A legend in the world of hairstyling, Vidal Sassoon, died Wednesday morning of natural causes in his Los Angeles home. He was 84 years old.
Sassoon–who grew up in English orphanages–was massively influential in the ’60s and ’70s and is credited with creating the bob and the five-point cut, both of which are popular today. He was flown in by movie producers to create Mia Farrow’s iconic cut for “Rosemary’s Baby”; his enormous popularity came about because of the laid-back attitude he had towards hairstyles at a time when women were teasing and torturing their locks into unnatural architectural whorls. A look at the styles on the AMC show “Mad Men” shows some of the outrageous hair fashions of the day. Sassoon changed all that with wash-and-wear looks and parlayed that into a hugely successul hair care line, which included everything from shampoos to hair dryers.
“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 L.A. Times. “We learned to put discipline in the haircuts by using actual geometry, actual architectural shapes and bone structure. The cut had to be perfect and layered beautifully, so that when a woman shook it, it just fell back in.”
Sassoon started out as a shampoo boy and worked his way up; he eventually had his own talk show, something few people know about him. He took his job very seriously, stating once that “To sculpt a head of hair with scissors is an art form. It’s in pursuit of art.”