Talking Hair & John Frieda with Alain Larivee

alaintwitterJohn Frieda is proud to have talented celebrity stylist Alain Larivee serve as its Canadian Creative Consultant. Alain is a skilled professional, whose work has been applauded by the fashion industry’s most respected publications, including Montreal Gazette, Le Journal de Montreal, Fashion Magazine and Flare. Alain joined John Frieda’s renowned editorial team in 2007 as the Canadian Creative Consultant for the John Frieda Professional Haircare division of KAO Canada Inc.

Passionate and unique, Alain Larivée, owner of CAJH Maîtres Coiffeurs Salon, is one of the most sought after hair stylists in Montréal. Alain’s down-to-earth approach coupled with his meticulous attention to detail has won him critical acclaim by top fashion magazines and newspaper writers. In 2009 and 2010 Alain and the John Frieda team of stylists were the official hair stylists for Gemini and Genie Awards. In 2010 Alain led a team of hair stylists to get Canadian talent such as Kristin Booth and Karine Vanasse red carpet ready.

Alain strives for perfection with every cut and colour combination, customizing each style to the individual. He ensures colour works with skin tones, while the haircuts take into consideration light and shadow. Though his work is influenced by trends, he ensures that each cut is carefully crafted to complement the contour of the face.

His success has afforded him a devoted following by high-profile Canadians, including Jessica Lucas, Chandra West, Amy Jo Johnson, Marianne Fortier, Colin James, Wendy Crewson, Eric Webster, Sarah Polley, Guy Trepanier, Katie Sevigny, Vik Sahay, Paul Merkilo, and Suzie Leblanc. In addition, Alain has had the opportunity to work with actors and dancers, such as Britain’s Andrew Wade, Monique Leger, and with producers and directors like Peter Hayes, Richie Mehta and Pier Rodier.

Having served as a platform stylist for several respected organizations, Alain’s work has been seen on stages across the country, including appearances on Quebec’s makeover TV hit Metamorphose. He continues to receive accolades on radio, TV and magazine interviews.

I had the pleasure to meet Alain at a few John Frieda media events around Vancouver. I absolutely loved how genuine and easy going he was. At each event Alain took great pride in representing the JF brand and sharing his tips and tricks with us all. I became a fan of John Frieda and learned easy ways to get salon style at home. Alain showed such passion and creativity that interviewing him seemed like a natural thing to do. I hope you enjoy.


BB411~ When did you know you wanted to be a Stylist?

AL~ Growing up, I always loved playing with hair. I remember that at the age of five one of my evening rituals was to brush my mother’s long hair and braid it for her. I feel as though I was born with the hair stylist bug! My dad used to tell me that I should go into a trade after high school because then I’d always have something to fall back on. Ideally, he wanted me to be a lumberjack and I opted for the Sudbury Regional Hairdressing School.

BB411~ Have you always been in love with fashion and beauty, what is your earliest memory?

AL~ I never really liked what my parents would choose for me to wear and also really didn’t like the way the barber would cut my fine blond hair. My mother, being a home-maker, was amazing with her sewing machine, so I would have her redesign most of my clothes growing up. I met my first hairstylist at the age of nine and started paying for my own haircuts then. I was also the first kid in Timmins to have  bleached and spiked hair.

BB411~ If you weren’t a Stylist and you could be anything in the world what would it be?

AL~ I think that I was born to be on a stage – it’s a toss-up between acting, singing or performing. I always dreamt of doing a duet with Elton John.

BB411~ Who did you admire growing up?

AL~ David Bowie, Billy Idol and Michael Jackson were amongst my favorite people as a youngster. I also loved Balenciaga, whose amazing designs were worn by the most beautiful women.

BB411~ Describe your personal style?

AL~ I’m pretty eclectic when it comes to my personal style. I’ve never been part of one influence or trend. I feel that I am able to mix things up depending on the event and my mood.

BB411~What inspires you professionally and personally?

AL~I’m inspired both professionally and personally when I work with others who have creative and artistic abilities. Their unique visions influence me to think outside of the box and to translate this into my personal art form.

IMG_7504 1.35.45 PMBB411~ What has it been like to work for John Frieda?

AL~ Being part of the House of Experts at John Frieda has been an honour since day one. Working with a salon caliber product that is available to every woman is something that I respect and am easily able to represent with pride in my work.

BB411~What makes John Frieda unique or revolutionary?

AL~ John Frieda has a simple message and that is ‘class for the mass,’ and this saying inspires me every day.  Over the last 25 years, innovation has been prevalent among John Frieda product lines and it has changed the way we look at hair care products. For me, the most groundbreaking technology that John Frieda has come out with recently is the new Colour Protection line that is specifically formulated for blondes, brunettes and red heads,  and that works to maintain hair colour for up to ten weeks. When women colour their hair, fading is normally their number one concern. This line of shampoos contains polyol technology, which is patented by Kao, and works by entering the outermost layer of the hair cuticle and binds with water as it tries to enter the hair. This traps water and blocks it from entering the hair, minimizing hair swelling and ultimately reducing colour bleed.  John Frieda truly is an expert in their field by creating transformative hair care products that allow women to look and feel amazing.

BB411~Who has been your favourite celebrity to work with?

AL~ I have had the pleasure of meeting numerous celebrities in my life but I must admit that my favorites are Karinne Vanasse and Nina Dobrev. These two women are sweethearts.

BB411~ Designer and celebrity you haven’t worked with but would like to?

AL~ My dream job would have to be to do a collaboration with Jean Paul Gaultier. He is the best at what he does.

BB411~Which celebrity do you love for rocking great consistent style?

AL~ Jennifer Aniston always looks smart and beautiful. From the “Rachel” cut she had on Friends to her perfect highlights, she’s always sporting a hot, trendy look.

BB411~ Favourite colour?IMG_7507 1.35.45 PM

AL~ I have always been a huge fan of red heads, whether it’s burgundy, Bordeaux and even a fiery red. This is why I’m really excited about one of John Frieda’s new tones, 5RV Medium Burgundy.

BB411~ What are 5 staple products every woman should have for taking care of their hair (year round)?

AL~ The perfect shampoo and conditioner are two items that every woman should have. If you colour your hair I would recommend the John Frieda Colour Protection product line that is designed to protect your colour by shade. The products should be used any time the hair is exposed to water from the first time you wash your hair after a salon visit, to ensure that each time the hair faces water exposure it is protected which decreases the chances of your colour fading. If your colour is au naturel then look for a shampoo and conditioner that provides you with a solid foundation for what you are looking to achieve. Whether volume, frizz or repairing is what you need there is a product out there that will be sure to help you achieve the perfect look.

When it comes to stylers John Frieda has an amazing serum from their Frizz Ease Collection called Sheer Solution Serum that is meant for women with fine to medium hair. It is applied on towel dried hair to give women frizz free hair that is also manageable. I would also recommend women using at least one styler, such as the Frizz Ease Heat Defeat Protective Styling Spray. Many women use numerous tools on their hair to get the look they want, and this product will help to rehydrate hair, making it safe for styling. Finally, I would recommend women use a finishing product such as the Frizz Ease Secret Weapon Finishing Cream. It works to hide any imperfections and gives hair a shiny, smooth texture.

sb-go-blonder-lightening-shampooWith summer coming up, what should be our top hair priority?

Frizz control is a must for the summer months as the weather becomes hot and humid, especially in the city. The John Frieda Frizz Ease line has everything to keep your frizzy locks under control and to keep your hair smooth and hydrated. My favorite summer tip for women that want to make their hair colour lighter is the John Frieda Go Blonder shampoo and conditioner. Using these products in the shower will help to gradually brighten your hair colour.

BB411~ Top 3 Hair tricks (what are you known for)?

AL~ For hair tricks, there are a few that I love year around. I’ve always loved braiding hair and it’s something we do on a daily basis at CAJH Maitres Coiffeurs in Montreal. For this season, I love looser, messy braids rather than keeping braids tight and shapely. I would also recommend women use Frizz Ease Moisture Barrier Firm Hold Hairspray to keep their hair in place while keeping moisture out. I also love naturally curly hair because there’s so much you can do with it and it’s naturally voluminous.  A trick for curly hair would be to use John Frieda Frizz Ease stylers to help sculpt curls without the frizz. Finally, I love up do’s that are done around the crown of the head. For any event in the summer where it’s too hot to wear your hair down, an effortless, feminine up do is the perfect solution.

BB411~ Are you involved in any charities that are close to your heart?

AL~ My partner and I regularly give to numerous causes. The ones closest to our hearts are working with women’s shelters. We always find it empowering to help women regain faith and strength within.

BB411~ What does it mean to you to give back?

AL~ Giving back is just a natural thing to do, I have been a very lucky person in my life and sharing some of what life has given me is just the right thing to do. It’s good Karma.

BB411~ If you could tell your younger self something you have learned and know now, what would it be?

AL~ The most important word in the world is humility. No one possesses the answers to everything and that’s all right. Ask questions, learn and master your basics and then break the rules to your liking.  Be yourself but try to be nice while doing it!

BB411~ Three words that best describe you.RE_EssentialsLounge

AL~ Unique, Passionate and Honest

BB411~ Do you have a best kept beauty secret that has been passed down to you (Say from your Mother or Grandmother)?

AL~ Women always want fuller looking hair, and one trick I’ve learned is to blow dry hair with your head upside down. Keeping the dryer about 10 inches away from the head, position the dryer so that you are drying in the direction of the cuticle, first drying the root of your hair and then moving to the tips. If your ends are dry but your roots are wet, it will eliminate the smoothness of your hair.

BB411~ What is your skin care regime?

AL~ I have sensitive baby skin, so my favorite is baby oil in the bath and a simple hydrating base cream as a facial moisturizer. For the body, I use Jergens Natural Glow to get just the right amount of colour I need.

BB411~ Beauty products you carry with you always?

AL~ I always carry the John Frieda Sheer Blonde Crystal Clear Hairspray with me, as well as hair pomade.

BB411~ #1 beauty product you could not live without?

AL~ That would have to be my face cream! It’s a basic hydrating cream, like the ones used by pharmacies into which they add ingredients to fill prescriptions. It works wonders on my skin.

BB411~ Do any certain scents remind you of your childhood?

AL~ I love the smoke of a campfire; it brings back fond memories out by the lake with my brother and sister. I also love the aroma of a pipe as it reminds me of my dad. It would mean he was finally home after a long period away working in the woods. Also, the smell of my mom’s “ragout de boulettes” always reminds me of my favourite French Canadian meal.


BB411~ Fun fact that people may not know about you?

AL~ I was the lead singer of Racine Carree, a franco-ontarian rock band.

BB411~ Favourite quote?

AL~ “Trends are meant to influence not dictate”-Alain Larivee

BB411~What advice would you give entrepreneurs starting out that are following their dreams?

AL~ Write out your dreams. We accomplish 5% of what we think of and 80% of what we write down.

BB411~ When I say the words #lovethis, what is the first thing that comes to mind?

AL~ Great hair!!!

To keep up to date on Alain Larivee follow him on  Twitter, Check out the Salon and Visit the John Frieda Website.

Remember  to say that you heard it first from BeautyBuzz411!

I look forward to hearing from all of you, email at or simply leave a comment here

Much Love, Beauty Buzz 411


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