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1970s

By the 70’s Sassoon technique was used to create cuts that ranged from strong graphic shapes to effortlessly fluid hair. In 1970 Creative Director Roger Thompson, inspired by the non-conformist look of the longhaired hippie, created the Veil, the hair was cut to create a cap effect at the crown and left long to fall freely over the shoulders with a gossamer-thin veil of hair over the face it was the first time short and long layers were combined in the same shape. Mouche in contrast, the minimalist Gigi of 1973 by Christopher Brooker and Fumio’s Box Bob of 1976 were pure in execution with complex engineering belying their clear shapes.

Whereas the clean lines of the geometrics worked best with a monochrome palette, the graduated, layered cuts required something different. Pioneering Colour Director Annie Humphreys developed multi-colour highlighting and slicing techniques that transformed hairdressing by emphasising the movement of healthy hair. Humphrey’s ideas culminated in the Firefly of 1972, a softly graduated shape by Brooker using the first truly three-dimensional colour effect. It was coloured darker through the shorter underneath layers and lighter through the heavier top sections sculpting the lines to give depth and volume to the cut. The Firefly was followed by the Wedge by Sassoon Creative Director Trevor Sorbie in 1974, a shape achieved by detailed graduation from the length on top, tapering to a teardrop shape at the nape of the neck.

By the late 1970s punk, a confrontational music and fashion movement designed to shock with its violently tribal look became a global fashion trend. Vivienne Westwood’s radical rubber tops and tartan bondage trousers, ripped and zipped t-shirts and stiletto-heeled boots toyed with the language of the cheap and trashy. Punk hair was just as confrontational when dyed in deliberately artificial colours rising vertically from the head in spikes rather than being romantically soft and flowing. Brookers Brush cut of 1972 was hugely influential; the hair was cut three-dimensionally into a sphere shape and dried whilst being combed against the direction in which it naturally grew. This was also the decade in which Sassoon launched his first range of hair-care products, the distinctive ‘brown bottle’ range in 1973.