I’m pretty sure I don’t know a lady alive that hasn’t had at least one unfortunate hair experience in their life. At the ripe age of 37, I thought I might have escaped a colour debacle but I found myself in a mess of my own making. Ladies, never EVER go in for colour and say, “I’m up for something new.” That is unless you really are happy and open to whatever may come about. There are so many talented creatives, especially in London, who create amazing looks for women everyday. They work with the idea of being innovative and new, and I have extreme respect for that. My only dilemma is that I’m a person that’s pretty natural in my beauty approach. So hair colour and the word “creative” shouldn’t really go hand in hand. In fact, the combination, as I’ve learned, can prove to be quite lethal.
Last month I put myself in the hands of a colorist who was looking for a real result in the end look. He wanted to create something that was editorial, understandably if I’m doing a story about hair colour, but I didn’t stress enough that I wanted the end result to be a classic and natural look. This is the most important lesson I can impart here today. If you want something, ask for it and make sure it’s understood. Do not do the “casual thing” when it comes to hair. If you know what you want, insist upon it. My lack of compassion for an end result produced a look that was, at first, shocking. The look then went onto morph into something that, while arty, was most definitely more a look for a twenty something looking to impress her rocker boyfriend, rather than the look of a woman approaching 40 and wishing to simply look like a better version of herself. That’s the thing about hair colour. You want to be able to look in the mirror and say, “yeah, that’s me and I love this look that is more or less just a step up from my average reflection.” Is that too much to ask?
Now, there’s a reason I’m sharing all this. As you know, I never write a bad review on FFG, so I’m not inclined to share the name or company of those responsible for hair orange. Yes, after four washes I actually had orange and black hair. Again, a cool effect for a different person. It wasn’t for me and I wanted me back!
Where does one go when their former brunette locks have gone a bright shade of tangerine? I knew there was only one person I could call. And trust me, I was ashamed to have to make that call at all.
For three years previous to this recent hair experience, I had my hair colored twice. And this is, in reality, because the man in question is so good and so natural in his approach that I didn’t need to be the woman constantly in the chair getting touch ups. Of course I’m speaking of Josh Wood and his Atelier in Holland Park. I remember speaking to Josh my first time in the chair with him and talking about the trouble with hair colour, specifically in relation to brunettes. Josh, being the humble man that he is, simple said “a brunette must be very careful with who she sees for colour as it’s one of the most difficult natural colours to mix with.” At the time, I didn’t think anything of it. I was in the hands of the master. As time went on, and the more brunettes in the industry I met, the more I was hearing that any A-lister with long brown flowing locks trusted only Josh Wood’s Atelier in making sure their hair was kept up in a glossy fashion.
So, let’s take this full circle. I’m sitting in my flat, crying because I have orange hair and wondering if maybe Ronald McDonald needs a sidekick, when I realize I have a friend who can help. I, rather sheepishly, with hat in hand, call into Josh Wood’s Atelier. I’ve made a mistake. I swear I’ll never see another for haircare. Please, please just help me. Two days later, I’m in the chair and one James Keith Gould is doing his best to hold back the tears looking at the state of affairs. After five minutes, he puts his hands on both my shoulders and says, “let’s get you back to you.”
Fast forward three hours later, a lot of gossiping and way too much talk of the importance of good color later, and I’m looking in the mirror at an improved version of what I looked like previous to orange-gate. My hair is a glistening golden brunette that looks as if I’ve simply sat in the sun in the south of France for a week. This is the power of Josh Wood’s Atelier, Josh Wood himself, the beautiful people in residence there and specifically my hair savior Jamie!
Ladies, I share this because I know I make up a great population of brunettes in London. I also know, as women, we love a good hair change occasionally. Recent events have showcased how horribly wrong this can go and I’m here to tell you today that the Josh Wood Atelier should definitely be in the little black book, not just for “in case of emergencies,” but for your colour life in general.
As I walked out the door, I swore that come hell or high water, I’d never trust another with my hair colour. I’ve learned my lesson and I’m 100% on the Josh Wood Atelier Brunettes list and will never be able to repay them for gifting me the chance to look in the mirror without shuddering. Orange, people. It was orange!