January 2017 / Style & Wellbeing / by Ali Howard

New year new ‘do

How’s that new year’s resolution going? Personally, I’ve always considered January dreary enough without putting myself through a gruelling new fitness regime, or doing without my favourite tipple for a tiresomely long month – you need the good stuff to get you through, no? This year, I’ve opted for a quick fix – but no less life-changing – re-style, and taking my lacklustre locks along to the mysteriously secluded Josh Wood Atelier in Holland Park, I meet master stylist and hairdresser to the stars, James Pryce.

As refreshingly laid-back and industrial as it is high-end and glamorous, I feel immediately at ease here. I wax lyrical about the let-down that was my previous cut, and I can tell James is a great listener – he really hears my woes while I sip a comforting cuppa and lament the fact that my barnet just isn’t looking as fabulous as it could. No matter how talented a stylist is with a pair of scissors, bedside manner is everything, and James just seems to get my new-me vision: shorter layers, more edgy, ‘70s shaping… We’re definitely on the same page.

As he works my sorry mop into a masterpiece, I ask James about his career: He’s been in the hairdressing industry for over twenty years and has worked in some of the world’s top salons including Daniel Galvin and Trevor Sorbie. He’s styled catwalk models for Mathew Williamson and is no stranger to prime-time TV. But his real moment in the sun came when he was asked to style the royal locks of one Duchess of Cambridge on her wedding day. I’m honoured! It’s obvious I’m in safe hands, but then there’s nothing ‘safe’ about the cool cut James has given me: a heavy fringe, textured layers, that edgy 70s shape I was after – exactly what I wanted, and then some. I’m nothing short of thrilled – and ready to face 2017 with a renewed verve. After all, there’s no such thing as the January blues when you have really great hair.


JamesJames’s advice before you go for the chop:

If I’m considering giving someone a new style, before discussing trends I like to look at face shape, hair type and lifestyle. My work is all about working with what nature gave you, for example, if you have a square jaw-line and a natural wave in your hair, then a chin-length bob just isn’t for you. Ironically, the massive trend we’ve seen recently for the long bob or ‘lob’ would work for you as the longer length around the front draws the eye away from the jaw and your natural waves can do exactly what God intended them to do!

I like to give my haircuts a strong foundation to sit on. This enables my clients to spend less time battling with the hairdryer every morning. A successful haircut, for me, is when you can wash and run, so I like my clients to be able to simply rough dry their hair. Or even better, simply allow it to dry naturally.

And while we’re on the subject of trends, I think we’ll see the wavy bob and grown-out fringe evolve into a different look. The long fringes are going to creep back into stronger, fuller ones. The loose waves are going to explode into late ’80s-inspired curls. They’ll be super textured and more layered than before. Think of the model Mica Arganaraz. Mark my words: women will be reaching for the diffusers next year!

In terms of treatments, I think the best treatment you can have is to trim off some of those dead ends. Damaged hair is very tricky to fix. So consider having a healthy chop and then concentrate on keeping it in shape by avoiding over styling with hair tools and having regular trims. I recommend Sachajuan intense treatment.

James Pryce can be found at the Josh Wood Salon, 6 Lansdowne Mews, W11 (020 3393 0977; His prices for a haircut start from £180.