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Arts and Entertainment

Vidal Sassoon, Legendary Hair Stylist And Entrepreneur, Dies At 84

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Vidal Sassoon, the iconic hair stylist, died at his Mulholland Drive home in Los Angeles. Sassoon, who grew up in poverty in the East End of England, rose to fame when he created a geometric version of the bob cut in 1963, a move away from the overworked hairsprayed bouffant hairstyles of the time. Sassoon said, "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."

According to the AP, police officers were called to the home this morning and the 84-year-old Sassoon was found with his family; "They determined that he died of natural causes, and there will be no further police investigation." Last year, Sassoon revealed he was battling leukemia.

Sassoon opened salons around the world and also started a line of hair products. In an interview, he said, "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. 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." In 1968, he reportedly was flown from England to the U.S., to cut Mia Farrow's hair for Rosemary's Baby—and was paid $5,000.

The dapper hairstylist was a regular in commercials for the products, ending with, "If you don't look good, we don't look good."

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According to the AP, "He sold his business interests in the early 1980s to devote himself to philanthropy. The Boys Clubs of America and the Performing Arts Council of the Music Center of Los Angeles were among the causes he supported through his Vidal Sassoon Foundation. He later became active in post-Hurricane Katrina charities in New Orleans... In 1982, he established the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem."

A few years ago, Bumble & Bumble founder Michael Gordon produced a documentary about Sassoon, explaining, "Having started my own hairdressing career in 1966, it was impossible not to be aware of the name Vidal Sassoon. Despite the fact that I didn't train or work there, I always knew that he had created the greatest revolution in hair, and no one could escape his methods or influence."

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