The King Of Cool Girl Hair George Northwood Reflects On A Decade Of Effortless Looks

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He’s celebrating the anniversary by looking to the future. “People seem to travel from all over to visit us because they want undone, effortlessly cool hair, which has become our signature,” he tells me over Zoom. “I’m really proud of what we’ve achieved, but as we celebrate our 10th birthday, we’re also looking forward to the next decade and defining an agenda for that.”
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In amongst these notable celebrity happenings, hairstylist George Northwood also opened his first salon on London’s Wells Street, making his signature undone aesthetic available to all who came through the doors.

To usher in his new “era of the haircut”, Northwood worked his magic on 10 women – including Olympia of Greece and Camille Charrière. From the “midi” to the “bombshell” to the “Perriand” (inspired by legendary French architect Charlotte Perriand), all 10 looks are the very definition of cool-girl hair, which has become Northwood’s calling card.


“We did a ‘bob’ bar very early on, which made it easy for our clients to decide what look they wanted, and to feel empowered and able to communicate that to their hairdresser,” he says. “I hope this campaign will do a similar thing, giving people inspiration for their next look.”

As the man behind Alexa Chung’s aspirational bob and the Duchess of Sussex’s signature messy bun, Northwood has earned a reputation as the man to see for a cut that makes you feel like a million dollars, without every looking too “done”. And not only is he incredibly talented, he’s also famously one of the nicest men in the industry.

To celebrate his eponymous brand’s birthday, Northwood looks back on some of his standout celebrity styles from over the years.

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Alexa Chung, 2014

“When we cut Alexa’s bob in, everyone else in the public eye had long hair – this cut gave women permission to have short hair and look feminine and cool. Her bob became a real thing, and I had a queue of people wanting the same cut. Alexa hasn’t had a bob in a really long time but people still say, ‘I want a bob like hers’. It’s a bit like when Jennifer Aniston had the ‘Rachel’ cut. No matter what she does with her hair, she’s always going to be most synonymous with the Rachel.”

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Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex, 2018

“I worked with Meghan for around two years before I could talk about it, so I was living a secret life for quite a while. In a world where everyone is talking about what they do on social media, being incredibly discreet felt like the hairdressing world of days gone by – no one knew who was cutting whose hair, and that was part of the glamour of it. It was refreshing to work with Meghan and Harry and not discuss it, there was something pure about it. With Meghan’s wedding hair, we took a relaxed, undone approach, while making sure it was appropriate. She became known for this slightly messy bun and it was something we half said we would do for the wedding evening, and then we just did it on the day. I’ll always cherish those moments.”

@rosiehw

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, 2023

“Rosie has always had the kind of dream hair that everyone wants. We had a moment where we cut it off, but generally she stands for that really long, gorgeous supermodel hair. We even offered a Rosie blow dry in salon at one point.”

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Alicia Vikander, 2016

“Alicia really champions undone hair and people love the Scandi vibe that she brings. I worked with her during the whole awards circuit when she won an Oscar, which was great to be a part of. We created a half-bun and really loose wave for the ceremony.”

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Gwyneth Paltrow, 2013

“Working with Gwyneth was a real moment – it was incredible to work with someone of her calibre while she was in London. She’s into smoother hair, sometimes with a bit of a wave, but really undone. Gwyneth is always effortless, with minimal make-up and minimal hair. We travelled a lot. It was really fun to be on that journey.”

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Daisy Edgar Jones, 2023

“Working with actresses from the start of their careers through to when they are better known has been a hugely rewarding thing for me – I try and create a hair vibe which we continue to evolve, while maintaining an aesthetic. Daisy Edgar-Jones is a great example.”

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Rachel Weisz, 2023

“The common thread between all my clients is hair that looks super cool, a bit French and appropriate for the occasion, but not too done. Rachel is so lovely.”

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