Friday, 22 July 2016

In Conversation with Josh Wood - ‘The Guardian of Colour’

When it comes to hair colourists they don’t get any greater than Josh Wood, ‘the Guardian of Colour’ as he is fondly known. As well as being Wella’s global creative director of colour, he also runs Josh Wood Ateliers, where looks are hot off the catwalk, and he also has his own extensive range of haircare products (you may have seen them stocked widely in M&S). 

A few weeks back at a Wella event in London where the brand was showcasing new and upcoming launches, I had the honour of interviewing Josh. He was a total gent- warm, charming, easy going, inspiring and so much more. What did I want to talk to him about? Managing grey hair!

Perhaps you are happy to embrace yours (or will be if your time has yet to come). But not everyone wants to live with what grows naturally from atop of their head once they reach a certain age. Here Josh talks about how best to manage the ‘problem’.
Q: Can we stop the hair ageing process?
Josh: No. It’s genetic. But you can alter your style. If, for example you’re going grey on one side of the parting you could switch the parting to the other. Then there’s having the hair coloured of course.

Q: Going grey is a big challenge for brunettes in particular. What can we do?
Josh: If you colour the whole head when you first start seeing greys you’re in it for life.  The best way to start is blending, going for something multi-tonal. It will then be easier to manage the amount of grey you have over time.

In general when you’re losing pigment from your hair, you’re losing it from your skin too.  If hair is kept too dark a) it doesn’t look realistic and b) it can look too hard. Introducing lighter pieces [Balayage for example] will save you the trap of having hair that’s too dark and becoming a slave to the roots.

Q: Should we change our hair colour with the seasons?
Josh: Your hair colouring is a ‘need’ process, not a ‘want’ - you‘ve got to do it. Adding an element of fun by incorporating some seasonality or trend will bring a bit of the ‘want’ back and prevent the process becoming a chore.  A subtle change to your hair colour, a nuance, can make you look more contemporary too.

Adapt the change into your routine. If for example you’re doing your roots every four-to-six weeks, add a gloss or put some colour into the ends while you’re there.

Q: Instant root touch-ups have revolutionised how we manage our greys. How do you see those products evolving?
Josh: There are some very exciting things that I’m working on. When I first did the Blending Wand it was a life changer. I think you’ll see a lot of new solutions and techniques emerging that will help that look in the mirror moment with the ‘oh my god I can’t go out’ feeling. I’ve seen technologies around that will almost ‘shrink-wrap’ the grey.

Q: Grey hair has been hitting the catwalks recently. Is this a good thing?
Josh: Absolutely. I kind of kick-started [the supermodel] Kristen McMenamy’s career again by making her grey. But it’s not natural. If you get the colour right grey hair can look amazing. If you’re naturally grey, use products that enhance what you’ve got.  Bleach it up – make a statement. It’s not about letting go; it’s about creating a new colour.  But it depends how dynamic you are – there are transitional looks on the journey to being grey.

Most people though want to keep hold of their hair colour – it’s such a big part of our personality. If you’re very dark brunette for example, you identify yourself as that.

Q: How can you manage going grey on a tight budget?
Josh: Your hair colour is one element of your beauty regime that you can control, so I’d throw money at it. See a good colourist or stylist four times a year, have an objective, get some expert advice and then do some of the maintenance yourself at home. 


  1. Lovely interview. I learnt a lot from this. Good to know not to colour the entire hair to stop the greys.

    1. Thank you Stella. Yes, don't block colour to cover the greys! :). Tx

  2. This is really interesting. I really need to take better care of my hair. I'm not sure I will be rocking grey hair just yet though. :-)

    1. I'm holding off from rocking the grey look right now too Jemma. Tx

  3. I have been colouring my hair since I was 13 but not being at the grey stage just these tips are something I can keep in mind for when I do get there.

  4. Oh that is so interesting to read. I've used his shampoo (which was great) so it's fascinating to hear from the man behind the brand.

    1. thanks Joanne. He was truly fascinating to talk to. Tx

  5. Such an interesting read! I'm starting to get a few greys round my temples at the ripe old age of 24 and my hair is quite dark so they are quite obvious... I love the idea of balayage or something similar :)

    Jess xo | The Indigo Hours

    1. I love the look of balayage, especially for Summer. Tx


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