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The Chapel Verbier
“Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work” — this is the motto that Chapel stylist Josh Smith channels into every guest that sits in his chair.
A newcomer to our Verbier salon, last December Josh swapped the drizzly UK for the chic ski slopes of Switzerland to live out his two passions — hairdressing and snowboarding. When he’s not on the slopes, or in the salon, Josh loves nothing more than to channel his creativity into playing the guitar and performing local gigs. We were really intrigued by his passion and positivity, so we sat down with Josh to find out a little more about the stylist behind the chair.
“From a young age, I was always into art, constantly drawing or creating something (even when I wasn’t in art class). At school I followed the usual steps, assuming that I may want to go to university and get a job in the future following from that. But when I had the choice to go back to sixth form or to begin an apprenticeship, I took a look into hairdressing. Given my passion for creativity and my desire to always get stuck in, it seemed a good fit for me. So I began hairdressing with Toni and Guy when I was 16 and immediately fell in love with the artistic hairstyles I was able to experiment with there, so I stuck at it and worked hard for six years.”
“Going straight into a job after school, I then felt it was time to try something different. I didn’t really get to experience independent university life, and I never took a gap year, and so I sought out a bit of adventure. I’d been looking at doing a ski season in Verbier for the past few years, although I wasn’t interested in any of the jobs that they were offering. So I decided to search for hairdressing jobs abroad and immediately came across The Chapel Verbier. I was over the moon when I found a place to work at one of the best ski resorts in the world, with a job description that fitted me perfectly. The Chapel lets you be the stylist you want to be, and being in Verbier it's really wonderful to be able to express two of my passions in one place!”
“In the UK, you come across a lot more trend-led styles, whereas in Verbier, it’s much more dependant upon classic shapes and cuts. The majority of our guests here are wrapped up in high-end fashion and need a sleek hairstyle to match, so the go-to style that guests usually ask for are big curly blowdries to get them ready for an elaborate evening. Recently, I’ve been working with more natural waves in the hair, using larger tongs to create a loose seamless feel, which gives a more effortless, après ski look. Many people don’t want it to look like it has just been blow dried, as it looks too set. It’s also great to demonstrate this method to guests, to equip them with the skills and confidence to style their own hair in between visits”
“Both in my personal and professional life, I always look to music to inspire me. So this definitely feeds into my inspiration for certain haircuts, styles and trends that I like to adapt as my own. I follow a lot of music artists and singers on social media, specifically on Instagram, so I tend to take inspiration from there, and I believe this reflects in my work.”
“On a personal level, I’m always up for having a laugh (even if it’s at one of my own jokes), so I love bringing this into my profession. I like to make people feel good — there’s no better feeling than a happy guest. As a technical stylist, I enjoy doing shorter styles because It allows me to be more creative in terms of the shape. Fading men’s hair is one of my favourite things to do in the salon.
Whether it’s a pixie cut, fade or bob, you have to think more about the individual person, making sure that you tailor the style to fit their face shape and personal style.”