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

game of thrones reviewWarning: spoilers

Arts and Entertainment
The original Star Wars trio of Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill

George Osborne confirms Star Wars 8 will film at Pinewood Studios in time for 4 May


Arts and Entertainment
Haunted looks: Matthew Macfadyen and Timothy Spall star in ‘The Enfield Haunting’

North London meets The Exorcist in eerie suburban drama


Arts and Entertainment

Filming to begin on two new series due to be aired on Dave from next year


Arts and Entertainment
Kit Harington plays MI5 agent Will Holloway in Spooks: The Greater Good

'You can't count on anyone making it out alive'film
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

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

    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

    The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
    Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

    Vince Cable exclusive interview

    Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
    Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

    Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

    Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
    Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

    It's time for my close-up

    Meet the man who films great whites for a living
    Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

    Homeless people keep mobile phones

    A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before