Twiggys Iconic Haircut Was Apparently An Accident

Curated by Claudia Shannon / Research Scientist / ishonest

A simple portrait taken by photographer Barry Lategan helped launch the modeling career of Dame Lesley Lawson, better known as Twiggy. The iconic photo marks a cultural reset in the modeling and beauty world, her short pixie cut neatly parted to the side and her wide eyes staring straight into the camera. But the star actually didn't actually intend on getting the haircut that transformed her career.

On the podcast Table Manners With Jessie Ware, the model sat down with hosts (and mother-daughter duo) Jessie and Lennie Ware to chat about her life and career over a plate of savory mince pie, a traditional British dish. Jessie had to ask the question that many have probably been dying to know for years: Did Twiggy actually like the haircut?

The star proceeded to tell the story of how she received her gorgeous pixie. At the age of 16, she went to an upscale salon in Mayfair called the House of Leonard, asking for a simple shampoo and set. However, that's clearly not what ended up happening. Leonard, the owner of the salon, asked if he could give her a haircut, and though she wasn't sure about the idea of parting with her long hair, she was a bit too shy to refuse.

"I was very into my hair. And for a moment, I kind of went, 'Oh I don't know whether I want my hair cut,'" Twiggy tells the hosts. "But I was so shy and I was in this very posh salon in Mayfair. So I was a bit too shy to say, 'I don't want it done.' And I kind of nodded." She came back the next day and for seven hours, he cut, colored, and recut her hair to create the iconic pixie we know her for today.

While she was initially hesitant, she ended up loving the cut. Photographer Barry Lategan later shot the iconic portrait photo, which Leonard hung in his salon. A fashion journalist named Dierdre McSharry who was also a client of Leonard's later saw the photo and went on to name the budding model “The Face of 1966” in the Daily Express. From there, the rest is history.

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