad at the time… But I had just finished a one-year exchange program in Texas, so at least I wasn’t scared because I felt like I had a good mastery of the language at that point.
LG: Why did you enroll in cosmetology school at such a young age?
JC: The pace of academic studies between France and the United States were different, so I ended up having enough school credits to finish at 16. That’s when I went to cosmetology school.
Hairstyling was something I was always curious about. I like the feeling of changing someone’s whole look and helping them feel great and beautiful. Hair is such a strong accessory.
I also thought it would be a great way to support myself by building a craft and starting a career. I attended cosmetology school in Dallas for a one-year program and then started an apprenticeship at a salon. I did two years of training in cutting and styling. I took classes at Vidal Sassoon and worked with Irvine Rusk.
LG: Why did you and your husband, Jo, decide to open your own salon?
JC: Based on my experiences and watching my mom go to her hairdresser for years and years, I wanted to build that kind of lifelong relationship with my own clients.
LG: You’ve made education an important part of your salon model. Tell us more about that.
JC: I started with one apprentice. I wanted to teach the craft. It’s always been really important to me that I work with people who are passionate about what they do and constantly want to learn. …I have always felt, you know, very French in that way. Each member of our team receives more than 120 hours of education and training each year.
LG: What sets your salons apart?
JC: The atmosphere is very sophisticated, but also warm and inviting. And we’ve always offered natural products. When we started, we were the first ones to introduce natural and botanical products to the area 20 years ago. I always carried French brands and lines I felt connected to.
LG: What drew you to Leonor Greyl?
JC: It is really important to me to have natural and luxurious products, products with real history behind them. Leonor Greyl is a true family-owned business. The family cares for the products and stands by them, and it shows in the consistent quality.
LG: You trained at the L’Institut Leonor Greyl in Paris and opened your first Leonor Greyl hair spa treatment center two years ago. What’s it like introducing a hair spa and scalp health concepts to an American clientele? It’s still pretty new to the U.S.
JC: It’s been really well received. People can tend to overwork their hair while trying to make it look beautiful. But it’s so important to make the hair beautiful by making it healthy first. Having an hour-long nourishing scalp and hair treatment like Leonor Greyl’s can be part of your ritual care every four weeks.
LG: It’s a new year, finally! What’s your forecast for hair trends in 2021?
JC: We are seeing more natural texture and longer hair because people haven’t been able to see their hairdressers as often during the pandemic.
A year ago, the cuts we saw were strong lines and jaw lengths. But now things are a lot softer. Even with color placement, things are natural and softer. We have clients who are embracing their gray at this time. But I also like it when they let us play a little bit by adding a little bit of lavender or peach, a little something that makes it fun and exciting.
LG: Is there a trick to keeping our longer pandemic hair healthy?
JC: It’s about keeping hair strong and healthy and making sure the scalp is healthy. That’s where Leonor Greyl really shines, because we can introduce exfoliation for the scalp and use products like Régénerescence Naturelle (LG’s stimulating and purifying scalp oil).
You also can look at ways to help your hair grow even longer, be healthier, and grow more of it. We could do a three-month regime with the Complexe Energisant (LG’s energizing leave-in scalp tonic that’s enriched with acids derived from plant collagen, botanical extracts with regenerating properties, and trace elements).
Another thing: Your choice of shampoos and conditioners is even more important when you have long hair. Leave-in conditioners are a must. So is using L’Huile de Leonor Greyl (LG’s pre-shampoo oil treatment) because it’s unlikely that your natural oils are going to travel all the way down to your ends.
LG: It sounds like you really enjoy educating clients about scalp health.
JC: A lot of people don’t think about it. That’s partly because so many product lines have strongly focused on promoting styling products for so many years. It’s time to go back to the basics: If your scalp is healthy, your hair will be strong and healthy as well.
Clients might say, “I want my hair to have more volume” or “I want my hair to be shiny.” Yes, we can use mousse for volume and gloss for the ends. But you can’t just change things cosmetically all the time. The nourishment of the hair and nourishment of the body will be reflected in the hair more strongly than anything you do cosmetically.
It’s just a simple conversation, and there’s always that light bulb moment of “Oh yeah!”
LG: One more question… We noticed your website logo includes a dog. Does it happen to be a French bulldog?
PC: Yes, of course! That’s my Lulu.
LG: Love it! And we love you!
Did you miss our earlier conversations with other members of the LG family? Check out our Q&As with L.A. celebrity stylist Adrian Castillo, high-fashion editorial stylist Anthony Cristiano, and salon owner Ron Pernell, who spoke about his career trajectory and early racial biases in the industry.