Vidal Sassoon, whose mother had a premonition that he would become a hairdresser and steered him to an apprenticeship in a London shop when he was 14, setting him on the path that led to his changing the way women wore and cared for their hair, died on Wednesday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 84.
A spokesman for the Los Angeles police, who were called to the home, on Mulholland Drive, confirmed the death, attributing it to natural causes. Mr. Sassoon was known to have leukemia.
Mr. Sassoon brought a kind of architectural design to the haircut in the late 1950s and early 1960s, developing a look that eschewed the tradition of stiff, sprayed styles with the hair piled high and that dispensed with the need for women to wear hair curlers to bed and make weekly trips to the salon.
For Mr. Sassoon, the cut was the thing — just about the only thing — and he fashioned his clients’ hair into geometric shapes and sharp angles to complement their facial bone structure. His short, often striking styles helped define a new kind of sexy. They were also easy to care for and maintain — the wash-and-wear look, it was sometimes called — and they helped propel the youthful revolution in fashion (and just about everything else) that gripped London and then America and the rest of the world in the 1960s.
One of his early clients was the mod fashion designer Mary Quant, who created the miniskirt. Referring to it in a 2010 documentary film about him, she said to him, “You put the top on it.”
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