How Vidal Sassoon Changed the World With a Hair Cut

Jan 24, 2021 | style/mode

Fashion designer Mary Quant with Vidal Sassoon, 1964.

BEAUTY: Legendary hairdresser Vidal Sassoon introduced hair cuts that revolutionized the look of the modern woman.

London-born hairdresser Vidal Sassoon is remembered for his captivatingly successful career and everlasting cultural impact. After enduring a troublesome childhood and experiencing the Second World War, Sassoon defied all odds and pursued a career in hairdressing. Soon after, he opened his own salon in London and began his world-altering trajectory.

At the onset of his career, Sassoon conceptualized a new haircut for the modern woman, a blunt cut bob. The geometric cut was unlike any standard hairstyle of the time, it was low-maintenance and signified a changing of attitudes when it came to women’s fashion. When reflecting upon his career in the documentary Vidal Sassoon: The Movie, the stylist said, “If I was going to be in hairdressing long term, I wanted to change things…To me hair meant geometry, angles. Cutting uneven shapes, as long as it suited that face and that bone structure.”

His style, which is said to be inspired by Bauhaus architecture, was incredibly attainable and could be recreated in any hair salon around the world. The accessible nature of Sassoon’s look blurred class lines and coincided with second wave feminism. The iconic bob blossomed into a number of similarly constructed hairstyles, and Sassoon became a household name. His work was visible on the covers of major publications, in blockbuster movies, and on the heads of celebrities like Sharon Tate, Mia Farrow, and Peggy Moffitt. In his later years, Sassoon was honored with a royal title as a Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II due to his meaningful contributions to society. In 2011 Sassoon was diagnosed with Leukemia and tragically died a year later. On his birthday, L’OFFICIEL looks back on Sassoon’s remarkable career.

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