Whether you’re familiar with his hair-care product empire or one of his several salons, there’s no doubt that you know the name of Vidal Sassoon. And after a long life of styling the hair of some of the most iconic stars in Hollywood, and inventing his own signature hair-cutting technique, we’ve lost the world’s first real celebrity hairstylist at the age of 84.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the groundbreaking stylist lost his battle with leukemia 58 years after opening his first London salon in 1954. Sassoon was a pioneer of hair architecture-using geometry to create structure and shape to fit a woman’s unique bone structure. “When I first came into hair, women were coming in and you’d place a hat on their hair and you’d dress their hair around it,” Sassoon told the Times in 1999. He made it a personal goal to change that. And he did.
When I interviewed him in 2010, he said that women would visit his salon asking for bangs or a specific hair style, but if it didn’t “fit” their features or structure, he would refuse to give them the cut. It’s a stance that got him in trouble with many of the high street ladies of London, but it didn’t sway him. Sassoon was a stickler for detail and a master of precision-all standout qualities that made him famous the world over.
In 1973, his hair-care products debuted to the trade while his salons, now spanning the globe, continued with great success. He was innovator and a legend, and his presence will be profoundly felt for years to come.
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