A Day’s Shoot With Celebrity Hairstylist George Northwood
You know those times when you literally have to pinch yourself at how exciting and rewarding your job is, (and I’m so grateful too), well looking back on my day at George Northwood’s salon, was really one of those days.
George is quite the revered stylist, making the the manes of Kim Kardashian, Gwyneth, Kate Winslet, Alexa Chung, Rosie Huntingdon-Whiteley and many more starlets look fabulous for magazine covers, award ceremonies and simply whenever they’re in town.
So, you can imagine my excitement at the Pinterest party when George said he was a fan of my blog and wanted me to come in and have the star treatment with him, setting up a shoot in his salon.
So we did just that.
My ‘Before’ picture:
Excitingly my husband Peter was behind the camera for the shoot, as I channelled my inner Kim Kardashian for this 3 camera set-up. We shot using the Canon 5D, the Canon 550D and a tiny GoPro, the latter often finding itself intentionally in the sink for those washing shots.
We shot 2 films in the end, the first you can see below on my complete before and after hair makeover, the second is an interview with the main man George that will be out in June.
As a multi-award winning director (ooh lala) having made drama, documentaries, music videos and commercials working for everyone from Lionsgate UK to the BBC, Sky and beyond, blogging life has been a bit of a u-turn for me, as I now find myself in front of the camera more and more.
I do still direct a lot of the shoots I’m in though, and my experience does comes in handy, and frankly. I love the buzz of a film set. Always have, always will.
I actually had a Google hangout meeting with YouTube yesterday and am heading to meet some of the team in June for a special event I’ll share with you after, but I’m really excited, despite being ironically a little late to the party, about building my You Tube channel.
But back to the review and you can watch the film at the end. I hope you love it as much as we did making it!
From the minute you enter the salon on the quieter, but still central Wells St off Goodge Street, (greeted by George’s gorgeous pup by the door, to the time you embark with your gorgeous bouncing locks, you’re made to feel a million dollars.
You literally receive star treatment at George’s salon, every one does, but without the pretentiousness (and paparazzi).
The salon’s all about cool, understated chic without the ego. Just like George and the way he likes to style hair.
George, and his sister Sally, who is Head Colourist there are such down to earth, passionate creatives, their love for their work is utterly infectious as proven by their dedicated team from George’s PA Lucy to their receptionists and stylists. Everyone there cares about hair.
What’s more they have all been trained by George himself, in his way, value-system and style.
It felt a little like a movie set when I entered. You’re hit by a wave of laughter, chatter and appreciative hair flicking from every angle. The salon has that laid back luxe vibe, and reminded me of LA: sunny, positive and stunningly professional.
I love George Northwood’s ethos too: kind, vegan products with an onus on giving you a natural, gorgeous style for effortless beauty that feels fresh, modern yet timeless too. Perfection basically. You want to feel like the girl in the L’Oreal ad. George can do that. Ten times over.
Kind for your locks products-
Sally, George’s sister is a sweet, thoughtful, colour expert who understands what women want and need from their hair colour.
George is a hugely charismatic, creative genius and leader, frankly someone you wish you were best mates with.
No wonder the A-listers LOVE him.
The brother-sister bond and chemistry is the foundation of the place too, childhood pictures don the mantelpiece downstairs, a reminder of their roots and George’s commitment to ‘keeping it real’ as he mentioned as something important to him.
Good hair days, even then!
And how dreamy is the spa-vibe they have going on? George believes having your hair done is ‘your time’ to relax, kick back and chill, and I sure felt zenned in there.
With a consultation with both George and Sally to start, we discussed the experts’ thoughts on my hair. On my huge hair.
George wanted to keep the length, as did I, but remove some of the weight, and give me a sweeping side fringe too.
Sally decided to lift some of my hair with balayage (the French to sweep or paint), bringing out some sunkissed style highlights that would offer my hair more tone and the curls greater definition.
Sally explained the roots should always be darker as nature intended, the ends and select sections such as round the face, naturally lighter/highlighted. Balayage restores our hair back to its roots, literally and how it would have been as children, and they did just that, creating a colour I was born with. Literally.
My Dad always kept a lock of my baby hair which was dark brown with russet tones. Just as this ended up being after my time in their hands. Amazing.
Covering a tiny persistent grey spot with a tint, it was onto the highlights and painting the bleach on, highlighting some of my locks.
Once the colour had been done, George took over (he’d popped out to style Alexa Chung’s hair while my colour was on, at her collection launch)-and had kindly cleared the rest of his diary especially for the shoot.
Once the colour was on and washed out it was time to get the George Northwood cut and style by the man himself.
Only cutting an inch off, he advised getting a trim every 3 months in future, and he trimmed away a lot of the weight. George told me many times how much he loved my hair and in both curly and straight styles so he wanted to give me a style that would work both ways.
Even the fringe can be swept off my face. This is one flexible style for a girl who likes her hair styles versatile.
I was touched that George kept saying how much he loves my hair and likes it all kinds of ways, big and wild and more precise in its waves.
He agrees that there are no rules when it comes to hair, regardless of age, do and have a style that makes you feel good. All the women in my family have long hair and I intend to be a ‘Rapunzel’ as Oliver calls me for many years to come!
Blow drying it quickly in a straighter style, he then used the GHD curling tongs to create the perfect curls through my hair. I was blown away-it was beautiful.
The products they used:
Redken Bleach for highlights
Gloss-Redken Shade eq (to strengthen the hair and make it shine)
Pureology Super Smooth Shampoo and Conditioner
Pureology Super Smooth Relaxing Serum
I was made to feel a complete princess all day, the small touches of a George Northwood cupcake, creamy latte and the boundless, infectious energy of George, Sally and his team meant the day was a joy from start to finish.
I can’t recommend George Northwood enough, with price points to suit all, go book yourself in to feel like a star for the day.
Check out the video of the whole process here:
Here are my ‘After’ shots. Do you like?
On the day I had my hair styled, George Northwood were about to celebrate a year in business, and I know, without a doubt, there’ll be many more years to come.
Quick reminder of my before and after pics:
And my ‘Because I’m worth it’ moment. Ha!
What a day!
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