Harry Josh

Perhaps the most famous hair accessories of the moment are the mint green hair clips you’ve undoubtedly seen on social media. Designed with the utmost attention to detail by celebrity hairstylist Harry Josh, they’ve reached cult status for their cute shape and top-notch performance. Mariah Carey, Kim Kardashian, and Ashley Graham are just a small sampling of stars who’ve worn the affordable clips since they first launched in 2018.

Their mint green color is reminiscent of a precious vintage gem you might come across on Depop or Etsy. They’re not technically an accessory, but they’ve become one, as well as a symbol of high-fashion and a laid-back cool-girl aesthetic—the epitome of “model-off-duty” look. While you might not wear them outside (but kudos to you if you do), they’re perfect for chic mirror selfies à la Kaia Gerber.

The clips are a must-have in every fashion girl’s beauty arsenal for more reasons than the fact that they will help you curate your Instagram aesthetic. Their actual function is to clip back large chunks of hair, and most importantly, keep your hairstyle intact and dent-free. They’re frequently spotted backstage at fashion shows, and they double as clips to hold back your strands when you’re doing your makeup.

Ahead, GRAZIA spoke to Josh about his journey to becoming one of the most sought-after hairstylists in the world and how his line of luxury hair tools came to fruition.

Harry Josh Hair
Harry Josh and Priyanka Chopra

The man behind the mint green hair tools

Harry Josh was born in Vancouver, Canada, to Indian immigrant parents who wanted him to become a doctor, lawyer, or engineer. As a teenager, he was interested in fashion and entertainment, but pursuing it felt out of the question. “I felt so unrepresented in that world that I couldn’t see how I could get there,” the celebrity stylist tells GRAZIA over the phone. “I saw no one of color being considered tastemakers.”

He “sucked at school” and only enrolled in college to appease the ‘rents. But instead of going to class, he took the bus downtown and hung outside a Vancouver salon smoking cigarettes with friends. That is until the owner of the salon approached them and said, “What are you doing loitering here every day? Why don’t you become hairdressers?” His friends weren’t about it, but he certainly was. In exchange for Josh’s services—cleaning, sweeping, and washing towels—they trained him as a hairstylist for free.

He worked at the salon for a year and a half before moving to the South Beach neighborhood of Miami, Florida. There, he received “tons of rejections” regarding his ambitions in hairstyling. When he moved to the Big Apple in the early 90s, he remained headstrong and optimistic in the face of even more opposition. “I was very delusional when I was younger,” Josh explains with a laugh while reflecting on his relentless drive. “I couldn’t imagine why it wouldn’t happen.” That is, why he wouldn’t become a hair expert to the stars.

His unrelenting dedication eventually earned him a job as a casting director at the Manhattan-based creative services agency, KCD. This is where he met Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bündchen. The two became close friends, and he started doing her hair. He gave her “effortless, beachy long hair with ombré ends,” which ultimately defined the early aughts. Quickly, other supermodels picked up on his skills, and they all flocked to his walk-up apartment to get their hair done. 

It wasn’t until 12 years later, in 2002, that he had his “big break” – a full-page Vogue magazine article citing him as the “underground hairdresser that nobody knows about.” His phone started ringing off the hook. “It was super overwhelming at first,” he recounts. “I had a year of being offered the greatest things of my career, and I lost many of them. I didn’t build into it. It took me five to seven years to build those relationships back with experience under my belt.” But clearly, he did, and through the years, his influence has only grown. 

Harry Josh Hair
Harry Josh and Claudia Schiffer

On how his professional hair tool line came to be

“My investors came to me eight or nine years ago and wanted to create wet goods (AKA, shampoo, mousse, gel, and hairspray),” Josh tells us. “And I said, ‘Honestly, I have no interest in doing that. The market is super saturated because every celebrity hairdresser has a line, and all the lines are good.’ So I asked, ‘What am I bringing to the table that’s totally innovative and different?'”

He stood his ground. “‘This is not where my passion lies,’ I told them. ‘My passion lies in tools. The history of hair tools has always been dictated by huge conglomerates, never hairdressers.'” Josh saw a white space for him to be directly involved in the process of developing a brand that would stand the test of time.

Harry Josh doing Elsa Hosk’s hair

ON THE LINE’S SIGNATURE MINT GREEN COLOR

The next order of business was to conceptualize his namesake hot tools. Initially, his team wanted to put his name in large font on the products, but Josh pushed back. He didn’t want the brand’s success to rely on his hairdressing success or relevancy—he wanted it to be timeless.

“We need to make the color iconic,” Josh told investors, instantly knowing that he wanted to opt for a muted color because “muted colors never get tired.”

“Let’s keep the logo small, but the color big.”

He had three colors in mind for the line: mint green, muted watermelon, dusty rose, and matte black. To help decide what hue to go with, he sent an email to 100 people “from all walks of life,” including everyone from his “ethnic aunts and uncles to Gwyneth Paltrow.”

But the results didn’t exactly help—the results were evenly divided. “The very last email that came in just as I was about to get on the call with manufacturers was from Gwyneth, and she said, ‘Oh my god, do the mint green, it looks the most expensive,'” explains Josh. “I said ‘f**k it,’ that was my gut instinct from the get-go. I was just like ‘GP spoke; we’re doing the mint green.'” The rest is history.

Harry Josh
Harry Josh Pro Tools

ON THE SUCCESS OF HIS MINT GREEN WAVE SETTING CLIPS

What makes Josh’s clips different from others is that they grab a bigger section of hair than other clips on the market. As is the case with all of his products, the pro set out to create the most “superior” clip that he could. Following the brand’s launch only two years ago, they’ve become the brand’s top-selling item.

Harry Josh
HARRY JOSH PRO TOOLS PRO MAKEUP & WAVE SETTING CLIPS, $18 VIA DERMSTORE. SHOP NOW

on his famed blow-dryer

Josh’s blow-dryer—available in two editions—has a nearly perfect five-star rating across the board. It hails from a farm in the French countryside, where it’s hand-assembled and manufactured by Velecta Paramount Paris. The hair expert was in love with the technology of a hairdryer he used from the company, so he decided to meet with them to see if they could help him develop his dream dryer. From there, he launched his own within a year.

If you’re on edge trying to decide whether or not to finally add the hairdryer to your cart, keep in mind that Josh has, quite literally, thought of everything one could need from the tool. He’s cut your drying time in half, implemented innovative ion technology to help you in your styling process, and made it as compact and lightweight as possible. The second iteration is even lighter, faster at drying, and even more energy-efficient. But no matter which one you add to your cart, you won’t be disappointed.

Harry Josh
HARRY JOSH PRO TOOLS ULTRA LIGHT PRO DRYER, $349 VIA DERMSTORE. SHOP NOW

ON HIS unwavering BELIEF SYSTEM

“I wanted a fair trade business with luxury craftsmanship,” Josh tells GRAZIA. “We went to the best vendors in the world, not where I would make the most money, but where the product would be the best solution. I wanted the product to come first, and then the sale would be word of mouth.” Josh credits this business philosophy to the reason why his brand has become an “underground cult-favorite among celebrities, models, and musicians.”

Today, his line is much more than his famed hair clips and hairdryers. He has hairbrushes, a hair straightener, and blow dryer attachments, all of which are meant to complement one another. His latest launch is a 3-in-1 curling iron that works interchangeably as a wand, marcel, and curling iron.

Josh offers everything one could need—be it a professional or a novice—to achieve salon-quality hair. From my conversation with the pro, one thing is absolutely certain: You can trust that his products are designed to be the last hair products that you invest in. And I think that’s something we can all get behind.

Harry Josh
HARRY JOSH® PRO TOOLS 3-IN-1 CERAMIC CURLING IRON 1.25 INCH, $185 VIA DERMSTORE. SHOP NOW
thoughts?