Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

PREMIUM BLONDES; It's the Most Sought-After Shade in Town -- That Certain Mane of Blonde That Just Looks Impossibly Fabulous. Alice Hart-Davis Meets the Man Who Makes It Happen

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

PREMIUM BLONDES; It's the Most Sought-After Shade in Town -- That Certain Mane of Blonde That Just Looks Impossibly Fabulous. Alice Hart-Davis Meets the Man Who Makes It Happen

Article excerpt

Byline: Alice Hart-Davis

IT'S A hair colour so good that you hardly notice it. Or at least, you certainly notice it, but only in a good way. You think, damn her, is she just lucky or has perfect genes? And if the she in question is Laura Bailey, or Elle Macpherson, or Sam Taylor-Wood, there's a name for that look: it's premium blonde, and its creator is king-of-colour Josh Wood.

Wood is the guru who 10 years ago co-founded the realhair salon in Chelsea and whose tweaks on the colourchart of hair fashion send beauty writers like me into paroxysms of excitement. When he produced a series of utterly chic "ageless grey" beehives on Jean-Paul Gaultier's catwalk this spring, we not only wrote about it, but thought of going grey ourselves. The point is that where he takes hair colour, many will follow, particularly when it comes to blonde.

Going blonde is a big commitment, and the higher your profile, the higher the stakes. You have to invest a lot of money and time in the process. You have to invest it with the right person. You're going to be spending a lot of time sitting in their chair, so you can't help but get to know them, and if after all that you decide the colour just isn't quite right, you face the excruciating business of extracting yourself from that relationship.

Which is why all those blondes I mentioned and others like Kylie and January Jones all prefer to put their heads in the safe hands of Wood, who is so popular he is opening an atelier salon, no less, in Notting Hill.

For Wood, the key to the whole premium blonde concept is that blonde is not just one colour. It can be fair, like Bailey, or tawny, like Jemima Khan, who has been tweeting his praises since Wood joined Twitter this week.

He has a particular horror of the sort of expensive yet obvious over-blonding that you see a lot of in Knightsbridge and a tendency to regard his clients' hair as an ever-evolving couture project that changes -- just a bit -- with the seasons.

This season's premium blonde, his latest trick, involves the modernising of the halo effect, an old-fashioned highlighting trick from the 1940s. …

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