Described as, ‘a Rock star, an artist and a craftsman who changed the world with a pair of scissors.’ Vidal Sassoon led the way with creating hairstyles that required little styling and which just simply fell in to place.
Sassoon’s first salon opened in 1954 in London where he perfected his wash and wear styles, including the bob, the five-point cut and the “Greek Goddess,” a short tousled perm inspired by the “Afro Marvellous looking women” Sassoon said he saw in New York’s Harlem. More salon openings followed in England and then America, as well as developing a line of shampoos and styling products bearing his name, complete with slogan “If you don’t look good, we don’t look good.”
In 1993 Vidal Sassoon spoke to the Los Angeles Times about his unique wash and wear technique, “My idea was to cut shape into the hair, to use it like fabric and take away everything that was superfluous, women were going back to work, they were assuming their own power. They didn't have time to sit under the dryer anymore."
Sassoon soon established his Vidal Sassoon Academies where young aspiring stylists are taught how to create haircuts based on their clients face shape and structure; these academies are now worldwide including in England, Germany, China, America and Canada.
With a string of salon success and cutting edge academies Vidal Sassoon added the release of four books to his expansive career, these include, "Vidal: The Autobiography" released February 2012; "Sorry I Kept You Waiting, Madam," 1968; "A Year of Beauty and Health," written with his second wife, Beverly in 1979; and also "Cutting Hair the Vidal Sassoon Way,” in 1984.
In the early 1980s Sassoon sold his business to devote himself to philanthropy, supporting The Boys Clubs of America and the Performing Arts Council of the Music Centre of Los Angeles as well as helping several charities cope with the devastation left by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.
A pioneer in the hairdressing industry and a huge loss to all, who knew and worked with him,
"To sculpt a head of hair with scissors is an art form. It's in pursuit of art,"
Vidal Sassoon 17 January 1928 – 9 May 2012
I am very sad at hearing of the death of Vidal Sassoon. He was one of the few who truly changed the world, not only of hairdressing but also of how we use product, wash and go, in a modern society. He was someone who continually pushed the boundaries of convention.
Paul Edmonds, Creative Director at Paul Edmonds London