RIP Kenneth Battelle! His Hairdressing Legacy Lives On


Kenneth Battelle–a/k/a just plain Kenneth (or “Mr. Kenneth”)–was so famous and coveted as a hair stylist that he did both Jackie Kennedy and the woman who was sleeping with her husband, Marilyn Monroe.

For Jackie, he used lots of rollers and created her famous bouffant which lengthened her head and balanced her cheekbones.

For Marilyn, he dealt with the problem that overbleaching and perming was making the starlet’s hair fall out to the point where she was on the road to playing Kojak.

Kenneth somehow managed to keep the hair in the follicles and even restored its soft, sexy luster, so Marilyn could still be Marilyn (while confiding to him that she was fearful of publicity, for obvious reasons at that time).

Kenneth just died at 86, “two years after he cut his last head of hair.”

The man was a genius–the Martha Stewart of hair–and when he put down his blowdryer, women around the world all started looking a little messier.

His remembrance in the Times (from which I borrowed the above observations) is lovely, but doesn’t happen to mention that he was a big old gay queen. Too obvious?