The Expert

George Northwood

Hair stylist to the stars George Northwood on how to create the best beach hair this summer


Essential summer hair care advice.

For most hair that has colour in it, the sun acts like a bleach, lightening, weakening and making it vulnerable. If you’ve got bleach highlights, it will bleach them even more. If you have a tint, it will lift the tint out. The hair is also drier, and often knotted after chlorine and salt water exposure, with brushing causing mechanical damage. For this, I recommend being heavy-handed with conditioner. My Unparched product is a good remedy. Brush through, give it a thorough rinse and air dry.

What does good beach hair look like to you?

Imagine Gisele and Elle Macpherson. Great texture, air-dried, frizz-free and a little salty. If you're going straight from the beach or pool to dinner or a party massage my Moisturising Cream through the lengths, slick it back into a bun or ponytail away from the face. Unless you’re going to rinse under a shower, then let it dry naturally again to reform.

A beach hair look at George Northwood Salon

@sharicolour // Instagram

George's London salon

@georgenorthwood // Instagram

Who inspired you to become a hairstylist?

My nan was a mobile hairdresser. I grew up around her doing women’s hair, and the smell of perm lotion. The relationship between hairdresser and client - the social element - was always appealing.

Defining moments of your career.

Opening my first salon! I wanted to create a space that could accommodate people with a sensitivity to alternative luxury. It's been eight years since the doors first opened. Launching my product line UNDONE by George Northwood was also an amazing moment. I couldn't do it all without my incredible team, and we are going from strength to strength.

What does beauty mean to you?

Beauty to me is the armour you never take off. It’s the core you, who you are... stripped back.

George Northwood's Undone collection

@georgenorthwood // Instagram

The best advice anyone has given to you, and that you have given to anyone?

My advice is, work hard earlier in your career - in your 20s and 30s - and then learn how to say no in your 40s. The best advice someone gave me is, do what you do best and don’t try to be the best at everything. Know your audience, know what you’re good at, bottle it and do it really well. Get it, do it, be who you are.

Where are you heading to this summer?

I am investigating renting a remote Airbnb in Dungeness, in the middle of nowhere, with my dog Willow and just escaping.

What will you be packing?

As little as possible. I like to wear cosy stuff and I pack more for my dog than I do for me! I'll bring a good book and my laptop to watch some fun TV.


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