Vidal Sassoon dies at 84
Vidal Sassoon used his hairstyling shears to free women from beehives and hot rollers and give them wash-and-wear cuts that made him an international name in hair care.
When he came on the scene in the 1950s, hair was high and heavy - typically curled, teased, piled and shellacked into place. Then came the 1960s, and Sassoon's creative cuts, which required little styling and fell into place perfectly every time, fit right in with the fledgling women's liberation movement.
"His timing was perfect: As women's hair was liberated, so were their lives," Allure magazine Editor-in-Chief Linda Wells told The Associated Press in a written statement. "Sassoon was one of the original feminists."
Sassoon was at his home in Los Angeles with his family when he died Wednesday at age 84, police spokesman Kevin Maiberger said. Maiberger said police were summoned to the home but found that Sassoon had died of natural causes, and authorities wouldn't investigate further.
His exact cause of death was unclear, but publicist Mark Sejvar said Sassoon had leukemia for several years.
"Vidal Sassoon was the most famous hairstylist in the history of the world," said John Paul DeJoria, a close friend of Sassoon and CEO of John Paul Mitchell Systems, a company he co-founded with the late Paul Mitchell, a Sassoon protege. "Good hairstylists never die. Vidal Sassoon and Paul Mitchell will always live on."
DeJoria said Sassoon had been scheduled to sit at his table for a fundraiser Monday night but called to cancel, saying "his body was feeling just a little bit too tired and he would be there in spirit."
Sassoon told the Chicago Tribune in 2004 that he was proud to have entered the field.
"Hairdressers are a wonderful breed," Sassoon said. "You work one-on-one with another human being and the object is to make them feel so much better and to look at themselves with a twinkle in their eye. Work on their bone structure, the color, the cut, whatever, but when you've finished, you have an enormous sense of satisfaction."
Married four times, Sassoon had four children with his second wife, Beverly, a sometime film and television actress, usually billed as Beverly Adams.
None of the children went into the family business. The eldest, Catya, an actress and model, died in her sleep on New Year's Day 2002 of an accidental overdose. - AP
Published May 10, 2012