HARRY JOSH RIDES THE WAVE
THE VETERAN HAIRSTYLIST RAN A SALON OUT OF HIS APARTMENT BEFORE GISELE BÜNDCHEN HELPED MAKE HIM THE MANE ATTRACTION
How the beloved stylist became the mane man for Kate Bosworth, Gisele Bündchen, and Rose Byrne
“I REMEMBERWHEN [fellow hairstylist] Chris Mcmillan made a joke to a model in his chair about being ‘ Harry Joshified.’ I had bleached out her ends. It became very ‘ Harry’ to do that,” says Josh. Just as Mcmillan’s “Rachel” cut on Jennifer Aniston catapulted his career, sun-kissed beach waves put Josh on the map.
Josh’s path to icon status was hard-won. Growing up in the Canadian suburbs with his parents, who had emigrated from India, Josh ditched his college classes to sweep floors at a salon, eventually decamping to Miami and then New York and working as a hairstylist’s assistant. A few years later, while shampooing an executive at a Madison Avenue salon, he sweet-talked her into giving him an unpaid internship at her fashion production agency. With an ency- clopedic memory for beauty references, Josh moved up from alphabetizing model cards to casting, working on big shows like Marc Jacobs’s Louis Vuitton début. He befriended models such as Shalom Harlow and Amber Valletta and simultaneously developed “a quiet little hair business” at home. “They’d come over, we’d have wine, and I’d say, ‘Oh, you should cut bangs.’ I remember coloring Shalom’s hair jet-black before a Chanel show.” Then along came a 16-year-old Brazilian stunner named Gisele Bündchen, who grew to trust Josh implicitly with her locks. “She wanted her hair to look like she’d been on the beach, so I bleached it in my bathroom. I lightened her ends and around her face.” When word got out, “I went from 0 to 100 in one night.”
He’s expanded his empire with high-quality tools, and his handassembled hair dryer is a must for prosand clients. Friend and frequent collaborator Kate Bosworth says his magic has to do, in part, with his sunny disposition: “Harry is full of humility and grace,” she says. “He has no ego and is always armed with a compliment.”
“To think that an Indian person with immigrant parents could become a tastemaker in the high-fashion world …” he says. But then again, “I was always a dreamer.”
“She wanted her hair to look like she’d been on the beach, so I bleached it in my bathroom.”