Vidal Sassoon's extraordinary life has taken him from an impoverished East End childhood to global fame. The father of modern hairdressing, his slick sharp cutting took the fashion world by storm and reinvented the hairdressers' art. Before Vidal Sassoon, a trip to the hairdressers meant a shampoo and set or a stiffly lacquered up-do that would last a week - or more. After Vidal Sassoon, hair was sleek, smooth and very, very stylish. Along with his lifelong friend and partner in style, Mary Quant, who he first met in 1957 and who to this day sports a Sassoon-style geometric bob, he styled the 1960s. As memorable as the mini - be it car or skirt - he is one of the few people who can genuinely be described as iconic. His memoirs are as rich in anecdote as one might hope and full of surprising and often moving stories of his early life - his time at the Spanish & Portuguese Jewish Orphanage in Maida Vale, fighting Fascists in London's East End and fighting in the army of the fledgling state of Israel in the late Forties. And then there's the extraordinary career, during which he cut the hair of everyone who was anyone, launched salons all over the world, founded the hairdressing school that still bears his name and became a global brand, with Vidal Sassoon products on all our bathroom shelves.

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