Epicure (Indonesia) - - CONTENTS -

Yahn Alès, PHYTO Paris

PHYTO is a big player in the global hair­care in­dus­try, and Yahn Alès, di­rec­tor of mar­ket­ing at PHYTO Paris is con­stantly on the move. He shares with Destin Tay how glo­be­trot­ters can keep their tresses healthy while they nav­i­gate hu­mid night mar­kets and deep sea biomes.

Pa­trick Alès, who pi­o­neered the hair­dress­ing style of ‘le brush­ing’ and counted Edith Paif, Jacky Kennedy and Brigitte Bar­dot among his clients, cre­ated PHYTO in 1969, a line of nat­u­ral, botan­i­cal hair prod­ucts that are gen­tle to the skin and scalp.

His grand­son, Yahn Alès was ini­tially not in­ter­ested in fol­low­ing his foot­steps. Af­ter grad­u­at­ing with a Mas­ters in Busi­ness Man­age­ment from Aix-mar­seille School of Man­age­ment, Yahn worked as a project man­ager for a busi­ness de­vel­op­ment firm in the Provence Alpes Côte d’azur re­gion for seven years be­fore he de­cided it was time to con­tinue his fam­ily’s le­gacy. Yahn’s cur­rent po­si­tion has seen him travel world­wide to spread the brand phi­los­o­phy of love for hair, with Sin­ga­pore as his lat­est stop.

It’s your first time in Sin­ga­pore. What do you usu­ally look out for when vis­it­ing a new coun­try?

The first thing I do is to find a place for cof­fee. Cof­feeshops are the best way to ex­pe­ri­ence a new lo­cale au­then­ti­cally; I can ob­serve the streets, the peo­ple go­ing about their day, and ex­pe­ri­ence the cli­mate. I was at Ori­ole Cof­fee + Bar at Som­er­set sip­ping on a cuppa be­fore I vis­ited sa­lons and ven­dors. It gave me time to think about the en­vi­ron­men­tal fac­tors in Sin­ga­pore so I could bet­ter rec­om­mend prod­ucts to the sa­lons.

You’re cur­rently trav­el­ling through Asia for PHYTO’S 50th an­niver­sary. Which coun­try has been your favourite?

I was in Thai­land three months ago. The cul­ture, peo­ple and coun­try­side are re­ally invit­ing. I find the Thais to be very wel­com­ing of new ex­pe­ri­ences and nov­elty, which is some­thing that is lack­ing in Europe. I spent lots of time in Phuket, Koh Phi

Phi, Khao Lak and Krabi; as an avid diver, one of my favourite spots was Anemone Reef, a site teem­ing with vi­brant anemones and abun­dant sea life.

What did you think about the food in Thai­land?

Hav­ing spent most of my life in Europe, I loved the flavours that can be found here, and there’s al­ways some­thing new for me to try. In fact, I went to the Bangla Night Mar­ket al­most ev­ery night that I was in Phuket. Be­yond the pre­dictable pad thai (which is still fan­tas­tic), there’s a sur­prise stall that sells the best fried chicken. Near the end of the mar­ket and tucked into a cor­ner, Meena’s Fried Chicken serves juicy, golden brown pieces that are per­fect with a round of ice-cold beers.

What hair prod­ucts are musthaves for your trav­els?

PHYTO 7 hair cream is great as I’m con­stantly stay­ing in dif­fer­ent ho­tels through­out my busi­ness trips, and it helps pre­vent dry hair even if the sham­poo pro­vided by the ho­tel doesn’t suit my hair type. With my con­stant dive trips, sea­wa­ter can be quite harsh on the hair, and PHYTOPLAGE uses botan­i­cal ex­tracts like saf­fron and co­conut to re­store hair health. Our new­est PHYTODETOX mask is also great for hot and hu­mid cli­mates as it helps reg­u­late se­bum and keep the scalp healthy.

How is PHYTO adapt­ing to the de­mand for more green prod­ucts? Cur­rently, and es­pe­cially in Asia, con­sumers are con­cerned about the in­gre­di­ents that go into each prod­uct. Trace­abil­ity and sus­tain­abil­ity are big is­sues. All our botan­i­cals are painstak­ingly sourced from sus­tain­able sources in France and around the globe, and we are work­ing to pro­vide 100 per­cent trace­abil­ity for all our prod­ucts. Our pack­ag­ing, which uses re­cy­clable plas­tics and alu­minum tubes, also takes up less space dur­ing ship­ping. By re­duc­ing the amount of space needed, we help to lower our car­bon foot­print and lower emis­sions. As a lo­cal Parisian, what’s the quin­tes­sen­tial Paris ex­pe­ri­ence in your opin­ion?

It’s not the Eif­fel Tower. I highly rec­om­mend a visit to Mont­martre in­stead. It’s es­sen­tially a large hill in the 18th ar­rondis­e­ment that houses a bustling art and cul­ture cen­tre. Head to the Basil­ica of the Sacré-coeur at the sum­mit of Mont­martre; it gives an un­par­al­leled view of Paris. Also, a trip to the 18th ar­rondis­e­ment isn’t com­plete with­out catch­ing a cabaret show at the famed Moulin Rouge.

Bangla Night Mar­ket

La Basilique du Sacré Coeur de Mont­martre

Moulin Rouge

Anemone Reef

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