We want a haircut. In fact, we want a bob. Something angular and chic that frames our face and falls perfectly back into place when we shake our head. It’s spring (sort of) and who doesn’t want a new look to go with all the newness around? Doesn’t all the newness just make you want—okay, forget the “changing of the season” b.s., truth is we’ve just watched a documentary about Vidal Sassoon and now we want to be Mary Quant.
Inspiringly called, Vidal Sassoon: The Movie, the first half of the film features Sassoon laying waste to bouffant dos and shoulder-length hair with a single set of shears and a determined, almost pained, expression. Add to that a little jaunt back to East London where Sassoon grew up in an orphanage and already our fingers hovered over our phones, ready to call our stylist at any moment. The man came from nothing to incite a hair revolution! Just think of how productive (not to mention infinitely inspiring) we’d be if we got one of his five-point cuts?
As we dreamt of a flattering, angular cut that would make us feel like a totally different person (though, in all truthfulness, we’d have to actually bea different person to get our hair to look like that), we couldn’t help but realize how totally rad London was in the 60s. It was barely 1964 and both the men and women were walking around looking like a dream from the future. The cuts and clothes were so precise and modern they made everyone look so sharp and on it.
Of course, this heady dream couldn’t last forever. About halfway through the documentary they talk about Sassoon’s move to L.A. and the whole fantasy promptly devolves into an infomercial for exercise and healthy living. Ugh. Is this what happens when you move to L.A.? Does all that sunshine and “positive vibes” just turn you into a meditating asshole who drives a Hummer but will only eat organic peas? Lord save the Beckham’s. At one point Sassoon, now 84, shows off his yoga moves next to his pool in a pair of flesh-coloured leggings. Though we had to respect the man’s flexibility, someone should’ve advised against the body stocking.
Like any good fan, we’ve managed to turn a blind eye to the embarrassing parts of the film (Vidal pedaling an energy drink, Vidal and Regis Philbin doing pilates), choosing instead to remember the good times, including an interview with Grace Coddington, one of the first models to get his modernist bob (her unruly hair was much more tame back then); and Mia Farrow, who got her famous pixie cut by Sassoon on the set of Rosemary’s Baby.
In the end, Sassoon isn’t much different than any other hairdresser. He might talk too much and get up in your face about split ends and his latest juicing cleanse, but at the end of the day, he makes you look good. And that’s all that matters.