Despite early ambitions to be a doctor, John Frieda persuaded his hairdresser father to let him leave school at 16 to follow in his footsteps. This was at the height of the swinging sixties and John landed himself a position as a junior for the legendary Leonard.
Almost from day one, John was assisting Leonard on photo shoots for Vogue, working with top photographers David Bailey, Barry Lategen and Clive Arrowsmith. Before long, the magazines began booking John Frieda himself to style the hair of everyone from Twiggy to Jackie Kennedy.
In 1975, he opened a flagship salon on New Cavendish Street in London’s West End, and the following year, he created the cut that made his name: Joanna Lumley’s sleek pageboy bob, for The New Avengers, which triggered an epidemic of Purdey-mania that swept the UK.
But it is perhaps for his consumer product range that John is most well-known by the general public, making him a major brand name. It was in 1988, now with three salons to his name, that John launched the first premium professional haircare range to the masses. In 1990, John Frieda’s Frizz-Ease line debuted in the US, and during 2010, one bottle of Frizz-Ease was sold every 16 seconds in the UK. In September 2002, the John Frieda product empire was sold to the Japanese Kao Corporation.
John Frieda retains his salon empire both in the UK and the US while creating and communicating the haircare innovations that carry his name.