Chasing Rainbows with Josh & Snow
Meet LA’s most in-demand hair colorist. Sorry, he only sees canine clients — like Cardi B’s dog.
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Josh and Snow White turn heads everywhere they go. The dog groomer extraordinaire and star of The Pack (Amazon Prime) — who runs West Hollywood’s Dogue Spa with partner Mehdi Elias Rezig — has a psychedelic style that extends to his Standard Poodle, Snow. While his limbs are emblazoned with tattoos of flowers and butterflies, Snow is the perfect canvas for his artistry and transforms into a beautiful creature more unicorn than dog.
White has been passionate about creative expression since he was a kid, and realized early on that he wanted to fuse that aesthetic spirit with his love of dogs. Inspired by pop culture, he and Rezig are showing pet parents that grooming is a routine part of canine cleanliness...and then some. They use organic, non-toxic dyes to create lewks likes cotton candy swirls and leopard spots so that even the most domestic of dogs can show off their wild side. Oh, and they count Cardi B, Awkwafina, and Usher’s pups as satisfied customers.
Josh, you and Snow have an amazing bond that you capture on Instagram. Did your account start as something personal or professional, and do you think you post more now that Snow is a muse and mascot for Dogue Spa?
White: I just remember that I wanted to stand out, so I feel like that would have happened, grooming or not. I’m more than just a dog groomer — I love fashion and so many things that aren’t necessarily dog related but [I was interested in] putting them together. When I got Snow I was like, I could do this with her and show off our bond. Plus, the way I look and the way she looks — I wanted to change people’s minds and break stereotypes. Like, yes, an African American can have a colorful Poodle. I’m gonna dress like a rainbow, like my dog, and put smiles on people’s faces.
Do you ever plan your outfits around her looks?
White: I do! That’s literally how it works. She’s been rainbow-hued for a while so I’ve been dressing pretty colorfully recently, but if I dye her hair blue, I’ll wear more denim. She’s my muse and she inspires both how I dress and how I dye her. It’s definitely a partnership in that sense.
Does she enjoy getting groomed?
White: She does, it’s so crazy. She’s honestly the best dog I’ve ever groomed and it’s not just because she’s mine. If she was shy or didn’t like to be groomed or dyed, I wouldn’t do it. She’s a huge ham. She loves playing, she loves humans, she loves meeting clients. She’s a great walking advertisement, but I don’t dye her for that reason — I do it because I like to have a colorful, cute puppy dog.
Was hair dye always something you wanted to explore within dog grooming — even when you started out as a groomer? And is the dye you use safe?
White: When I was a student, [our grooming skills] were tested on each breed. For my Poodle test, I did this crazy pop art-dyed dog that looked like she came out of a comic book. Hair dye is a form of art I always wanted to explore — adding tools to the artistry that dog grooming is. At Dogue Spa we use OPAWZ. It is a safe, vegan, cruelty-free, non-toxic line of shampoo dyes made for pets, with FDA-approved ingredients used in cosmetic and food products. It’s basically safe to eat!
What inspired you to open Dogue Spa together?
Mehdi: Josh envisioned having a salon of his own and naming it Dogue when he was a teen. He learned the ropes at his local grooming salon. When we met, we decided to embark on the journey together. Our mission is to modernize the grooming industry as a whole — we want to bring it to the main stage by making it cool, inclusive, and part of pop culture.
We focused on shaping the industry as Josh envisioned it, without the limits that would be imposed on him by working for a different company — nor staying in the shadow of the grooming industry — but rather expand beyond that and reach more layers of society to give a different look on what grooming is and the growing diversity of the new generation.
Cardi B, Usher, Awkwafina... You’ve worked with some big names. How did they find out about your work?
White: Being cast on The Pack is when everything kind of blew up for me and Snow. Now she has her own fan base, which is pretty cool to see.
Mehdi: We’ve also built great connections over the years with some of Hollywood’s big names by word of mouth.
What are the most popular grooming service requests?
White: Creative grooms, hair dyes, and Asian Fusion — where dogs look almost fake.
Is there any required upkeep for pet parents after dogs get their hair dyed?
None other than just brushing and combing their dog regularly, which is a must for every dog owner.
What’s your busiest time of year for grooming?
Medhi: We have two busy seasons: summer and around the holidays, particularly around Halloween and Christmas. For Halloween, we tend to book some clients a year in advance.
Any tips for pet parents looking to make their pets more comfortable with professional grooming?
Medhi: Take your time to research what grooming salon most fits your vibe and that you would trust your pup with. Also start bringing your dog to the groomer from a young age and regularly — it is the best way to get them used to grooming and actually enjoy it!
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Rachel Davies is a writer who has written for numerous publications including Vox, Wall Street Journal, and Architectural Digest and the parent of a beautiful Cocker Spaniel mix named Thea.