Page last updated at 23:07 GMT, Friday, 12 June 2009 00:07 UK

CBE for hairdresser to the stars

Vidal Sassoon
Vidal Sassoon became the hairdresser of the Swinging Sixties

Vidal Sassoon, the hairdresser whose styles became synonymous with the Swinging Sixties, has become a CBE on the Queen's Birthday Honours list.

Now 81, he revolutionised hairdressing and went on to found a multi-million-pound international hair and beauty products empire.

Born to Jewish parents in London, he spent eight years in an orphanage before becoming a hairdresser.

He started his career as a shampoo boy in a barber's shop.

Iconic cut

Sassoon's father left when he was five, and his mother had to put him and his brother into a Jewish orphanage because she could not afford to keep them.

In 1948, he travelled to Israel to fight in the Arab-Israeli War.

On his return, he began working for the famous hairstylist Teasy Weasy Raymond, in Mayfair, eventually opening his own shop in 1958.

His clients included the Duchess of Bedford, and models Jean Shrimpton and Mary Quant.

His straight, geometric cut became a staple on every high street in Britain - bringing in the era of the "wash and go" haircut.

Later in the 1960s, he moved to California, where he still lives.

In the 1980s, Sassoon lent his name to manufacturers of haircare products and salons.

Married four times, Sassoon had four children with his first wife Beverly Adams.

The Vidal Sassoon International Centre for the Study of Anti-Semitism was set up in 1982.

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