For celebrity hair stylist George Northwood, Sundays are sacred. Fresh from a busy week working in the salon and jetting all over the globe with clients such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Alicia Vikander (he was also seen touring with the Duchess of Sussex on her recent Australian tour), there’s nothing he rates more than a hot bath and some yoga. To find out his recipe for a perfect Sunday, read on…
The Wind Down
I always do yoga on a Sunday which helps me chill out. I go to Fierce Grace Yoga opposite where I live and I’ll either go to the 9.45am class and then do something after like going to the Farmer’s Market, or I’ll do something else with my day and go to the 4.45pm yoga class which is kind of more deep relaxing, it’s a really good one. I usually meet a friend for coffee on a Sunday at some point and I’ll always have a hot bath. I work weekends a lot; I’ve just worked four in a row but normally I have Saturdays off to really chill, so Sundays feel really relaxed. On Saturdays I can still feel tetchy and wired because the week is catching up on me, but my aim is to get a really good night’s sleep on a Saturday night and then come Sunday I feel amazing. I don’t have coffee after about 2pm ever, because it completely sends me wild. On a Sunday my general mood is pretty chilled. I always buy Diptyque candles from Space NK, I have Baies candles everywhere and I love the red Tubereuse candle, too. Really low lighting is important to me because lights stimulate me and I work in a bright salon all week. If I want to feel a bit cool I listen to Radio One, if I want to feel a bit more chilled and wise I listen to Radio Four or Radio Two and Classic FM is my wind down music. I like to listen things as opposed to read, so I also listen to podcasts on a Sunday. I always listen to Russell Brand, who I love, so I’ll have my bath and listen to him while I’m in there. I have no lights on in the bathroom just candlelight. I’ll make sure my week is all set, even if there is no structure to the week ahead, I need to know about it. And I like to think about what I’m going to wear the night before, so I will look at my diary and work it out – but not too much – because I don’t like to engage too much on a Sunday.
I’ve always been quite skin obsessed. Men don’t have make up to put on, so I always think as long as you’ve got good skin then that’s great. The best thing men can do is just age really well. I think SPF is really important. I love the sun and I love being brown but I also don’t want to look like an old Mulberry holdall! I like a gentle cleanser, a foaming cleanser and something not too soapy. I’m a big fan of moisturiser and although I don’t usually love oil on my skin, I have been using an oil cleanser recently which I am really enjoying. I’m also into vitamin C serums, and I’m into body scrubs, which I do on a Sunday. I don’t exfoliate my face anymore though because I feel it’s a bit harsh. I have also realised the importance of beauty from within. I had a really busy stressful year last year and I had a big outbreak of rosacea on my face. I realised that you can put whatever you want on your skin, but if your gut isn’t healthy then it doesn’t matter. Now I have a nutritionist and I take a lot of different probiotics and activated charcoal. I’ve given up a lot of gluten and sugar and caffeine and I feel a lot better for it and it’s has an impact on my skin. I’m a big Debbie Thomas fan, I see her for lasers and I’m also a huge Nichola Joss fan so I have facial massages with her.
I love a hot bath and I love oils in there. I really like the Aromatherapy Associates Deep Relax Bath & Shower Oil. I put a capful of that in and I put Epsom salts in. I also love magnesium salts, that’s my thing. If I don’t have a bath I’ll take magnesium supplement instead. For some reason I love the smell of rose so I have the Aesop A Rose By Any Other Name Body Cleanser. I also like lavender for relaxing and will put lavender oil in my bath sometimes too. I like a grainy scrub for my body; in my dream life I do it every Sunday but it’s probably every other. I tend to do it more in the summer when I know I’m going on holiday, to get rid of dead skin. In the winter I hide my body a bit more under clothes so I’m less bothered. I don’t moisturise when I get out the bath, I don’t feel like I need to. I do always moisturise my neck and my décolletage though because I find on men, that bit goes a bit funny and I’m really conscious about it. I don’t mind any other area, if my hands age, I’m not fussy, I’m just really obsessive about those bits. I put SPF50 on there too, I’m very strict. I wash my hair every day and I use pretty much anything. I like a deep cleansing/clarifying shampoo; because I keep my hair really short I just like it to feel really clean. I have also got a silver shampoo, I like the Oribe one, and when my hair is a bit longer I’ll use that just to get rid of any brassiness; I like my grey to look quite steely. I never condition it, just shampoo. I clip my beard once a week and sometimes exfoliate it when I do my body because I get ingrown hairs.
I meditate every day with Headspace and sometimes if I’m a bit restless I use their sleep noises programme and have it on in the background. I can’t swear by it enough, I’ve done the whole 30-day sleep course and it changed a lot for me, it’s really effective. I’ve got a lamp next to my bed that will dim so I have the light really low and I stretch; foam rolling on my back and I also stretch out my shoulders because they’re very hunched from working. I’ll turn the light really low and try and read for a bit but often end up falling asleep in about 30 seconds. Sometimes just listening to something on the radio can make me really sleepy as well. I try not to have technology in my room, so I put my phone on charge in the kitchen and have an alarm clock in the bedroom; if I wake up and the first thing I do is go on Instagram I don’t feel good. Sometimes as a treat I’ll watch Netflix in bed but I try not to let that happen too much. I’ve tried pillow sprays and I have a blackout blind which I think is really good. If I travel I take an eye mask with me, and I sleep with earplugs too because I had an ex that snored and also a French bulldog that snored so it’s a habit. I also wear my teeth retainer every night and I have to put lip balm on every night before I go to sleep. My ideal is to be asleep by 10.30am and then wake up at 6.30/7am and then on weekends push it till 8.30/9am.
Monday is an admin day so although I don’t work in salon I’m still working. If I go to bed at 10.30pm I quite like not setting an alarm. Once I wake up I’ll get up and meditate. I can’t have coffee on an empty stomach, so I’ll have ginger tea or lemon tea, or sometimes I have a cup of organic bone broth. My diet is 90% plant-based but that and eggs are the only thing I break it for as they’re good for my gut health. I try to be intuitive in terms of food, I listen to what my body needs. Then I’ll have breakfast, something like avocado, eggs and sauerkraut, and then reply to some emails and then go to yoga. I go to a 10am class on a Monday because I find it’s a really good way to start my week. If I’ve had a good rest on a Sunday then it makes a huge difference to how I feel on a Monday, it means I’m really ready for it. That saying is really true, “a Sunday well spent brings a week of content”.