Art is a product of inspiration; hairdressing also draws inspirations from visionaries in the field who have left a mark on the industry with their unmatched contributions – be it developing a technique or pioneering education. Your journey in formal hair education must include awareness about these influential artists and how their work has impacted the techniques, tools, and theory we continue to practice today.
Here are 5 iconic hair influencers who will forever be honoured for their role in the evolution of modern hairdressing.
When you think of the world in the 1960s, it’s hard not to acknowledge Marlyn Monroe’s fame and Jacqueline Kennedy’s style – one thing they had in common was Mr Kenneth. He also styled other yesteryear stars like Lauren Bacall, Lucille Ball, Katharine Hepburn, Judy Garland, and Audrey Hepburn. In the 70s, he was setting trends on Vogue, Glamour and Harper’s Bazaar and remained a leading New York hairdresser until his demise in 2013.
One of the leading editorial stylists in the world, Christiaan has created many iconic looks that have appeared on the covers of top fashion publications. From the Beckhams and Madonna, his work spanned celebrity styling, runway, magazine editorials, and advertising. Designers Calvin Klein, Bill Blass, Donna Karan, and Giorgio Armani honoured him as their go-to stylist, while he created iconic moments for them with his buzz cut, hair wrapping and the chopped, asymmetrical bob.
Alexandre de Paris
Louis Alexandre Raimon was the man behind the timeless styles created for Hollywood royalty like Elizebeth Taylor, Sophia Lauren and Greta Garbo. He is most known for his signature chignons and Taylor’s iconic coiffure in the Hollywood classic ‘Cleopatra’. His work has also walked the runways for Yves St. Laurent, Gianfranco Ferre, Givenchy, Christian Lacroix and Karl Lagerfeld. The Alexandre de Paris silhouette is legendary and his work continues to inspire hairdressers around the world.
A legendary name in hairdressing that even iconic hairdressers would state as their inspiration, Vidal Sassoon built his reputation on innovative cuts and hair education. Several top hairdressers in the world today are proud to call themselves former students of Sasson. His main goal was to design efficient haircuts and has said, “If I was going to be in hairdressing, I wanted to change things. I wanted to eliminate the superfluous and get down to the basic angles of cut and shape.” In the 60s, Sassoon revived the classic bob and was also perfected Mia Farrow’s iconic pixie. His achievements and influence in modern hairdressing cannot be summed up easily – however, it is an in-depth study highly recommended for hairdressing students.
Founder of Aveda Corporation and Intelligent Nutrients, Rechelbacher is best known for his interest in natural cosmetics. He began his apprenticeship at the age of 14 in Austria and went on to win several hairdressing championships, which brought him to Italy and later, to the US where he opened his first salon. He visited India in the 70s and discovered Ayurveda which eventually led to him developing the aromatherapy-based Aveda products. Undoubtedly, Rechelbacher was promoting the green salon concept well before its time.
When it comes to influencers and legends in hairdressing, the list is exhaustive. By no means does our top 5 iconic hair influencers complete the legacy of the art and profession. In your continued hair education, do make it a point to read up on the history of hairdressing and the people who built it up.