MEET CAROLINE GREYL
Caroline Greyl is part of the ambitious and driven second generation of the Greyl family, carrying her family’s business into the 21st century. Her mother, Leonor Greyl, founded the line of natural products with her husband Jean-Marie in 1968. Their unique products soon became a hit and sought after by the greatest hair professionals in the world. With Caroline’s guidance (and the help of her biologist/chemist husband, Tom Brooks), the brand is carried in hundreds of salons, plus the world’s biggest department stores and Sephoras. We had the unique privilege of interviewing Caroline about what it’s like growing up in a beauty-centric family.
Leonor Greyl is a family affair. How have your parents passed down their passion for hair care?
I always grew up surrounded by my parents. It came very naturally that I wanted to work in this field. Hair is a passion I grew up with. I remember going to my mother’s institute when I was 5 and spending all day there watching women having their hair done. in my childhood, I also shared some quality time with my father, while he was creating products. I know all the perfumes and the stories around each of them. Not to mention, I went to school with some of the most creative hairstylists. I think it was kind of my destiny.
At what point did you realize that you also wanted to work in beauty?
It came slowly but surely to me in a very natural way.
Several Leonor Greyl products are close to your family’s heart. What do you recall as your favorite product?
Huile Secret de Beauté is an interesting one. We used to call that product the family oil. My mother and I loved to apply that practical product all summer and also all year long. It gave us such a nice golden tan. We had that idea when we travel to Martinique, an island in the Caribbean. My mother wanted to have a practical product to apply while traveling. The mousse is more like a good luck charm for my son, Gabriel. My father and my husband wanted “the product” for him – something very natural and hypoallergenic with a bit of perfume. We ended up with that very gentle foaming orange blossom mousse. On my side I wanted to give all the benefits to charity, which I did by giving them to the French Make a Wish Foundation, called ‘Petits Princes’. It is not our best seller but usually once you try it, you love it.
We have noted that many important hairdressers are French – why do you think there is such a passion for hairdressing and hair care in France?
With legendary hairstylist Alexandre de Paris and ‘Haute Coiffure Française’ (a similar thing to haute couture), French hairstylists became very inspired. He opened the path and many others like Bruno Pittini followed him. French hairstylists are very sensitive to hair quality. For them there is no beautiful hair without a minimum care. Our slogan is “healthy and glamorous hair using natural product” and we really believe in this. It is funny, recently I read an interview on Serge Normant and he was saying the exact same thing.
What are you favorite places to shop for beauty in Paris, aside from Leonor Greyl, of course?
My time is very precious so I do a lot of my personal care at home. But, I like going once a year to Joelle Ciocco, a very good esthetician with an amazing product line. The Royal Monceau Spa is beautiful too. I often visit Colette. Sephora and Bon Marche are my favorite department stores in Paris.
What is the best in French beauty?
I like Joelle Ciocco, of course, but also Sisley for sun protection. For my nails, I take good care of them with Talika products – they do wonders. I have also been faithful to Guerlain’s Heure Bleue perfume for more than 30 years. I like Dior makeup palettes and Chanel red lipstick. I am very careful generally with what I select for my skin. The most important thing for me is to remove my makeup and clean my face every night, even if it is late.
Celebrities love your products. Who is one of your favorites?
I like Sofia Coppola: her movies and also her discretion. She also has a strong family story.
What’s the most important advice you can give to our readers about hair care?
Take your time when you shampoo your hair and always detangle it before washing.
Learn more about Leonor Greyl by connecting with their brand page on Pampadour.