Since opening his salon on Charlotte Street in Central London 27 years ago, Andrew Jose has built an outstanding reputation not only for his eponymous salon but also for himself. Andrew has used his creative flair and passion to carve out a career that has seen him hold the position of Style Director of Pantene Pro-V, Global Ambassador of Education for Schwarzkopt and Hairdressing Education Director for Shiseido Japan simultaneously. Now his focus and experience is placed on his London salon and some exciting new projects. TreatNOW caught up with Andrew to talk creativity, business and about the power of apples…
To start off, tell us a bit about Andrew Jose the salon. What is the most defining thing about it that makes customers keep coming back?
We have been on Charlotte Street for 27 years and we are spread over 2 floors, with 20 of us working here. We have surveyed the customers and asked them why they came back and what they like about us, overwhelming they said that it is because our haircuts last longer. I like to think that our customer journey and service is always based around creativity and so reinvention and helping customers to choose a style is really at the heart of what we do. For me, the ideal relationship to have is where someone feels confident enough to pass over the responsibility for his or her hair over to one of the team. It’s based around how the person looks, reinventing their style, enhancing their look or really helping them to find what their look is.
In the past you have worked closely with some major hair care brand, are you working on any exciting projects at the moment?
Yes, I am an Ambassador for Salon Science, which is a brand that is doing ever so well. It is a relatively new range of wonderful hair care products that are on sale throughout the country. They specialize in using plant cell technology that has been successfully transferred from skincare to hair care. It really has transformed the way that we feel about hair and what is possible. It is a big step forwards; it can deeply penetrate and make a real difference. The key ingredient is called Swiss apple, which is an ancient apple that has incredible healing properties. They are not edible and if they fall from a tree they can heal any bruise, the regenerative properties that they possess is really quite incredible. It has been used extensively in skincare to great success and this has now been transferred into hair and so you can literally heal broken hair. I launched the range here a year ago and it is really well thought of. My job is to introduce it to the public and to the media and it has been embraced and it really is the start of something. We are starting a mini-revolution!
What piece of advice would you give for a stylist or salon owner starting out in the industry today?
Train your own staff. Don’t rely on other people to do that for you because it won’t work. Everyone has to have the same set of customer values because otherwise you will all be pointing off in different directions. You can bring in staff from other salons, but they have to come into a solid groundwork of training.
What do you think is the key to great hairdressing? Is there a secret ingredient?
I think you need creativity. Absolutely. Also people will come to you and say ‘this is what I want’ all the time so they are looking for consistency as well. That is another key ingredient for a hairdresser. I think the combination of creativity and consistency is the key to a good hairdresser.
For SS15, what are the most on trend men’s and the most on trend women’s hairstyles and treatments to go for?
The key thing for women is probably how the hair is coloured; the style of hair generally is one of two ways. Either it’s very naturalistic where the hair is less ‘done’ and for colour to have a natural quality to it. Or, if you look towards the autumn there are much cleaner, stronger and sharper lines, which acts a kind of antidote.
With men there is a reaction against the butcher boy barbershop where everything is clipped and left long and you end up looking like a 1930s shop worker. The counter to that is almost to have, if you look at the Kennedys for example, a cut that has an actual style. Something that has a certain air about it is of great quality but doesn’t shout at you.
Finally, can you tell us about what we can expect to see from Andrew Jose in the future?
We always have new collections, which we showcase and we have just launched our latest collection in Italy. It draws on some of the trends from this season and it really has an influence on everything that we do but we don’t take the client down into a particular hairstyle. You get the strokes and the feeling and the touches of it, even for someone who comes and gets the same style every time, it always has a little twist and a turn that makes their hair feel fresh.
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