When the Josh Wood Atelier opened its doors in 2011 it was seen as the most innovative move in hair for decades. Out went the rule book of salons and in came something different.
Just before Summer I had the supreme honour of visiting the atelier for myself. A few weeks before I had interviewed Josh at the 'At Home With Wella' event for a piece on managing grey hair for my blog. Going grey is a bit of a sore topic with moi and perhaps that became apparent, but I was totally stunned (and delighted) to be personally invited down for a Vitamin C treatment at the end of our chat.
One of Josh’s many pieces of advice was to avoid a single block of colour as we age and skin becomes lighter. He thought the colour of my hair too dense near the roots (that’ll be my home touch-ups). A vitamin treatment is like a detox; it helps to remove any build-up and leaves hair looking and feeling more natural.
Josh Wood Atelier is located down a quiet residential mews in leafy Holland Park. I arrived for my appointment (don’t rely on Google Maps as it took me to the wrong address!), ready to meet Billy (colourist) and Jason (stylist).
|Before: Brassy Hair|
It’s a salon in the sense that there are wash basins, mirrors, hair products and tools. But it all looks and feels different. Converted from an old mews house, it’s homely. Real plants and flowers are everywhere. The layout and ambience promotes calm and relaxation.
Front of house features a specially selected edit of cult products and buys. Through the door lies the colour floor, where next season’s shades are created. Upstairs is The Green Room, designed by Soho House (who also provide catering), where cutting and styling takes place.
The Vitamin Treatment + Balayage
After being taken to my chair on the colour floor Billy talked me through his ideas, all focused on what he thought would be right for me. I was in safe hands – I wasn’t keen on doing anything outlandish and neither was he.
He wanted to keep the fringe dark ‘as a statement’ and lighten elsewhere with a few sections of Balayage. The vitamin treatment, he said, would remove the brassiness from my colour (that’ll be sun damage). He applied the vitamin treatment as part of the shampoo process and also added a gloss to add condition.
Upstairs in The Green Room I met stylist Jason. He was a mine of tips and tricks. The skill, he said, is in choosing the right brushes for the job and in the blow drying technique.
First he used a vent brush to increase the amount of air flowing through my hair, helping it to dry with minimum heat. He then brushed the hair from side to side to create smoothness and body. Next he dried the hair from above and moved vertically downwards with the brush to smooth the cuticles, before going under the hair using the same technique.
At home he suggested using a paddle brush to blow dry for ease and finishing off with a round brush to create bounce and wave in the ends. For a more dramatic curl, try wrapping the ends of your hair around your fingers while still warm from the dryer.
Pictures speak louder than words, so I’ll let them do the talking. But in a nutshell, my hair was transformed. As I said in my Instagram post at the time: lighter tones, lifted roots and glam glossy waves – Summer just got better. Ahh… Summer…
The cost of my transformation was £195 (gloss/ Vitamin C treatment £55, Balayage £95 and blow dry £45). Further info and pricing here.