The George Northwood Experience

Wednesday, September 2nd 2015 0

With Lotte O Shea and Pureology

This morning, I visited George Northwood's London salon for the very first time.

The first thing that struck me when I entered the salon was the warm, relaxed atmosphere. I felt as though I had walked into a big living room. Despite the pristine product displays and total elegance, everyone just wanted to wish me a good morning and check whether I fancied a tea.

Working in beauty, I’ve always followed George’s career. What I knew of him before this morning was that he had an A-list clientele, spanning everyone from Rosie Huntington Whiteley to Cameron Diaz. Alongside his red carpet work I knew that he often worked on editorial shoots, noticing his name credited regularly in my favourite high fashion magazines.

But what I didn’t realise, and was about to discover, was that behind his outrageously prolific CV was a total family guy who had managed to create a laid back, cosy environment in the heart of Soho.

My Pureology treatment 

My hair is naturally curly and dry, and because I colour it with bleach it can really take a battering. My appointment was with Lotte, one of George’s stylists. Lotte had a chat with me to see where my hair was at and recommended that I start my session with a Pureology Strength Cure treatment.

Pureology Space

Fay took me over begin my treatment. We started with two lots of Strength Cure shampoo. You should always shampoo the hair twice, she advised, because the first round will help to get rid of excess dirt and product and the second round will really give the hair and scalp a deep cleanse.

George Northwood W1 Pureology

Next, she applied the Strength Cure Mask. Fay recommended that I carry on using this range until I saw a marked improvement in my hair. Because Strength Cure about feeding your hair with protein, she said that you should only use it until the hair feels strong again, otherwise it may start to feel brittle. She suggested I use it as a treatment for a while and then switch back to the Hydrating range, my current Pureology range of choice. After a firm head massage that very nearly sent me to sleep, Fay wrapped my head in a plastic cap and sat me down with a cup of tea in the waiting area while the mask got to work.

George Northwood W1 Waiting Area

The waiting area was one of my favourite parts of George’s salon. His shelves were decorated with old photos, books, drinks, and the table itself had one of those colouring books for adults that seem to be everywhere at the moment. For once I didn’t scroll my Instagram feed and I completely indulged in the wind down.

George Northwood Waiting Area

Just before Lotte began to cut my hair, George’s sister Sally came over to say hello. Sally is the Head Colourist at the salon and she and George have worked together for years. She was lovely I loved the family vibe that ran through the whole place; she told me that Rex, George’s dog, was playing in reception and that their mom was in today. Sue, their mom, comes in most Wednesdays and brings in home made treats like cookies or flapjacks which then get given to all of the clients with their tea. It’s touches like that that really make you feel at home somewhere.

George Northwood W1 Tea

Now for the cut. Lotte took my fringe in a V shape to ensure that she created a flattering shape for me at the front. I explained that I’m trying to grow my hair so didn’t want any length taken, but also that I like to change between straight and curly styles and needed something versatile.

George Northwood W1 Fringe Cut

When it came to my blow dry, Lotte used tw0 styling products. First, she used the Perfect 4 Platinum Filler Treatment. This is meant to be brilliant for damaged hair like mine, really encouraging strength and growth. Next, she used the Pure Volume Blow Dry Amplifyer. One of the things she picked up about my hair which is really true is that I have volume at the root and then my ends (which are weakened) just don’t hold as much bounce. This balm is great for keeping body all through the hair.

I wanted a really loose, disheveled wavy look and as many tips as I could get to recreating it at home. Here were some of the best things I took from Lotte’s technique:

– Dry the fringe first

– Rough dry your hair into the shape that you want to eventually style it in, otherwise it’s already doing something else by the time you come to blow dry it

– For a beachy finish, don’t groom roots or ends, just focus on tonging the middle of the hair

– For messy curls, alternate which way your curls fall

– For smooth waves, make all of your curls fall the same way and then brush them out

George Northwood W1 Lotte O Shea

At the end of the appointment, my hair felt thicker, longer and it looked better than I’ve ever had it blown. I felt so groomed but also laid back and casual, a really feminine combination. And Lotte couldn’t have been better, she was just a good laugh and someone I felt instantly comfortable with.

George Northwood W1 Lotte O Shea Cut

Visiting the salon couldn’t have been a lovelier experience. From the friendliness of the team to how happy I was with my hair, it completely outshone my expectations which were already sky high.

George Northwood W1 Rex

I’m now using the Strength Cure Pureology range to see how it helps my hair over the next few weeks. I’ll do another post soon to talk you through all of the products in more detail. Until then, have a browse of George’s website and be sure to pop into the salon next time you’re in Soho.

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