Josh Wood on Colour, the Most Difficult Look He’s Created, and Working with VB

“It was kind of by accident,” says Josh Wood of his entrée into hair. “I was at a local college in Barnsley, Yorkshire where I grew up and I got a job in a local salon sweeping up. As soon as I got in there I knew it was the right environment for me.” That fortuitous start set Josh on his upward trajectory which has seen him create the haute coiffures for the runways of Marc Jacobs, Matty Bovan, and Prada along with the manes of David Bowie and VB.

However, Josh’s story wasn’t without its setbacks. “I left college and signed up for a year to apprentice and train in the salon. When the year was up, the manager sat me down and said, ‘we aren’t keeping you on’. With that advice I went and got a job at Vidal Sassoon specialising in colour, determined to prove everyone wrong.” He certainly did having created 37 distinct hairstyles for Marc Jacobs’s spring summer 2019 runway collection. “Matching all those pastel tones to the fabric swatches the girls were wearing was technically the most difficult thing I’ve ever done,” says Josh. “Seeing the show afterwards and understanding the hours that had gone into creating it was an amazing feeling.”

For Josh, self-expression through hair is key. “I prefer to work with the individual and find a palette that works for them,” says Josh. “Colour is more about suitability—finding the right level of lightness of depth, then adding subtle hints of tone.” But equally important is maintenance and Josh developed his own line to promote lasting hair health. “Keeping colour looking fully pigmented and healthy is a must for me,” says Josh. “I’ve just created an at-home gloss that is a semi-permanent treatment—it conditions while it’s colouring.” Building off of this is ensuring hydration. “One rule for me is a weekly mask. Super hydrating hair to enhance tone and colour shine is a crucial part of creating stand-out colour.”

And for Josh, finessing VB’s tailored tresses with the right hue was a fun process. “She ultimately values and respects the opinion of the expert and allows me to deliver my vision of what I think will suit her,” says Josh. “Victoria really knows what she wants. Creating natural, subtle colour that always respects the condition of the hair.”

But with a rainbow of colours under his belt is there anyone or anything he’d like to try? “I’ve been so lucky to work with some of the most amazing creative people,” says Josh. “Saying that, I’m always up for a challenge. I’m loving Chris from Christine and the Queens at the moment and think I could conjure up a look that would suit them.” No doubt with Josh’s signature shine.