Vidal Sassoon: Scots hairdresser Taylor Ferguson pays tribute to the stylist

Paying tribute: Taylor Ferguson (pictured with wife Anne) said the late Vidal Sassoon was "a real character"
Paying tribute: Taylor Ferguson (pictured with wife Anne) said the late Vidal Sassoon was "a real character"©Rex Features

After the sad news that hairdresser to the stars, Vidal Sassoon, passed away last night, fellow stylists and celebrities have been paying tribute to the iconic 84-year in their droves.

Scottish hairdresser Taylor Ferguson has fond memories of the times that he met Vidal, and spoke about the influence he had on the industry, revolutionising the way women styled their hair forever.

Speaking to stv.tv, he said: “I think he was a real character, I met him several times and he really did change this era of British hairdressing for good. And it was British hairdressing. Even then when something happened in London we were keen to bring it up here (to Scotland) as soon as possible.

“He just changed the idea of hairdressing. It used to be that you would get your hair cut to put rollers in and the whole of Europe did that. I remember when I was over training in Paris, and it was the time he was doing his five-point cut and the geometric cuts, and the French pooh-poohed it.”

But while there may have been sceptics of his work initially, Vidal’s forward-thinking approach to hairstyling in the 60s was to change the industry forever.

Vidal was famous for his 'wash and go' styles - most notably his five-point cuts and his iconic ‘bob’ hairstyle. But Taylor doesn’t have a particular favourite, instead admiring the work that the famous hairdresser would put into a cut, meaning women no longer had to spend unnecessary time styling it – and ending the bouffant hair of the 50s.

“All his cuts were good, I don’t have a favourite one. I think I just liked the work and then effort that went into it," Taylor said.

“The work in itself meant a lot more time was needed for cutting hair. We used to cut hair in ten minutes when it was done for rollers, then it took around 30 minutes.”

As well as a truly iconic hairdresser, Taylor said he’ll remember Vidal Sassoon fondly in other ways too.

“He was just an absolute gentleman, he was very interested in hairdressing and he had a real way with the ladies.”

“I’ll just remember how charming he was, how complimentary he was about things, and just how dedicated he was to the industry.”

Vidal was found dead in his home in Los Angeles last night (May 10), aged 84. His family released a statement confirming he passed away after a battle with the blood cancer leukaemia, which he was diagnosed with in 2009.

The man who went on to become stylist to the stars came from humble beginnings. Born to Jewish parents in London on January 17, 1928, Vidal’s father abandoned the family, who then move to the East End of the city to move in with one of his aunts.

But Vidal was soon sent to an orphanage in Maida Vale, spending six years there before being evacuated during the war to Trowbridge, in Wiltshire.

As a child he had shown an interest in hairdressing, and when he returned aged 17, his mother apprenticed him to a hairdresser.

He started as a hair washer, and worked his way up in the business, and went on to deal with prestigious clients including the Duchess of Bedford, fashion designer and icon Mary Quant, model Jean Shrimpton, and movie star Mia Farrow, whose style in the 1968 movie Rosemary's Baby was created by Vidal.

In 2009, Vidal’s hard work was rewarded when he was invited to Buckingham Palace to collect a CBE from the Queen. While there, the iconic hairdresser praised Her Majesty’s crowing glory for its “beautiful colour”.

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