The best balayage: New year, new hair, friends in high places

So a couple of weeks ago I went in for the chop – four inches and a lot of layers later, I was looking at something that resembled a poodle down around my feet. So much hair gone and I thought that was the end of it. The spring transformation for hair was complete and I was going to go on my merry way. Then I discovered I was badly missing the balayage look that was the result of a beautiful blonde dye job from a few years ago. Just as I was thinking this, an email popped into my inbox. My friend Josh Wood, who I have had the great pleasure of working with on stage in the past, had an opening in his chair for hair colour. Now, people, when Josh Wood calls, you cancel everything and make this time slot happen.

If you haven’t heard the name Josh Wood, well, just go ahead and beat yourself around the head. Kidding, kidding. I know it can be hard to keep up these days with all the big shots in hair around the world, but here’s something that will show this man means business. It doesn’t matter where Josh’s clients are around the world, he’s the only guy they want and they’ll find a way to get his masterful colour skills into their home. He is in high demand and rarely found in one place because of it. Starting to see why I might move mountains to get into his chair for an afternoon? 

Josh is often referred to as the “king of colour,” although he’d never in a million years admit to it. Truly, you would be hard pressed to find a more sincere individual in the industry. He has every reason not to be at this point. He’s devilishly handsome, has had his hands on the most famous hair in the world (just try and get names out of him…it’s not happening..but do google him and all will be revealed) and is a wicked conversationalist to boot. The guy is a legend, and one wishes he could be their best friend and hair guru for life and that’s that. Sadly, we would all have to get in line behind the likes of some very big leading ladies. 

At this point you’re probably wondering how on earth I came into contact with Mr. Josh Wood. Last year I was hosting a panel discussing hair trends on catwalks and Josh Wood sat on the panel with me for the evening. Of course I had heard of Josh before, and seen him in action behind the scenes at catwalk shows from New York to Paris. But, it was only after listening to Josh speak, about all the shows he had done for that season, that I realized how absolutely mega this guy was. Ask any designer who they use for colour and they’ll either tell you they use Josh Wood or dream of one day using Josh Wood. Hmm…. I wonder if I’ve made my point clear here. Josh Wood = Hair Genius. 

I had joked with Josh that I’d love for him to have a go with my big ole mop of hair and he told me he’d love to make that happen. Well, fast forward and a space becomes available… yesterday! Josh just opened shop in east London with Soho House, across from the famed Shoreditch House, in a space called the Cheeky Parlour. The space is definitely a different vibe for Josh. I’m used to seeing his beautiful and elegant atelier in Holland Park. This east end feel is very urban, funky and most definitely designed for a different clientele in mind. In fact, I encounter all types of women in the salon on the day and it seems we’re all looking for something different. Yet, I’m sure we’re all equally starstruck by Josh’s presence. He is not in residence at the Cheeky Parlour, but does pop in for a day here and there. All – keep a look out!

Upon arriving at the Cheeky Parlour, and after hugs and kisses are distributed, Josh Wood and I sit down to business. It can’t be all pleasantries. There’s work to be done, on both our parts. I was supposed to come with a plan and Josh would deliver. Only, I didn’t come with a plan. I simply said to Josh, “please give me a look that will be low maintenance and fabulous for Los Angeles next week.” Yes, I’m headed back out to LA, but more on that later. Josh didn’t even have to think twice and set into work for the next hour. 

Bleach in hand, Josh gave me the “sun kissed” look for my future adventures in Cali, a sort of balayage if you will. As he worked we did a year in review and all too soon the whole experience was over and I was handed to the handsome manager of Cheeky Parlour for a blow dry. To say I left with massive crushes would be an understatement. Legendary status is still fully intact, Mr. Wood. I cannot thank you enough for the beautiful work. Now, tell Elle Macpherson I said hello. Oh come on, guys, I had to name drop at least one of the famous women that are rumoured to swear by the bleaching brushstrokes of Josh Wood.

Here’s a look at my afternoon, from bleaching to bouncing waves…

PS. There are no actual pictures of Josh Wood because I didn’t manage to capture any pictures that accurately reflect how fabulous this man is…. and does anyone every look good in someone else’s selfie. Josh, you owe me a finished group selfie next time I see you!


Looking for Something?


Never miss a post! Sign up to the weekly newsletter for exclusive first looks, blog updates and personal general musings, delivered every Monday, straight to your inbox: