Philippe’s still a cut above after working in style for 50 years

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A hairdresser who has been in the business for over 50 years says he will continue to cut hair even after he turns 70.

Philippe Woodbridge was born and raised in Portchester and his family business has been based there for the past 25 years.

Philippe Woodbridge with his daughter Rachel Sheath''Picture:  Malcolm Wells (170411-9830)

Philippe Woodbridge with his daughter Rachel Sheath''Picture: Malcolm Wells (170411-9830)

When Philippe’s salon – Philippe Jason and ADL Hair – opened more than two decades ago, John Major was still prime minister and Snap’s Rhythm is a Dancer ruled the charts.

So what’s Philippe’s secret for working so long? His daughter Rachel said: ‘It’s his passion for his job that keeps him going. He absolutely loves it’.

Rachel also works with her 69-year-old dad at the salon in West Street, Portchester. She said: ‘It’s really good working with him. Sometimes it can be a bit trying, but it’s usually nice.’

His first shop opened in Portsmouth in 1973 and Philippe had some star clients. He said: ‘I used to cut for the Portsmouth squad at that time and the manager.’

Fred Dinenage

Fred Dinenage

Philippe has cut for other big names such as local TV presenter Fred Dinenage, pictured right, and footballing family the Chamberlains.

Current Arsenal star Alex-Oxlade-Chamberlain used to have his hair done by Philippe when he lived locally. His father, the former England international and Pompey player Mark Chamberlain, still does get a trim at the barbers.

Having had such a long career in the hairdressing industry, Philippe has some stories to tell. He said: ‘Some of my highlights include being involved in stagework and behind the scenes of TV shows. I’ve had a very interesting career.’

I originally did hair for stages locally and then branched out to do it all over the country.’

Despite working solidly on his feet for 55 years, Philippe hasn’t always been in the best of health. He said: ‘I’ve managed to beat cancer on two occasions. But that hasn’t stopped me from doing this.’

Philippe will celebrate his 70th birthday in July, but when asked if he’s considering retirement soon, he said: ‘I don’t intend to give up, no. Not at this moment.

‘There is going to be a time though, of course.’

Rachel thinks a time will come when Philippe will hang up the scissors. She said: ‘He enjoys it far too much to retire at the moment, but I think we all have to one day.’