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It is with heavy hearts that the Neill family announced that visionary editorial hairstylist and Neill Creative Director Michael Baker, died unexpectedly November 26. “Baker,” as he is known to many in the beauty industry, had been battling depression for most of his life, ultimately losing that fight. Memorial arrangements are pending and will be announced at a later date.

Baker’s wife Debra, his son Myles, step-children Garrison and Paris, grandchildren Camden and Damon, and the entire Neill family ask that friends and colleagues allow them some time as they plan the next steps to honor Baker.

Baker was a four-time nominee for the North American Hairstylist Awards and currently the Creative Director of Neill, an Aveda distributor and longtime beauty industry leader and innovator located in Hammond, Louisiana.

In the 1980s, Baker was a sought-after editorial and celebrity stylist whose work appeared in Italian Vogue, W, Allure, Elle, Interview and Vogue. His client list included Jennifer Lopez, Stevie Nicks, Marisa Tomei, Johnny Depp, Don Henley, Brad Pitt, Billy Idol, Robert Palmer, R.E.M. Tom Petty and Janet Jackson to name a few.

Baker had a passion for educating young stylists, in the Aveda Institutes and elsewhere. He was the creator of 5x5: The Stage, an educational experience to help stylists perform at work, and was the inventor of the DeBulker, a texturizing trimmer and a whole new way to create hair art. He also founded the Second Hand Scissor Project, handing down tools to inspire the next generation of stylists.

The Neill family has asked that in lieu of sending flowers, donations be made to Beauty Changes Lives. Click here to donate on the website, or text MBaker to 44-321.

Originally posted on Salon Today