Royal hairstylist making waves

December 26, 1990|By Joy Haenlein | Joy Haenlein,The Stamford Advocate

In the hair-raising world of John Frieda, the scissors are mightier than the throne.

Although he is a British citizen, celebrity hair stylist Frieda said that he is so busy building his salon and hair-care-product empire that even Princess Diana and the Duchess of York, "Fergie," can't get in to see him.

"You can't do it all," says Frieda. "With the Duchess of York and Princess Diana, it's a full-time job doing their hair. You have to be there all the time."

So Frieda, a 39-year-old with rock-star glamorous looks and a warm smile, said that the royals do like his other clients. They have an associate from one of Frieda's three signature salons in London, or at the salon in Manhattan, shear their locks. In New York, prices range from $60 to $100 for a haircut and blow dry.

"What has happened is that I have managed to persuade clients to go to other people," said Frieda, when asked how he fits hair appointments with Bianca or Mick Jagger, Jerry Hall, Paul and Linda McCartney and other stars into his hectic schedule. "They know they can't get me all the time" (and when they do, they pay from $200 for a cut and blow dry).

"Although I'm not spending much time in the salon, I'm spending time in the studio with magazine and television, and working with people on ideas," said Frieda, who created the famed Princess Di haircut everyone wanted during the early '80s. "But I never wanted to go that (hair-stylist-to-the-stars) route.

"Fashion today is people understanding who they are and what they want to be," Frieda said. "They're adapting looks that are not so much fashion, but right for the shape of their face and how they see themselves. In the '90s, people aren't going to be clones."

In such a climate, Frieda's strong suit is that he can size up clients' needs quickly. Although he said that he can cut and blow dry with the best of them, dramatic styling details are Frieda's real strength an attribute that makes him the picture-perfect candidate for photo shoots with royalty, celebrities and other occasions when a simple pony tail just won't do.

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