Brad Pitt's Stylist Is Known as the French Hair Whisperer—Here Are Her Secrets


(Image credit: Getty Images)

Aside from their obvious celebrity, there is another thing A-list legends like Brad Pitt, Jane Fonda, Jennifer Aniston, Orlando Bloom, and even Paris Hilton have in common: their hair. More specifically, I should say that the person who makes their hair looks so damn fantastic, French-born hairstylist, Léa Journo

As the longtime hair wizard for some of the most notable names in the biz, I couldn't wait to meet Journo myself (for the record, she gave me one of the best haircuts of my life a couple of months back) and to pick her brain regarding all things hair health and styling like the kinds of tips and tricks typically only privy to her celeb client list.) Plus, after decades of experience in the hair industry, Journo recently launched her very own signature haircare collection which, she says, is specifically designed to streamline at-home styling while capturing that whole "elusive youthful shine, health, and softness" vibe.

Enticing, no? Even if you're unable to visit Journo herself (her namesake salon is nestled chicly inside the Beverly Wilshire Hotel smack dab in the middle of Beverly Hills), she's still offering up ten of her all-time best hair secrets, and a slew of her favorite styling products, just below. Keep scrolling!

Secret #1: Don't Shampoo Every Day

By now, you may have heard rumblings here and there that you're not actually doing your strands—or scalp—any favors by sudsing up each and every day. To keep hair balanced, hydrated, and lustrous, Journo says to avoid over-shampooing throughout the week. If you feel like you need a pick-me-up, or if you're someone who works out regularly, she recommends simply rinsing and conditioning your hair in the shower to tide you over until your next wash day.

Secret #2: Don't Slack on Your Rinsing Technique

According to Journo, how you rinse your hair can have a major impact on the way your hair looks and feels. Not only, she says, should you always, always rinse with cold water, but you should never rush the process either. Take your time and be thorough, as completely removing the products you used will help optimize manageability and how clean your hair feels once it's dried. (Psst! We can't recommend the importance of a shower filter, like this one from T3, enough either.)

Secret #3: Pay Attention to the Ingredients in Your Haircare Products

Particularly, whether or not they contain sulfates or parabens. "You don't need these types of chemicals in your products," says Journo. "If you're someone who colors your hair, they'll strip out the pigment, and they can also increase damage and premature aging of the hair." Luckily, there are more and more affordable, far cleaner haircare lines these days that are made sans chemicals like sulfates and parabens if you can't afford to splurge for super-spendy formulas. For instance, we love Priyanka Chopra's clean, eco-conscious collection, Anomaly, that launched earlier this year.

Secret #4: Chase Color or Bleach With Strategic Repairative Formulas

"Ask your stylist to use Olaplex or a high-quality oil like my Sublime Organic French Plum Seed Oil with Monoi de Tahiti ($65) after coloring your hair especially, at the roots," recommends Journo. "Over-processing the hair with bleach and even regular dye and color processes can damage the hair, but these two types of products really protect each follicle and help ease the stress of bleach and harsh colors."

Secret #5: Mind Your Ends

How your ends look can actually make a huge difference in how healthy and full your strands translate, overall. To keep splits at bay and to tackle thin, scraggly ends that can compromise the appearance of your style, Journo has a couple of important tricks up her sleeve. First and foremost, don't neglect regular trim appointments which she says will keep your hair looking healthy, youthful, and less dry. Second, try applying a high-quality hair oil, (again, Journo's Sublime treatment is A+!) to your ends daily, and avoid brushing your hair more than twice a day. Overdoing it in the brushing department can lend additional stress to the hair, ultimately leading to breakage.

Secret #6: If Possible, Avoid Going to Bed With Wet Hair

While some people swear going to bed with damp hair is essential for creating that whole "I woke up like this" bedhead vibe, Journo isn't a fan (at least, as far as the integrity of the hair is considered). "Always blow-dry your strands if you wash your hair at night since sleeping with wet hair can cause damage and unwanted breakage." If you don't have time to blow-dry your hair pre-beauty sleep, try to switch over to morning washes. Additionally, opting for a pure silk pillowcase can lessen the likelihood of tossing-and-turning-induced breakage, regardless of whether your hair is dry or damp. 

Secret #7: If Your Budget Allows, Consider Investing in More Expensive Shampoos and Conditioners

We know everyone's budget bandwidth is different (and there are still plenty of cheap, yet wonderful haircare brands on the market), but Journo says it's definitely worth your hair's while to indulge in more expensive formulas since they usually contain higher-tier ingredients and technology. "If you're spending $10 on a bagel, croissant, or coffee each morning, try allocating that money to great products, instead," she says. 

Secret #8: Try Not to Brush Your Hair When It's Wet

"Never brush wet hair as it causes the hair to stretch and become elastic, therefore making it more likely to break and form split ends," warns Journo. If you must brush your hair, try using a wide-tooth comb, gently starting at your ends before working your way up. (Slow and steady wins the race if you're looking to curb damage, here!)

Secret #9: Opt for Looser Hairstyles Over Tighter Ones

Because, as Journo tells us, pulling the hair back too tight can trigger breakage and hair loss, especially at the roots and the fragile areas along your hairline or the nape of your neck. (Super-soft hair ties will also go a long way in contributing to less snap-induced damage, too.)

Secret #10: Don't Neglect Your Scalp

"One of the biggest mistakes I see is when people forget to manage and look after their scalp," says Lea. "I love massaging the Sublime Organic French Plum Seed Oil into the scalp because it aids overall scalp health and can also help with hair growth. Stimulating the blood flow on your scalp a few times a week is so important, especially if you are experiencing hair loss." To maximize your results, try adding a massaging tool like this one from Briogeo to your routine. (Trust us—your eyes will roll all the way back into your head with feel-good fuzzies.)

Léa's All-Time Favorite Hair Products

Beauty Director

Erin has been writing a mix of beauty and wellness content for Who What Wear for over four years. Prior to that, she spent two and half years writing for Byrdie. She now calls Santa Monica home but grew up in Minnetonka, Minnesota, and studied writing, rhetoric, and communication at University of Wisconsin, La Crosse. She studied abroad in Galway, Ireland, and spent a summer in L.A. interning with the Byrdie and Who What Wear family. After graduating from UW, she spent one year in San Francisco, where she worked as a writer for Pottery Barn Kids and PBteen before moving down to L.A. to begin her career as a beauty editor. She considers her day-to-day beauty aesthetic very low-maintenance and relies on staples like clear brow serum (from Kimiko!), Lawless's Lip Plumping Mask in Cherry Vanilla, and an eyelash curler. For special occasions or days when she's taking more meetings or has an event, she'll wear anything and everything from Charlotte Tilbury (the foundations are game-changing), some shimmer on her lids (Stila and Róen do it best), and a few coats of the best mascara-type product on earth, Surratt's Noir Lash Tint.