LG Superfan: Stylist and Salon Owner Alexandre Chouery
Our ongoing Q&A series features Leonor Greyl superfans who share our passion for luxurious, healthy hair. We talk about their career paths, celebrity encounters, style secrets, and more.
Alexandre Chouery’s Love Affair with Leonor Greyl: “The Finest Wine, the Vintage Bordeaux, of Hair Care.”
We recently caught up with stylist and salon owner Alexandre Chouery, a bold hair care professional known for making risky career moves and being one of the hardest-working men in the industry.
Alexandre joined us by phone for a wide-ranging conversation about his fascinating career trajectory and his long love affair with Leonor Greyl products.
We were lucky to catch him because Alexandre is only half-joking when he says he works “90 hours and eight days a week.” He runs his gorgeously curated salon, Maison d’Alexandre in Greenwich, Connecticut, while also preparing to open a second location and raising three young boys with wife Brenna.
Keep reading to learn how this Beirut-born and Paris-raised dynamo fast-talked his way into one of the most prestigious French training programs and quickly became a sought-after stylist for Paris Fashion Week designers, Cannes Film Festival celebrities, and Saudi royals. Then, at the height of his career, he gave it all up to start over in the U.S. and launch his own brand.
Along the way, he shared his passion for Leonor Greyl luxury hair care with a whole new audience. The insatiable way he describes the products, as you’ll see, will make you hungry. Literally.
Leonor Greyl: Alexandre, did you always want to be a stylist?
When I was growing up, my family owned a mirror factory, and my father wanted me to take over. But I wasn’t interested at all. I started to study business marketing but then quickly switched to cosmetology.
I was always obsessed with making women look beautiful and helping people feel good about themselves. And being around beautiful women all day, well, that has truly been a blessing.
My family didn’t accept my career choice in the beginning. I had to be on my own since that day.
LG: Ironically, you chose a career where mirrors surround you.
AC: If you see my salon (Maison d’Alexandre), I designed my space and selected every table, every chair, every mirror. The mirror has a big impact on my industry and myself.
LG: Describe how you got accepted into what you call the “French Harvard for hair,” the Jacque Dessange Academy in Paris.
AC: It was a challenge. When I was 19, I applied maybe three or four times and never had a call back. Actually, I remember one time after applying, as I was leaving the office, I saw in a mirror that the person put my resume in the garbage.
LG: Ah, another mirror. Most people would have given up at that point. Why didn’t you?
AC: I was chasing my dream. The next thing I did was like something from a movie. I noticed that Mr. Dessange arrived at his headquarters next to the flagship salon every morning at 8 a.m. with his driver. One day, I decided to push it. After he arrived at 8, I went to his office and told his assistant that I had an appointment. I gave her my name, she checked the appointment book and said I wasn’t on the schedule. I insisted that Mr. Dessange was expecting me. She knocked on his door, and as soon as it opened, I jumped right in and said, “Mr. Dessange, please give me five minutes of your time. I promise you will not be disappointed.” I think he liked the energy and passion he saw. He invited me in. I’ll always remember the big window behind his desk. In the center of the window was the Eiffel Tower. I said, “Mr. Dessange, I promise if you give me a chance to work for you, I will plant that Eiffel Tower right in your salon.”
He gave me my chance. He called his salon manager and had me start the next morning. That was the biggest move in my life.
LG: Jacques Dessange founded an international salon empire. He shaped the celebrity styles of the 1960s, including Brigitte Bardot’s loose beehive. He was the official hairdresser of Festival de Cannes for 30 years. What was the biggest impression he made on you?
AC: When I met him, he was a business person and not styling clients anymore. So, I studied how he differentiated his salons and his brand and how he paid attention to every little detail. Like, every morning he walked into the flagship salon around 8 a.m., and standing with his left hand in his pocket, he’d take a long scan of the salon. Then he’d call the manager and ask why a hairdresser’s hair is not done neatly, why a can of hairspray was left out on a table, why hair hadn’t been swept from the floor. He wanted it pristine, and this is what I am like today, with a little more flexibility.
LG: How long did you work there?
AC: About 10 years, but it felt like I was with him since I was born because every minute was so inspiring. And I was invited to be part of his elite team at Paris Fashion Week and Festival de Cannes. I also worked with Chopard (famed jeweler and watchmaker, an official Cannes partner) and their VIPs and celebrities.
At the same time, through the salon’s connection with the Four Seasons hotel, I styled visiting royals from Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Qatar. And later they would fly me places to style their whole the family.
LG: That sounds like a fabulous lifestyle. Why did you drop it to come to the U.S.?
AC: I always targeted the U.S. as a big opportunity. I packed my bags and went after the American dream. I started from scratch, first at Salon Privé in Manhattan. Literally started from zero. I insisted. I said I would shampoo, sweep the floor, clean the toilets. Nothing scares me, I do everything.
LG: You then worked with Frédéric Fekkai in Manhattan and headed the Fekkai salon in Greenwich for about 10 years. What came next?
AC: In 2017, I turned 40 on July 18 and got married on August 18. On March 18, 2018, we had our first baby, Theodore. And on March 24, I opened my business in Greenwich. I’m getting ready to open a second location in Darien, CT.
LG: What a whirlwind!
AC: I launched it with no investors, no debts, no loans, no room for mistakes. I made a big, bold move. And I designed a massive space that is meant to feel like a beautiful home.
(The salon is housed in a turn-of-the-century building with floor-to-ceiling windows and exposed beams. Couches, a fireplace, a library, and a glass of wine welcome guests. Massive wood tables create a communal centerpiece. As Alexandre explains, “You feel like you’re sitting in a château at a long dining table. With all the other clients around you, you feel like you’re part of a party.)
LG: When did you fall in love with Leonor Greyl products?
AC: It’s a heritage brand; you don’t know exactly when it becomes part of your awareness. Like, no one goes to Paris without seeing the Eiffel Tower or the Louvre, no one can be in Paris without being introduced to the Leonor Greyl brand.
LG: What are your Leonor Greyl favorites?
AC: With Shampooing Reviviscence, Leonor Greyl made a miracle. It is the best product for damaged and dry hair. I’d put this one in my safe deposit box in the bank! It’s like a vintage wine, a 100-year-old Bordeaux. You take one sip, and you’ll want to have the whole bottle.
Shampooing Crème Moelle de Bambou is like a macaron from Ladurée when you start eating one and then you eat the whole box. You get obsessive about it. That’s what I use for myself and clients for routine washes.
And we have to talk about Huile de Magnolia face and body oil. Holy moly! When you put it on your body, it smells so good. It’s so dangerous.
AC: Yes! Maybe my wife has three boys because of Huile de Magnolia.
LG: Ha! Okay, moving on. Why does your salon emphasize the Leonor Greyl scalp treatments?
AC: Leonor Greyl was the first brand to introduce us to the importance of scalp health. They showed us that beautiful hair is not just about cleaning dirty hair. You have to care for the scalp.
If you have plants at home, you know they don’t show up bright and flowery right away. You have to treat them from the seed, the roots. We educate clients about why they should exfoliate the scalp. We show clients what’s under their hair, and when we do, everyone is blown away.
Leonor Greyl’s Complexe Energisant (leave-in energizing oil for thinning hair) is another key player in scalp health.
LG: If we pressed you, what would you say is your single favorite product?
AC: Oh, you are asking me the toughest question on earth because every item in the has a specific mission so you can tailor the treatment to each hair type.
Leonor Greyl is like the Ferrari of the hair industry compared to any common shampoo line that’s like a Chevy.
LG: Aw, we love that analogy. Thank you.
AC: Bravo! It was amazingly nice to speak with you!
Did you miss our earlier conversations with other Leonor Greyl ambassadors and superfans? Check out our Q&As with L.A. celebrity stylist Adrian Castillo, beauty expert Eva Scrivo, bridal hair designer Trace Henningsen, and California salon owner Ron Pernell.