My London: Paul Windle – Hairdresser and Founder of Windle Lab

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Paul Windle is an award winning hairstylist, and founder of Windle Lab.

As one of London’s most sought after hairdressers, Paul combines top of the industry hairdressing skills, with scientific expertise to deliver powerful hair care products, and an award-winning salon in the form of Windle Lab and the Windle London Salon.

Having started his career as a barber, he then became a teacher and Principal at the renowned Barber and Hairdressing Vidal Sassoon schools and opened his salon in 1988.

Situated in the heart of Covent Garden, the Windle Lab is now home to 21 hair care experts with over 200 years of collective experience. With over 35 years of experience in the industry, and building multiple cult hair lines in the UK, including Bumble and Bumble in the UK, Paul is renowned for his deep-rooted expertise, in-depth knowledge and complete transparency when it comes to haircare.

We caught up with Paul Windle for the latest edition of our ‘My London’ interview series.

Favourite neighbourhood:

Spitalfields, I’ve lived here for 22 years now! The area has so much history – the market started in the 17th century and is one of the city’s most vibrant neighbourhoods. It’s more touristy now than it was, but it’s still very quirky, and known for it’s spirit and strong sense of community. I love going to my local, The Golden Heart, saying ‘hi’ to Sandra the owner, and chatting to the locals over a pint of Guinness.

Favourite place for brunch:

Cafe Columbia on Columbia Road. I often go at a weekend as I’m quite partial to their smoke salmon and cream cheese bagels. It’s actually another area in the city that I really love to visit, especially on a Sunday because the entire street is transformed into the flower market – I love the intensity that creates, as well as the smell of the herbs and flowers. It’s also a really good place to just sit, and watch the world go by.

Best coffee in London:

I’m actually more of a tea drinker, but if I had to pick a place then I’d say The Tea house on Neal Street, in Covent Garden because it’s near the office, and they do a wonderful brewed tea. I actually brew my own tea at home, and in the Windle Lab – we use rooibos tea, green tea, white tea, yerba mate green tea and purple tea to infuse in our shampoo and conditioner formulations.

Favourite gallery or museum:

Tate Modern… you can easily get lost, and spend hours there looking at all of the amazing exhibitions!

Tell us a secret:

Thursday nights at The Royal Exchange in Paddington, Paul Simonon from The Clash plays a secret DJ set in this tiny pub, and it’s amazing!

Favourite place to shop:

I love vintage stores, Black Out II on Endell Street is great! You can often find a lot of really rare pieces. I’m actually finding myself quite interested in the 1940’s right now, and so love visiting all of the different vintage stores in the city and getting inspired.

Favourite place to find inspiration:

I love hanging out in my Windle Salon in Covent Garden. Sitting in the reception area, people watching out of the window, and chatting with all of our amazing clients is the best! I feel so lucky to be a part of a business that affords me the opportunity to meet, and interact with such a diverse group of people. I’m actually really inspired by people, and I love how young people especially are so individual and unique.

Best London destination for a date:

The British Museum – you could meet your partner on the steps with a bunch of flowers in hand, spend the afternoon wandering around looking at artefacts, and then go for some atmospheric afterwards for dinner and drinks.

Favourite park:

Victoria Park, which is known as the people’s park. It has a historical, old London feel to it, which I personally really like. From the decorative gardens, the Chinese Pagoda, and the canal, to the pubs on the corners – there’s so much to see and take in. I particularly like the boating lake, and hanging out at the Pavilion cafe, watching all of the ducks, geese and swans. 

Favourite food market:

The Truman Brewery host a food market on Sundays, that has the best street food stalls. It’s so buzzy, eclectic and has so much variety – there’s an Ethiopian Stall that I love, they serve the most amazing bread.

Your sanctuary in the city:

My home! I find inner peace when I’m in a familiar place, surrounded by my favourite things – furniture and art. I love my home comforts.

What inspires you?

Youth culture, and art. I went to see Kid Creolé and the Coconuts at the Boisdale in Canary Wharf restaurant recently – they were fantastic! They switched things up throughout the night and played a lot of funk, latin and blues music, and also incorporated some Caribbean influences into their sett too which I really enjoyed.

This season I’m loving…

Both street culture, and the exhibition of Soho street culture we have in the salon – some of which are shot by the photographer Andrew Leo. I’m also really loving The Line, which is a public art project in East London that connects Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and The O2, following the waterways and the line of the Greenwich Meridian.



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