The king of balayage talks Oz expansion

There are thousands of self-admitted Francophiles who call Australia home. Our love of the French nation extends beyond its food and wine offerings, with French beauty idolised around our sunburnt country. This continuing interest has helped hairdresser Franck Provost establish a burgeoning hair empire in the nation, with 24 salons in Australia on recent count, and growing. BD recently spoke to Provost while he was in the country about his growing Australian base and the balayage technique he is famed for.

What inspired your expansion in Australia?
The expansion of Franck Provost around the world has been quite organic… for us it’s about finding the right partners who share our passion for the brand and the business. The Australian operation started because we had a great meeting with Jean-François Carré, who heads up the Australian business. We had a very good feeling about him. As it’s turned out, Australia has been a very good market for Franck Provost; Sydney is now the second largest home to Franck Provost salons outside of Paris since the recent opening of the 24th Australian salon at Warringah Mall.

Do you find that Australian women have a more relaxed mentality to beauty?
Australians have such a cool, relaxed way of living, I like it very much, and this definitely reflects on their mentality to beauty I think. Sydney has some similarities to Paris – the people are relaxed with a good sense of style – however the pace is more ‘chilled’. They take care of their skin, they take care of their hair, and I love this healthy confidence. I think if your hair looks healthy and beautiful and makes people want to run their hands through it, you’re done!

How do you find Australian women in comparison to French women when it comes to hair?
I think there are definitely similarities. French women prefer that ‘undone’ look, which can be very chic, and Australian women also like the ‘undone’ look, because it goes with their relaxed lifestyle and way of living. But I think the difference is when it comes to evening. Australian women are more sophisticated with their hair at night. They prefer updos or gel looks or glamorous waves and curls. And I love that – please stay sophisticated!

When did you first embrace the balayage technique?
I’ve been doing balayage since the ‘70s. It’s a unique way of colouring that is very French. Fifteen years ago we introduced our own style of balayage that is unique to Franck Provost salons called Balayage 2 Ors, which enhances radiance in blonde and light brown hair. I think that women love hair that looks sophisticated but also natural, like they’ve had something done but it’s very subtle and just enhances their natural beauty.

Do you think the trend is set to stay or will it be replaced?
No it’s definitely here to stay, it will always exist. It might evolve over time as many techniques do.