Vidal Sassoon was an iconic British hairstylist, entrepreneur and business owner. He transformed female hairdressing in the 1950s and sixties with his “wash and wear” styles. They did away with the weekly visits to the hair salons that were the norm back in the days of the beehive and permanent waves. As a contemporary said of Vidal Sassoon: “He changed the world with a pair of scissors.”
Sassoon’s love of architecture and design inspired him to create precise angled scissor cuts that complemented the woman’s individual looks, bone structure and hair texture. Contrary to the fashion at the time, Vidal Sassoon’s designs were free of lacquer and relied on the hair’s natural shine.
After his father abandoned his wife and two sons early on, Sassoon spent seven years in a Jewish orphanage . When his mother remarried, she secured him an apprenticeship at age 14 in a barber’s shop in London’s East End. In 1954 he started his very own salon. Here he gradually developed the radical style that found him lasting fame and fortune.
By the mid-1960s Vidal’s reputation was huge. Boosted by his hair salon’s cool and trendy Bond Street site and such celeb clients as actress Nancy Kwan and stylist Mary Quant, he expanded into the USA. In 1968, he made front pages all around the world when he was engaged by director Roman Polanski to create Mia Farrow’s super-short pixie hairstyle for the film Rosemary’s Baby.
By the 1970s, Sassoon was establishing new salons and hairdressing schools all around the world. He marketed his own hair and beauty products with TV appearances and the catchy trademark phrase: “If you don’t look good, we don’t look good.”
Vidal Sassoon succumbed to leukaemia on May 9, 2012. A statement put out by his family read:
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Vidal Sassoon CBE, who died this morning at his home in Los Angeles surrounded by loved ones. The 84-year-old hairdresser was born in 1928 and sadly lost his battle with leukaemia today. He became the most celebrated hairdresser in the world having begun his career as an apprentice during the Second World War, going on to revolutionise an industry through his iconic haircuts, salons, schools and product lines. He will be greatly missed by his wife of 20 years Ronnie, his children, grandchildren, family and friends.
Vidal Sassoon will be sadly missed by a great many people. His impact on the world of hairdressing and design cannot be underestimated. This website was created as a tribute to a great man and his ideas and passions.
This is a fan site dedicated to the late but very great Vidal Sassoon. He is invariably referred to as the “founder of modern hairdressing” and his influence cannot be under-estimated.
Vidal Sassoon grew up in London, England. His mother was a single parent who couldn’t afford to look after him and his brother. She put the two Sassoon brothers into a Jewish orphanage for seven years. Despite – or because of – this, Vidal Sassoon grew up to found one of the greatest business empires in the world and his innovative styles rocked the world in the 1960s. Vidal Sassoon will be sorely missed.
This website will trace his life and career and will be constantly updated. Please bookmark this page and keep coming back for for information on the phenomenon that was Vidal Sassoon.