The story so far... - Part 1
Having spent a life time as a young child in hair salons it was as much in my blood as working down the bar. If you ever wanted to find my mum, she was either at the cash and carry or getting her hair done. My grandma, mum and aunties all had their hair done twice a week, come rain or shine, money or no money.
My earliest memory as a child is my mum’s hairdresser letting me take the rollers out, after my mum had been baked under the hood dryer. I remember being absolutely amazed, (I will never forget that feeling,) at how my mother’s hairdresser brushed out her hair and backcombed it up into... my mum! That began my love of hairdressing.
I was 16 years old when I finally plucked up the courage to tell my Mum that I wanted to be a hairdresser. She turned to me and said, ‘You bloody well won’t. You think I’ve spent ten years pulling pints behind a bar for you to be a hairdresser. You will go to university and get a degree.’
After many a night arguing I eventually agreed to do my A Levels on the terms that if I still wanted to be a hairdresser, my mum would support me in every way. This was the first time I caught her out lying. Did she let me apply to hairdressing college? Did she heck! She instead brought home a job application for the Commercial Union, filled it out for me and sent me off to the interview. I only ended up getting the job didn’t I? I absolutely hated my time working there, but it you want to know anything about personal insurance, I’m your man.
In 1989 my friend opened a salon and I got a job working for her on a Saturday. From the first day I KNEW it was exactly where I wanted to do. I eventually told my Mum I was leaving my job and joining the salon team full time as a junior. She didn’t take it well. ‘Do what you bloody like, I am sick of you,’ she snapped at me. It goes without saying that from that day on she didn’t pay for her hair, yet she never apologized and I got zero support from her. Later on she confided to my auntie,
‘It’s a good job that he is an alright hairdresser, can you imagine the shame of having to go to another hairdresser to do your hair, because he was no good. Oh the shame.’
Next month...we will find out how Jonathan managed to open his first salon only 2.5 years after becoming a certified hairdresser and why he decided to swap the grey skies of Manchester for the sunny shores of Spain.
My career highlights are...well, there have been a few, so just give me a minute to think. I guess I would have to start off with being asked to look after Victoria Beckham’s hair whilst her, David and the family were staying at the Marbella Club. She was absolutely fabulous and thankfully we got on like a house on fire. She has a fantastic sense of humour, very very dry. Honestly, I could quite easily have gone on a night out with her and had a ball. She is a fantastic Mum and the kids were delightful. Victoria doesn’t take herself that seriously in real life, the business and the brand is simply a machine.
Getting to cut and style Mr. Simon Cowell’s hair on a few occasions has to be up there. One of my good friends was working for Max Clifford, who at that time was the publicity adviser to Simon. Through Max, I was introduced to many high profile clients and celebrities. One night I was having dinner with Max, Simon and a large group of friends at the old Aretusa and I turned to Simon and said, ‘Hey forget HMV, I bet you could get your hands on a few out of production CDs that I am after, couldn't you?’ He only bloody did. Simon was charming, charismatic, funny and a very kind man.
We WON’T mention me working with that vile Rebecca Loos. Maybe she can go in a column of career regrets.
Some people would call a six week waiting list a highlight, but I call it a logistical nightmare. I am however extremely grateful for my loyal client following.
My mother liking the way I did her hair has to go to the top of the list of career highlights. Nothing will come close to beating that feeling.
I am known for my...colouring work, but I don’t know how that happened. I am an all-round hairdresser and love every aspect of my job, but somehow I have got the name of being a colour specialist. It’s a title deployed on me by other people as I have never called myself that. I am simply a hairdresser, full stop.
My favourite period in hairdressing was...the end of 80s, early 90s. Why? Big hair of course! You just can’t beat scrunch dried, bleached hair. I became known for my perms, mainly because I was one of the few who could create perfect spiral perms without snapping your hair off.