Manufacturers & Distributors

The Million Dollar Hair Style: Then and Now

Harold Leighton | December 2, 2013 | 1:02 PM


The Million Dollar Hair Style: Then and Now

By 1970, I was in full flight as a hairdresser, working in central London as creative director at Harrod’s Beauty Salon Knightsbridge.

During this time, my days were spent working at Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Nova, Vanity Fair working with top photographers David Bailey, Helmut Newton, Bert Stern, Norman Parkinson, Barry Lategan, David Montgomery, and Clive Arrowsmith, just to name a few.

I had just started my creative job in “Harrods the best departmental store in the world” The beauty salon was owned and run by the large American corporation Seligman and Latz who ran over a 1000 salons around the world.

My job at Harrod's was to create stories and pictures for the PR department. My photographic shoots were almost daily, and my show work for L'Oreal, Wella, Schwartzkopf and Clairol kept me busy on many weekends. When I had the free time I was planning other photo shoots or going to Paris with Vidal to see the big fashion shows.

My publicist was a young cockney girl, Caroline Neville, that handled my wife Maxine in her French boutique ‘Maxine Leighton’ in Conduit Street just off Bond Street. Caroline was the best PR then and still is. I was creating unusual titles for photo shoots, such as ‘The Gary Glitters’ – ‘The Biggest Wig in the World’ – ‘The Million Dollar Hair Do’ - The David Bowie or DB (Ducks Behind as I called it then). Caroline had the touch to release these stories through the year to the national media.

The Million Dollar Hair Style: Then and Now

One of Caroline’s clients was a young man called Laurence Graff who was fast becoming one of the top jewelers in London. I worked with him on the image you see in this story. We used a million dollars worth of jewels to work with which I’m pretty sure had never been done before. Laurence Graff had a revolver with him and somewhere I have the photograph of him holding it with the model and Harold together. I think the only time such a hairdo was put together like this was with Cleopatra! With the shot that Eamon did in 2013 to celebrate the 60th Anniversary in the diamond business, I need to ask the question: how many guards were outside and inside the studio? With over 40 shops around the world, Laurence Graff remains one of the most sought-after, respected and treasured names in the jewelry industry.

Caroline placed the story and my photographs in 'The Evening Standard’ and the rest is hair history!

Credits for the first black and white photo 1969 December

Jewels by Laurence Graff

Hair story and creation by Harold Leighton

Photography by Vic Singh

Publicity by Caroline Neville


2013 Hair by Eamon Hughes

Photography by David Slijper

All Jewels by Graff Diamonds

Facebook Comments

More from Manufacturers & Distributors

Hair Color Trends
Hair Color Trends

Teal To Big Chop To Tasteful Brunette Bob

Maggie Mulhern | February 8, 2017

When we saw this makeover on Instagram, we had to know more. Hairdresser Nicole Boccio of Cactus Salon and Spa  (@cactussalonsmithtown), Smithtown, New York, says "I had been doing a doubled processed blonde on Kelly Sampson for some time now. She came requesting 'mermaid hair'. She had 2 inches of level 5 roots." Here Boccio shares the details for this makeover.

Hair Color Trends Four session to silver
Hair Color Trends

MAKEOVER: Four Sessions To Silver

Maggie Mulhern | February 5, 2017

Kim Bruce (@themisfitblonde), co-owner of Monroe on Mane (@monroeonmane), Sturbridge, MA., specializes in blondes and hairdressing. "This guest has been a client of mine for almost a year now. It has taken four sessions to achieve our desired shade of silver blonde." Here Bruce shares the details for the transformation.

Awards & Contests Krystle Waivio
Awards & Contests

Announcing the Braids & Brides Top 10 Semifinalists!

Lauren Quick and Alison Alhamed | February 10, 2017

After receiving nearly 3,000 entries since the launch of the Braids & Brides contest, it was extremely difficult to narrow the pool of beautiful special-occasion styles down to 10! Take a look below to see who our semifinalists are, and stay tuned as they submit their best braid work for judging.

Load More