Hair Expert: Jo Hansford

Jo Hansford is a legend in the world of hair colouring. We talk to her about her incredible career and what inspires her.

Described by Marie Claire as “the First Lady of Colour” and hailed by American Vogue as “the best tinter on the planet”, Jo Hansford is a legend in the world of hair colouring. Mimi talks to Jo Hansford about her incredible career and what inspires her.


How did you get to where you are today? Where did you train?
I originally wanted to be a make-up artist. I won a competition on TV when I was 16 and the prize was to be an apprentice at their make-up department. I couldn’t start the apprenticeship until I was 19 so they suggested that I do hairdressing in the meantime. They recommended two salons for me to work with and one was based in Mayfair. After that, I moved to Vidal Sassoon where I learnt all about hair colour.

Describe a day in your life?

What’s your brand’s USP?
The Jo Hansford Premium Colour Care Range is designed especially for colour treated hair. They contain Castanha Do Brasil, a native Forestry Stewardship Council from the Amazon proven to significantly extend hair colour, aid hydration, improve condition and boost shine. They also contain Keratin Amino Acids to penetrate the hair to promote increased moisture levels, helping to improve manageability and shine. Sunflower Seed Extract helps protect and repair natural and coloured hair against UV irradiation and free radicals. The range is formulated using natural ingredients where possible and entirely avoiding the use of Parabens, a concern that is currently at the forefront of peoples minds due to the alleged health risks associated with chemical preservatives.

For readers that haven’t experienced the brand before, can you recommend any key hero products?
I think the masques are going to become the ‘hero’ products from the range. They are already selling out in the salon as they are so conditioning, they leave hair amazingly glossy and yet they are light enough to use everyday without weighing the hair down!

Career highlight to date
I originally headed up the colour department at Vidal Sassoon and then went into partnership with another premium hair salon for 13 years. When this ended acrimoniously I was encouraged by my husband to open my own salon in Mount Street in Mayfair. This is now thriving after 15 years with 45 staff and a fantastic clientele which includes a range of people from media types, working women, actresses and celebrities such as Elizabeth Hurley, Yasmin Le Bon and Nigella Lawson. I judge for L’Oreal throughout the world and started the L’Oreal India Foundation.

The foundation was launched in conjunction with L’Oreal Professionnel in 2005 to help the next generation of Indian hairdressers. We hold four seminars in India each year, and then invite the eight winners of the Young Generation Award at the Indian L’Oreal Colour Trophy, to the UK for a week long all-inclusive seminar with the Jo Hansford team.


Favourite discovery?
My Nespresso coffee Machine!

Who or what inspires you?
I get a lot of inspiration from beautiful things and places. I love travelling and have been very fortunate to have visited a host of wonderful places around the world. My garden is also another great inspiration as I strive to keep it colourful all year round. I live in the countryside and the seasons fascinate me with the changes in the light and scenery throughout the year. I also love the ability to make people glamorous, happy and confident whatever their age or background.

Daily extravagance?
Good red wine

Favourite place on earth?

My home

Happiest when?
I’m with my family and Stella (my dog!)


What’s in your make-up bag?
Bal a Versaille perfume, Clinique lipstick and Sephora pressed powder

Favourite beauty treatment?

Semi permanent eyebrows with the fabulous beautician Sophie Thorpe

Who cuts/colours your hair?

Sonia Severino at my salon cuts my hair and any of my colourists colour my hair!

Desert island product?
Toothbrush and tint for my hair


Louis Vuitton




Marks and Spencer



High street



Where do you live?
Northwood, Greater London. It is surrounded by gorgeous countryside yet only 16 miles for my Mount Street salon.

My dog, Stella. She is a Tibetan Terrier x Polish Sheepdog and comes to work with me every day!

Favourite restaurant?
The Caprice and the Wolesley are the only two restaurants in London that I could go back to time and time again and they never fails to disappoint.

What book are you reading?
The Collectors by David Baldacci

What’s on your iPod?
Don’t have one but enjoy listening to Chill FM at home

Favourite holiday destination?
South of France

Can’t live without?

My Amex card!

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