A true hair visionary and entrepreneur, Paul Labrecque believes simplicity is the key to natural beauty. Renowned for clean, modern cuts, custom-blended color and a fashion-forward sense of style, Paul takes effortless beauty to the next level with a “less is more” approach to daily hair care and styling.
After earning a degree in education, Paul’s talent for teaching flourished, but ultimately, he swapped the classroom for the salon floor. Professionally trained to cut, color and style hair, Paul landed in the fashion capitals of Miami and London before eventually settling in New York to open his first salon. There he perfected his “simply, sexy, sophisticated” approach to beauty, gaining an elite clientele and growing his business to more than 250 employees. For two decades, Paul and his team have regularly hosted a “Who’s Who” of celebrities and personalities. His reputation has led to numerous “Best of” awards, national attention and high-profile projects, including; the Golden Globe Awards, UK Brit Awards and styling seasonal looks for noted designers at New York Fashion Week.
Paul’s enthusiasm for style and appreciation of women started from his childhood days in Boston, MA assisting his aunt with her local wig business. Working and watching closely by her side, he recognized how inspired he was by women and learned the importance of taking the time to listen to their needs.
PAUL LABRECQUE: THE BRAND
Paul Labrecque is one-of-a-kind in the beauty business, encompassing both a creative and entrepreneurial spirit. His business has grown from a three-seat, neighborhood salon on New York’s Upper Westside into a revered luxury beauty brand. For 20 years, Paul has offered the best of the best to his beauty-savvy clientele who understand and appreciate attentive customer service, sophisticated style and luxury products. “Each day, I am inspired by my clients. I love the one-on-one interaction.” says Paul. “Making people feel beautiful and confident from the inside out is my passion.”
Today, the company is as influential as it is successful, and includes a trio of successful Salon & Spas, a Premium Hair Care Collection, three private Gentlemen’s Salon & Barbershops and a thriving retail business.
How did you get into the beauty industry?
We got into the beauty industry because it seemed like the perfect fit for both of our talents. I was a stylist and Brian owned a product business called ABC Haircare in the United Kingdom. We began the what we thought of as the ultimate “beauty blend” for us -- a New York Hairstylist with his own product line!
What marketing strategies/partnerships have you implemented that make Paul Labrecque so successful?
I think our first marketing idea was to partner with brands that help propel your own brand and name forward. We opened Salon and Spa locations in the Reebok Sports Club on New York’s west side and had a great 20-year run. From that success we partnered with Related Companies’ mega-building, The Chatham, and then with the fabulous private CORE: club in Midtown. Last year we also began working with the giant sports center at Chelsea Piers. This September, we open in the luxurious Rittenhouse hotel in Philadelphia. Setting up a business location in Philadelphia this fall makes us believe that anything is possible for Paul Labrecque locations in major cities across the country. The whole time we’ve been in business together the idea for us is that if you market your brand in a successful existing establishment, your brand will certainly receive added exposure.
What are your best selling products and treatments and which one's are your favorites?
The best-selling products in my Paul Labrecque hair care line include our unique Daily Condition with Dead Sea Mud. It's unique and gives hair a radiant conditioning without added weight. It’s great for all hair types, too! My Repair Style is infused with aloe vera among other healthy ingredients and works really well as a leave-in treatment. The Repair Style is another product that practically anyone can use. The Paul Labrecque pre-shampoo treatment called Lemongrass Repair is another popular item that I love. Lemongrass oil fills the hair shaft so when it’s shampooed after the treatment your hair will not be susceptible to dryness. The Paul Labrecque Color Shampoo is also a personal favorite of ours. It includes natural suncreens for both UVA and UVB rays to help stop the oxidation of color-treated hair.
As far as treatments go, we offer the Biologique Recherche electric facial that lifts your skin and erases lines, it’s called the Bio Sculpt Lift & Firm Facial. That’s quite popular. So is our keratin light formaldehyde-free blow out that uses an exhaust iron to keep clients safe from the fuse.
Our Body treatments are incredible. We offer a range of services in that area -- everything from colonics, to our Warm Cocoa & Oatmeal Wrap. There’s something to please and help everyone whether you want to trim off some inches and tighten your belly line, or simply come in to indulge and relax.
We offer many different kinds of massages (Swedish, Deep Tissue, Shiatsu, Medical, Reflexology, Thai, Aromatherapy, Pre-Natal and more). All Paul Labrecque Salon and Spa location have excellent barbers. We are known best for gorgeous, sexy hair!
What is your vision for PB as CEO?
My vision as Paul Labrecque’s CEO is to keep the brand growing with product distribution and by partnering with luxury hospitality companies to bring Paul Labrecque services worldwide.
Top beauty industry trends you are noticing?
As you know, trends in hair and products are always changing. I have to say the word ‘natural’ to me is over-used. In our packaging for instance we use vacuum-sealed, air-lifted technology to cut down on the amount of preservatives used in our products. However, the mere fact that products must contain preservatives means that they are not entirely natural. I believe that beauty is becoming much more medical. For instance, we are working with stem cell technology, and pharmaceutical technology that will make our beauty products more result-driven and keep your hair and skin looking youthful much longer.
The top traits that make a successful CEO?
Here are my top three -- Be a Hard Worker, Fearless and Generous.
What are your biggest successes as owners of Paul Labrecque?
The biggest in our opinion is the fact we’ve built a team of talented and creative professionals who care about their clients and each other.
Never worry about catching the bus -- there will always be another one coming along soon!
One food and drink left on earth, what would you choose?
A cup of tea and hot, buttered toast.
What literature is on your bedstand?
I’m reading Michael Wolff’s bio of Rupert Murdoch, The Man Who Owns The News.
Role model - business and personal?
My husband is my personal role model and Clive Calder is a business role model. He built an amazing business, sold it and is now a leading philanthropist.
What's next for PB in terms of expansion and product development?
Keep watching! Amazing things are coming including a Paul Labrecque sports line with products for the active guy. We’re going to add new locations for Paul Labrecque products in stores as well as through TV placement. We’re planning to add more service locations in five-star hotels.
Paul’s life-long passion for hair combined with his creativity and engaging personality, has earned him a loyal following, a trio of highly successful Manhattan salons and day spas, an ever-expanding, award-winning premium hair care collection and a thriving retail business. He also boasts one of the most respected and comprehensive training institutes for up-and-coming stylists in New York City. Paul’s motivation stems from a hands-on approach to all aspects of his business, but receives his greatest inspiration from teaching, nurturing and preparing his up-and-coming assistants for their careers in beauty.
Referred by friends and family as a Renaissance man, Paul enjoys combining his artistic mind and creative hands. When not styling hair, Paul tends to his two dogs and enjoys painting, interior design, gardening at his Wainscott Long Island home, cooking and baking for friends, going to the theater, creating beautiful table settings, playing show tunes on his baby grand or arranging flowers for his home or salons. Paul is also a well-rounded athlete and an avid fan of yoga, biking and strength training.