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.

Arts and Entertainment
'The Archers' has an audience of about five million
radioA growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried
Arts and Entertainment
Ready to open the Baftas, rockers Kasabian are also ‘great film fans’
musicExclusive: Rockers promise an explosive opening to the evening
Arts and Entertainment
Henry VIII played by Damien Lewis
tvReview: Scheming queens-in-waiting, tangled lines of succession and men of lowly birth rising to power – sound familiar?
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Hell, yeah: members of the 369th Infantry arrive back in New York
booksWorld War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Beer as folk: Vincent Franklin and Cyril Nri (centre) in ‘Cucumber’
tvReview: This slice of gay life in Manchester has universal appeal
Arts and Entertainment
‘A Day at the Races’ still stands up well today
film
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
‘The Royals’ – a ‘twisted, soapy take on England’s first family’
tvAnd its producers have already announced a second season...
Arts and Entertainment
Kraftwerk performing at the Neue Nationalgalerie (New National Gallery) museum in Berlin earlier this month
musicWhy a bunch of academics consider German electropoppers Kraftwerk worthy of their own symposium
Arts and Entertainment
Icelandic singer Bjork has been forced to release her album early after an online leak

music
Arts and Entertainment
Colin Firth as Harry Hart in Kingsman: The Secret Service

film
Arts and Entertainment
Brian Blessed as King Lear in the Guildford Shakespeare Company's performance of the play

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
In the picture: Anthony LaPaglia and Martin Freeman in 'The Eichmann Show'

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Anne Kirkbride and Bill Roache as Deirdre and Ken Barlow in Coronation Street

tvThe actress has died aged 60
Arts and Entertainment
Marianne Jean-Baptiste defends Joe Miller in Broadchurch series two

tv
Arts and Entertainment
The frill of it all: Hattie Morahan in 'The Changeling'

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny may reunite for The X Files

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson, left, and Richard Hammond upset the locals in South America
TV
News
A young woman punched a police officer after attending a gig by US rapper Snoop Dogg
people
Arts and Entertainment
Reese Witherspoon starring in 'Wild'

It's hard not to warm to Reese Witherspoon's heroismfilm
Arts and Entertainment
Word up: Robbie Coltrane as dictionary guru Doctor Johnson in the classic sitcom Blackadder the Third
books

Arts and Entertainment
The Oscar nominations are due to be announced today

Oscars 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Hacked off: Maisie Williams in ‘Cyberbully’

Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challenge

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything and Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game are both nominated at the Bafta Film Awards
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.

    Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

    Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
    Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
    Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

    Comedians share stories of depression

    The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
    Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

    Has The Archers lost the plot?

    A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
    English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

    14 office buildings added to protected lists

    Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
    World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

    Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

    The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
    Why the league system no longer measures up

    League system no longer measures up

    Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
    Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

    Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

    Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
    Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

    Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

    The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
    Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

    Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

    Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
    Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

    Greece elections

    In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
    Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

    Holocaust Memorial Day

    Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
    Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

    Magnetic north

    The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness