How Barbra Streisand Inspired The Invention Of The Crimping Iron

Barbra Streisand has been rocking crimped hair off and on since the 70’s. Fun fact: The crimping iron was actually invented because of her! Stylist Geri Cusenza first had the idea for the crimping iron while working on Streisand’s April, 1975 Vogue issue photo shoot with photographer Francesco Scavullo. These photos were also used as the “Classical Barbra” (1976) album art.

Cusenza entered the 70’s determined to push things further and take a generation from flower power to fearless hair fashion. She and her husband John Sebastian were working at John Peter’s Beverly Hills salon at the time, and she assisted him on this shoot. Geri was reportedly frustrated after spending half a day laboring over dozens of tiny braids to create a crimped effect in Streisand’s hair, and sought a solution to make it go faster. This hair tool would soon become a game changer, and crimped hair became a worldwide trend in the mid eighties. Inspired by textile crimpers, the revolutionary crimping iron was presented to guests of the NY Beauty Show and sold millions in only two days. Crimped hair tends to return as a trend every decade or so, and is still used in many fashion shows due to it’s striking texture. Geri, along with her husband John Sebastian would go on to found the hair empire Sebastian Professional. They are also co-founders of The Rainforest Foundation along with Sting. 

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