The man behind Kate Moss’s hair opens his own central London salon – and ELLE’s Be

For years, James Brown (aka the man behind Kate Moss’ hair) has been rather hard to pin down.

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He’s spent most of his 20-odd-year career following Kate and an elite clutch of other A-list clients all over the world. Luckily for us, his new London salon opens today on Wigmore Street, which means an appointment with him is not as impossible to procure as it once was.

Housed inside an old recruitment office, the interior has been totally stripped down and re-furbished to James’s meticulous specifications. ‘I got so fed up with travelling all the time, with constantly getting on a plane and never feeling like I had a base to work from. I really took on this whole project to give me just that,’ he explained as he gave me the grand tour.

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‘I didn’t want this place to feel like every other salon with typical hairdressing fixtures and fittings, so I spent a lot of time making it feel different and somewhere my clients could come in, relax and feel at home.’ (In the case of his A-list clientele, this has also meant incorporating two hidden exits, so they can come and go away from the glare of any lurking paparazzi.)

The centrepiece of the homely interior is a cluster of six cutting stations set into a Queen Anne mahogany dining table. Each chair (ergonomically designed in white leather and flown in from Japan) has been carefully spaced so customers don’t feel too claustrophobic, while the antique spoons that have been used as dryer hooks are a quirky addition.

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Sex Pistols prints and Jake and Dinos Chapman drawings line the walls, while candlesticks and mirrors from James’s own London home have been brought in to add a truly personal touch. An antique chaise longue is the focal point in the colour room so clients can ‘recline and read’ while they wait for their colour to develop.

Stacked on shelves and dotted throughout the salon are products from both of James’ excellent (and affordable) ranges.

I won’t wash my hair unless I have Rock Chick Wave Spray, £5.99, from the new Scandalous range to follow up – it gives the best, tousled waves in the business. Otherwise, Dry Shampoo, £5.99, from the original James Brown London range is still unbeaten in my book.

An appointment with the man himself will set you back upwards of £500, but a cut and blow-dry with one of his hand-picked stylists starts from a very reasonable £37. ‘I want it to be a fun and relaxing place where people will have their hair done and want to stay all day – like a fabulous drop in centre,’ says James.

Start forming an orderly queue.

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