France Country Report

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Discovery Reports

Ales Groupe harnesses power of botanicals to enhance beauty

PUBLISHED : Monday, 14 March, 2016, 3:05pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 29 March, 2016, 5:15pm

Country Business Reports interviews and articles by Discovery Reports

Legendary hairstylist Patrick Alès thought of creating a gentler hair-care product in 1965 when he saw how shampoo chemicals damaged the hands of salon workers. Alès then spent many years studying plants and harnessing the power of active botanical ingredients in his Paris salon, which still stands today.

A pioneer in the use of plant ingredients in the beauty industry, Alès developed the French botanical hair-care line Phyto, which has been healing and maintaining healthy scalps and locks since 1969.

The renowned hairdresser is also the genius behind premier aesthetic medicine brand Lierac, luxury perfume Caron and professional hair-care line Ducastel Laboratory. Together, these top-selling French brands compose the Alès Groupe.

"We bring something different to the market," says Raphaël Yousri, president and director of Alès Groupe. "Our whole business is not just based on a trend or a marketing campaign. Our company is anchored on more than 50 years of research and development (R&D), and science-backed belief in the healing capabilities of botanical ingredients."

With R&D at its core, Alès Groupe manufactures all of its products in France using only natural ingredients. To this day, it continues to sell some of its original offerings such as Phyto 7, a daily hydrating cream that has been nourishing dry hair for more than 40 years. Phyto 7 contains seven plant extracts that help maintain the hair's optimum hydration level, making it healthy, supple and shiny without weighing it down.

A top-performing beauty stock, Alès Groupe is also ranked 71st in the world by WWD's Beauty Inc, the beauty industry's global authority. It devotes a portion of its revenue to herbal study to continually create innovative products.

"Business is big in the cosmetics industry, but we are still serving the basic demands," Yousri says. "As a small company, we focus on niche positioning and on the high-end market to effectively and sustainably serve our customers."

With the proliferation of sophisticated stylists and salons in Asia, Alès Groupe is investing heavily in the region to establish a high-end hair-care distribution system.

Sales of its Phyto line are thriving on the mainland, in Hong Kong and Japan through selective distribution networks. To ease growth, the company seeks more like-minded partners in Asia.

"Asian consumers are beauty and plants experts," Yousri says. "They do not only want to have beautiful hair and skin, they also want to understand how it works. That's why we see a huge opportunity for our business in Asia."


Alès Groupe