Industry News

How I Got Into the Hair Game: Part Two

Harold Leighton | March 5, 2013 | 5:25 PM
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Harold Leighton
Photo By Lidija Gjorievska Photo 2 of 9
Hair by Harold Leighton. Here is Jodi Foster's bob.
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Hair is dried under the hood dryer then blow dryed to achieve softness. Trying to do waves with the hot irons you can never match-up wave next to wave as you take wrong sections of hair
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I was working with Dynel, a fibre for hair extra lengths. Difficult to work with--it knotted, had static--tough shoot. I then developed a way to set this fibre with a setting lotion called (wait for it) Pantene. It dried like glue...but this is for another story for another time.
Photo By John Hedgcoe Photo 5 of 9
Hair by Harold Leighton
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Hair by Harold Leighton
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Hair by Harold Leighton
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Hair by Harold Leighton using Paul MItchell Products
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How I Got Into the Hair Game: Part TwoPicking up where I left off in my last blog, I want to share a bit more of my past in the beauty biz because it’s been wonderful and because I want the same for all of you.

 My time competing allowed me to develop my talents and to start working in front of camera, seeing the hair creations that I designed captured in photos. At this point, hair photography became of big importance in my life; it trained me and prepared me to have my work shown in hair magazines and London newspapers, often with my new trophies. 

 As our work developed our names became recognized—mine, Gerry Saper’s, Vidal Sassoon’s—and soon, we were known outside the industry, with Vogue, Harper’s,Vanity Fair and other trade magazine wanting to share our work. It was newsworthy then, what we were doing, and we all had the bug in those days of the late 1950s.

 Nothing came easy but we had a good formula for these early years.  The three of us worked together for 13 years in two salons, developing our techniques. We grew slowly from contest hair to a word that was not used much in hairdressing then—fashion.  We wanted to be ‘fashion hairdressers’ which was a bit snobby for then!  

 So this is how it started for me personally--lots of hard work with little time to do anything else.  My mother used to cook for me at whatever time I got home and, many times, it was for the three of us. We developed hair standards, developed relationships with each other—me, Gerry and Vidal-- and with the pretty girls that allowed us to turn them blonde, cut there hair in crazy styles and maybe have a cuddle to boot!

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