I’ll be honest: it’s not been the best of weeks, for a variety of reasons. A bad case of end-of-term-itis, exacerbated by what can only be described as a force 10 shit-storm. By Wednesday morning, I was feeling really quite frazzled. And so I did what any sensible person would do: I went to the hairdresser.
Not just any hairdresser. A week as bad as mine requires a man of great talents. And so I made my way to No 24 Wells Street, W1, George Northwood’s brand new salon .
Northwood is a man who creates sexy, beautiful haircuts for the likes of Alexa Chung, Karlie Kloss and countless other members of the fabulocracy. He is also, unlike so many who style themselves as ‘celebrity’ hairdressers, refreshingly normal.
He has several key attributes. Firstly, he can cut hair (that would seem like an obvious one, but you’d be surprised how many top names either can’t or won’t). Second, he likes women (very important one, that). Thirdly, it’s not about him. It’s about you (vital).
He’s also a terrible mummy’s boy, which is always encouraging. His mum - and his sister, Sally (they both share the same distinctive eyebrows), who heads up the colour team at the new salon, is downstairs when I arrive, unpacking that day’s supply of home-made shortbread and cookies.
“She’s the one who changes all the lightbulbs and waters the plants,” says George. “You know, who brings a bit of motherly love to the place. And she made all the gowns herself,” he adds proudly.
Tucked away in that wonderful, rather bohemian bit of the West End known as Fitzrovia, the salon is bright and airy, with lovely high ceilings and wood panelling. It’s boiling outside, but inside it’s cool and calm. The decor is simple: modern with a retro feel, with lots of personal touches.