There’s a tipping point with a hairdressing salon: too smart, and you have to wash your hair before you go in, and request a copy of Harpers, when you really fancy Heat. Too shabby, and you don’t feel like you’re getting a treat – and, as a decent cut and dry is the nearest many of us get to a one-to-one treatment, that little hour of indulgence is important. Somewhere between the two is George Northwood’s new salon, where services start at £60. Not bad, considering he’s the hottest name in hair at the moment. To a large extent, that’s because he’s the inventor of the ‘ALEXA’ – the mussed up, ombre ‘do sported by La Chung, and consequently most of her age group. His first salon is big news, so it’s perhaps surprising his new pad is so homely.
‘My mum delivers her own Guinness cake every week. And my sister is doing the colour,’ Northwood says, as he flits between chairs, supervising follicular transformations. This is a family business, with Northwood refusing investment and instead leaving his Shoreditch flat for budget digs to fund the operation privately. It looks like his cash is safe – the salon was packed on its opening day, thanks to sustained tweeting and instagramming support from pals and clients Gwyneth Paltrow and Daisy Lowe. If the London party girl look is a bit messier than that of its New York and Paris sisters, it’s partly down to Northwood: he is the master of the undone ‘do. His salon, the first to be opened with impressive new hair brand Pureology products, has a similarly informal air. Upstairs, there are as many books on display as serums. Downstairs, there’s a work station where you can let your colour take while you reply to emails.
To give every customer a piece of the man Chung calls the ‘hair magician’, he has pledged to consult on every cut. So, while you might not be able to afford Northwood himself (now upwards of £250 a cut), you will get his opinion on what style you should be getting, and his consultation on how your stylist will deliver it to you. You could dismiss this as a bit like getting Gordon Ramsay to look over your Pret sandwich before it’s put in the box, but it’s really a pragmatic way to give all customers what they’re really coming for – a little bit of what the A-list are having, for just £60.
|Venue name:||George Northwood|
24 Wells Street
|Opening hours:||Tue 9am-8pm; Wed 9am-6pm; Thu 9am-8pm; Fri 9am-6pm; Sat 9am-5pm|
|Transport:||Tube: Oxford Circus|
|Do you own this business?|
Snap up exclusive discounts in London
Time Out's handpicked deals — hurry, they won't be around for long...