Trim and dashing, with a baby face and cultured manner that belied his Cockney upbringing in a Jewish orphanage in London, Mr. Sassoon became an international sensation in the 1960s with his vast network of salons and styling schools.
Mr. Sassoon, long a vivacious fixture on social circuits in New York, Los Angeles, Paris and London, gained instant household recognition by appearing in television commercials for his shampoos and sprays. His tagline: “If you don’t look good, we don’t look good.”
Starting in the 1970s, he shrewdly linked his products to the burgeoning general interest in healthy lifestyles. With his then-wife Beverly and former Vogue editor Camille Duhe, Mr. Sassoon co-wrote “A Year of Beauty and Health,” which became a bestseller in 1975. Images of top models and actresses displaying his simple, luminous hair artistry were featured in a career retrospective at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology in 1993.
“Sassoon is in the small coterie of creative individuals who have defined what it means to be modern,” Richard Martin, the curator of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, said at the time.
Clean geometric lines had been Mr. Sassoon’s driving motivation since opening his first salon in London in 1954. At the time, most women were resigned to going to bed at night with rollers in their hair. His approach grew into a direct assault on the beehive style and other formidable towers of hair seemingly shellacked with hairspray.
In 1957, he launched a fruitful collaboration with British clothes designer Mary Quant, the widely acknowledged “mother of the miniskirt.” In the bob style he perfected for Quant — who wanted her models’ necks and shoulders bare — Mr. Sassoon crafted a look that was tight at the nape but allowed the hair to fall in a flirty, bohemian cascade.
The “Sassoon bob” became the rage of Swinging London and one of the most enduring hairstyles of the last half-century. Variations on the bob included the popular “five-point” cut first modelled in 1963 by Grace Coddington.
Subsequent hairstyles he promoted included an asymmetrical, peek-a-boo bob and a short, closely curled look called the “greek goddess.”
Mr. Sassoon’s services were requested by prominent high-fashion models, including the sisters Suzy Parker and Dorian Leigh, socialites such as Lee Radziwill, and movie stars such as Nancy Kwan and Mia Farrow, for whom he designed a pixie-like hairstyle for her career-making performance in Roman Polanski’s modern gothic horror film “Rosemary’s Baby” (1968).