Kenneth Battelle, the quintessential celebrity hairdresser, whose clients included movie stars and society mavens died May 12 at age 86 at his home in Wappingers Falls, New York. Known simply as Kenneth, he created Jacqueline Kennedy’s iconic 1960s bouffant and pampered Marilyn Monroe’s over-processed blonde, restoring it to perfection. His salon was in New York City’s Waldorf Astoria. Despite his fame and the esteem in which his clients held him, he always considered himself simply a working hairdresser.
Color expert and educator Beth Minardi shares one of her memories of Kenneth.
“Kenneth was so special. A true artist. Kenneth would make sure the hair was very thoroughly shampooed and lightly conditioned and combed through. He used only a bit of setting lotion and wet-set the hair on magnetic rollers and dried it bone dry under the dryer. Then, he "broke" the set with a very good brush... he really brushed the hair though. He then set the hair on hot rollers and allowed the rollers to stay in until they were cold. He believed this "double set" gave the hair both wet and dry "memory". His finishes lasted for days... and looked like a million bucks.”
Batelle is survived by his sisters Joan Conine, Jane Lyon and Lynn Johnson.
To read the official obituary in The New York Times, click on http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/14/nyregion/kenneth-battelle-hairdresser-to-the-stars-dies-at-86.html