I work for ... Jo Hansford: Joanna Hansford is PA to her mother, Hair Colourist to the stars

One of the ways I have adjusted to Mum being my boss is by calling her Jo at the salon and Mum at home. Nevertheless, the hardest part of our working relationship is that I have to share her with everyone else at work. She's a kind-hearted person and a lot of juniors need her shoulder to cry on, which can leave me wondering "What about me?". The fact that I'm the boss's daughter doesn't make it difficult for my colleagues because although Mum won't take any nonsense and is quite strict that there's very little bitchiness within the salon, if anyone's got a problem they generally talk it through with everyone else. Hairdressers are all creative and outrageous nut cases, which is why they are such fun.

I first worked for Jo when I was 17 while saving up to go travelling. A year later I returned and, realising that I was at my happiest at the salon, I began running the reception and then PA'ing for Mum. We travel into work together, which gives me a chance to fill her in on the day's appointments and to draw up a list of all the things she wants done. There's little opportunity for communication between us during the rest of the day because she's engaged with the clients and I'm busy with the office work, but at the end of the day we both like to retreat together with a drink and a sigh of relief. The office used to be our quiet sanctuary, but when my Dad started working for the company as financial director he rather took it over.

At first I was very star-struck, but I quickly got used to the fact that meeting celebrities like Yasmin Le Bon, Tamara Beckwith, David Jason and Dudley Moore was just part of everyday life. A client like Camilla Parker Bowles is happy to sit with everyone else, in fact it's more likely to be the other customers who get nervous of being near a famous person. Some celebrities are a bit phobic about being seen with their foils on, others just leap into their cars with the dye still plastered on their hair. Some of Jo's clients have followed her for 30 years and she's become a health and beauty guru to many, for example she's just been on the phone to Yasmin Le Bon who rang for advice about dyeing her newly cropped hair.

Most of the stars are genuinely nice, but if any of them become temperamental we have stylists to suit every personality. I well remember the time a famous actor came in to have his hair dyed when he was rather the worse for wear after a very heavy night. I was told not to let him out of the salon before his car arrived, but he wandered off in a daze when I wasn't looking and I had to dash out and retrieve him.

I've noticed that our customers are getting younger; it's not unusual for mothers to bring their 13-year-old daughters to us when the girls want Geri Spice streaks because it avoids a home dyeing disaster. Over the years I have had every hair colour under the sun, but dyeing my hair as a means of rebellion would never have worked for me because the only person I trust to do the job well is Mum. She even dyed my brother's body hair when he was modelling for a baked bean advertisement and needed orange legs.

I live with my parents, which makes it difficult to separate work from home. If we've had a bad day we will go through it all over again in the evening. My poor boyfriend really had no choice but to learn about hair colouring otherwise he wouldn't have got a word in edgewise. I began training to be a hair colourist myself but it wasn't for me - I prefer being behind the scenes. Although Mum's my namesake I can't follow in her footsteps as a second Jo Hansford because we are so different from one another. But we have never had an argument and when she's not at the salon I miss her terribly and feel lost. She's always been a working mother so I've grown up appreciating the time we spend together.

Mum's just starting to pass the reins over to me and Dad is sending me off on a business course soon. In a way I feel maternal towards my mother because I feel she should be starting to sit back and relax a bit now rather than slogging her guts out. I still don't know how she manages to cope with her workload, which includes a full day of client appointments, overseeing the models who are having their hair tinted for fashion shoots and calming down the nervous ones. But Dad, my brother and I have always had absolute confidence in Mum's abilities.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Mark, Katie and Sanjay in The Apprentice boardroom
TV
Arts and Entertainment

Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites

Arts and Entertainment
Frances O'Connor and James Nesbitt in 'The Missing'

TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations

Arts and Entertainment
Joey Essex will be hitting the slopes for series two of The Jump

TV

Who is taking the plunge?
Arts and Entertainment
Katy Perry as an Ancient Egyptian princess in her latest music video for 'Dark Horse'

music
Arts and Entertainment
Dame Judi Dench, as M in Skyfall

film
Arts and Entertainment
Morrissey, 1988

TV
Arts and Entertainment
William Pooley from Suffolk is flying out to Free Town, Sierra Leone, to continue working in health centres to fight Ebola after surviving the disease himself

music
Arts and Entertainment
The Newsroom creator Aaron Sorkin

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Berry (centre), the star of Channel 4 sitcom 'Toast of London'

TVA disappointingly dull denouement
Arts and Entertainment
Tales from the cryptanalyst: Benedict Cumberbatch in 'The Imitation Game'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Pixie Lott has been voted off Strictly Come Dancing 2014

Strictly
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

    Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

    As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
    The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

    The Interview movie review

    You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
    Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

    How podcasts became mainstream

    People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

    Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
    Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

    A memorable year for science – if not for mice

    The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
    Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

    Christmas cocktails to make you merry

    Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
    5 best activity trackers

    Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

    Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
    Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

    Paul Scholes column

    It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
    Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

    Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

    2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
    Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

    The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

    Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas