On 25th June, CEW were delighted to welcome Josh Wood to host their latest mentoring event, the first hair colourist to do so. With 30 years’ experience in the hairdressing industry, Josh is credited as being the most influential and respected hair colourist in the world. He is Wella Professionals Global Creative Director of Colour as well as creator of the Josh Wood Guardian of Colour range at Marks & Spencer (M&S).
Originally from Barnsley, Josh describes himself as the ‘Billy Elliot of hairdressing’, admitting it was something he fell into rather than strove for. After some frank advice on his lack of styling skills, he decided to pursue colour training, a move which would shape the rest of his professional life.
Very few were specialising in hair colour at this time and Josh quickly developed a passion that allowed him to see, think and hear in colour. Carving his own path in the industry, he was soon colouring for editorial shoots, celebrities and catwalk events.
Six years ago, Josh was approached by Wella. Today he is the Wella Global Creative Director of Colour and relishes the technicality involved in creating products used on shoots, catwalks and sidewalks across the globe. In 2011, Josh opened the doors to his flagship Atelier in Notting Hill. Designed as a ‘drop in clinic’ for creatives, the Atelier allows colourists to grow and develop outside of traditional salon constraints and caters to clients in a bespoke way. With a resident nutritionist, chef, chauffer and more, the Atelier changes the in-salon experience. Although he wouldn’t say his approach is necessarily better than other salons, Josh says it’s certainly different and offers his clients an experience unlike any other.
The Josh Wood brand continues to grow and adapt with the introduction of Atelier Beaute at Lansdowne Mews and Cheeky Hair by Josh Wood, a fast beauty fix offer in collaboration with the Soho House Group.
Josh also discussed his new role as Guardian of Colour for M&S. Partnering with M&S allowed him to create something new and exciting for home hair colour without denigrating the importance of the salon experience. Inspired by a graffiti artist in New York, Josh was inspired to create his innovative Colour Blending Wand, which enables you to touch up your grey roots and keep the colour for up to three washes.
His collection for M&S also includes a range of hair care products designed to treat and look after coloured hair. Josh spoke enthusiastically about the collection, commenting that it will make hair colour more accessible on the high street. Customers will be able to purchase their hair care alongside all the other necessities available at M&S. His range of products is already one of the best-selling beauty products at the retailer. Customers can buy his range from selected M&S stores and online at www.marksandspencer.com.
Addressing his role in the ‘quiet revolution’ that is the emergence of grey hair as a fashion statement, Josh talked about the grey beehive wigs he crafted for the Jean Paul Gaultier show and how this marks the evolution from colour as an afterthought to an integral part of any collection. Colour is now as important as cutting and styling, if not more. With the continued growth of the industry, Josh’s hunger for innovation and development show no sign of diminishing.
CEW’s Mentoring Series - where leading executives offer insights into beauty industry issues and inspiration for professional growth.