New Hair for the New Year: Part One - Jo Hansford

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Posted by Laurel on Tuesday 28th of January 2014

Avid readers of this page may have realised by now that I’m something of a hair colour chameleon; it changes with the season, going from blonde in the summer to dark in the winter with varying shades in between.

Having been dyeing my hair since the age of 13 I’m surprised it’s still there. I’ll be honest in saying I’m not entirely sure what my natural hair colour is anymore, and bouts of dye, highlights, tints and bleach had left my colour dull and lifeless. It was that which drew me to my latest colour experiment, and one that I’m mighty glad I tried.

Having heard such incredible things about them over many years, I decided to pay a visit to the ‘Best Salon in London’, as voted in the Mayfair Awards last year, the ubiquitous Jo Hansford.

One of the leading hair colour salons in the UK and renowned for their colour correction work, Jo Hansford is home to some of the best colourists and top stylists in London. With an extensive international, Royal and celebrity client base I was clearly going to be in good hands.

Jo herself has been at the top of her game for many years and in 2013 celebrated her 20th anniversary in the business. Described by Marie Claire as “the First Lady of colour” and hailed by US Vogue as “the best tinter on the planet”, there’s no one better.

I initially popped into the salon for a consultation with Mia who would be my colourist. Having assessed that I had a semi-permanent tint over last summer’s highlights (I know, I told you it was a mess…) we established the best thing to do would be to try a colour remover before highlighting afresh. A couple of test lights were put in there and then and twenty minutes later Jo herself came to see the result and give her opinion on the best course of action. I admit I was slightly mortified when she kindly suggested a cut might be a good idea as well; I cut my hair maybe once a year so it was in damn good need of it.

Pleased with my plan, I booked an appointment and trundled off to work. So far so easy. The following Friday I rocked up to the salon at 8.30am ready for my transformation, and what a transformation it was. The colour remover worked a treat. Much like a thick mask, it was slathered on to the hair before being wrapped up and placed under heat for twenty minutes to do its job of opening up the cuticle and drawing out the old colour. Mia mentioned it might not work (it doesn’t work as well as on semi-permanent colour as permanent as the colour sits on the cuticle rather than in the hair shaft) but it was worth a shot. As soon as it was rinsed off it was obvious it had had an effect; I had absolutely no idea how orange my hair had been looking until I saw it after the colour remover. Good job.

A precision head of highlights followed. Steering clear of bleach to avoid going too blonde (maybe when summer eventually does arrive…) Mia chose a natural honey blonde along with reverse sections of my natural colour. The result was beyond expectation. The colour is absolutely perfect; subtle hints of blonde with face-framing lights and so many golden tones without looking bleached or streaky. I wanted a really low maintenance colour – I can’t be dealing with touch ups every month – so the result was ideal. I then received a fantastic cut from Roxy, keeping the length but with some fresh layers put in: I may change the colour a lot but I’m much less brave when it comes to the cut, you will NEVER see me with short hair. One brilliantly bouncy blow dry that stayed put all day later and I strutted out on to the streets of Mayfair feeling like a million dollars.

Jo Hansford is touted as the best in the business for a reason. Her talented team of colourists are an astute bunch with a penchant for knowing exactly what suits you and your hair. I think I may have just found my lifelong colourist.

Highlights from £155 for a half head, cut and blow dry from £75 at Jo Hansford, 48 South Audley Street, Mayfair, London, W1K 2QB. For more information and to book visit or call 020 7495 7774.

Love Laurel x


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