If you find yourself on the fourth floor of Harvey Nichols, head to the back of the ladies’ fashion department and keep going, you may find your way into a sleek, airy space with monochrome marble, chrome finishings and views over Mary-Poppins-esque rooftops. No, you haven’t discovered Narnia or slipped through a portal into another dimension… you have stumbled into Jo Hansford’s Knightsbridge Salon.
Jo Hansford MBE, who has been in the industry for over thirty years, made a name for herself as one of London’s top colourists. She was described by Marie Claire as, ‘The First Lady of Colour’ and American Vogue called her, ‘the best tinter on the planet.’ In 2010, Jo was awarded an MBE for services to hairdressing, so it seems only fitting that her latest salon should be here at Harvey Nichols’ landmark London store.
I’m greeted by Jade, who’s been working at the salon for just over a year. Her enthusiasm and passion are immediately evident, so much so, that before we’ve even begun the process I’m asking her how she began her career in hair. Jade tells me that she never really considered anything else, she left school in the Essex countryside, took a three-year apprenticeship at another London salon and has been working in the city ever since. She tells me that she loves working at the Knightsbridge branch – ‘it’s great to be in this area,’ and on sunny days she can sometimes be found treating herself to brunch at Harvey Nichols’ famous rooftop cafe.
My hair is a bit of a mess when I arrive. We’re in the midst of a thirty-eight-degree heatwave and my colour is long overdue. To make matters worse, I’d just been on holiday, hadn’t taken my usual shampoo with me and had resorted been using some seven-year-old ‘Wash and Go’ that I found at the back of a cupboard in the Airbnb.
I tell Jade that as well as refreshing the roots, I’d like to take the shade a little lighter. She suggests a series of baby lights on the top half and balayage on the bottom which will give it depth and help to achieve a natural sunkissed look. Jade mixes up the colour and then meticulously fills my hair with foils. I have a lot of hair so it’s a lengthy process, but she works quickly and it’s not long before she finds some that are ready to be rinsed. ‘I like to wash it out in sections,’ she tells me. ’It’s the best way to ensure an even colour’.
Once all of the foils have been rinsed, Jade hands me over to Jessie, who blowdries my hair into perfect mermaid curls. We marvel at the results.
I think these might just be the best highlights I’ve ever had. The tiny pieces are so fine around the crown of my head that they glimmer in the sunlight. My roots are blended to perfection and even when I put my hair into a ponytail the next day the highlights look completely flawless.
I’m delighted with my new colour and would wholeheartedly recommend the Jo Hansford Salon, Jade and the rest of the team to anyone looking for a quality cut, colour or blowdry.
A full head of highlights at Jo Hansford, Knightsbridge starts at £315