Katherine Lanpher: Before the news of Michael Jackson’s death hit the nation, we were already mourning another cultural star.
Listener [on tape]: And on a different note, also Farrah Fawcett passed away and it’s a shame that it’s being eclipsed by Michael Jackson. But she was also a phenomenal woman and I hope that’s acknowledged today.
Katherine Lanpher: We’re going to do our best. The actress Farrah Fawcett passed away yesterday afternoon after a long battle with cancer. She had a face that launched a million lunchboxes, a smile that launched 12 million posters (and if you’re of a certain age, you remember that poster in the dorm room). And a haircut that has inspired generations of 'dos. Joining me this morning is April Barton. She is a celebrity hairstylist and owner of the salon Suite 303 in the Chelsea Hotel here in New York. Alright, not that anyone could ever forget Farrah’s hair, but could you describe what Farrah’s hairstyle was? What’s it called? What’s its impact?
April Barton: Oh the Farrah. Good morning, everybody. Farrah Fawcett the legendary, legendary fashion icon. The smile that would just ice over the world. The legendary haircut of Farrah Fawcett. She had naturally curly hair. And at that time I believe it was Jose Eber, a French hairstylist, you know he didn’t have a celebrity following. She was his first and he was pursued by Saudi Arabian women, and Beverly Hills, and "We want the Farrah Fawcett!"
Katherine Lanpher: I love the fact that when you see a picture of her, you instantly see an entire history of hair.
April Barton: Yeah.
Katherine Lanpher: Now when I look at a picture of Farrah Fawcett I think of generations of women who ended up getting that funny little flip that they did with the curling iron, the bangs, which was sort of the low-rent approximation of the Farrah 'do. So explain to me the good that Farrah’s hair did for a nation of hairdos.
April Barton: The nation of the hair. She had naturally curly hair so it wasn’t like somebody with light fine hair doing this big blowout. That was the minimal that her hair would do, given, I believe that she possibly tried to fit in with the other girls on Charlie’s Angels. She had to blend and by blowing out her hair she ended up being the biggest, and the baddest, and the most popular of the Charlie’s Angels due to that hair.
Katherine Lanpher: Now what did her looks say about her? What was the message that she gave off with her hair and that smile and also the fact that she was in shape?
April Barton: Sexy, confident, comfortable in her own skin. Even her hairdresser gave the credit to her. The way that she smiled, the way that she moved, the way she was so free and confident and free with her hair.
Katherine Lanpher: What was it about her hair that made so many women want to just do it? When, let’s get real, even if you give yourself the bangs you’re not going to look like Farrah Fawcett.
April Barton: Exactly, that’s why I have to say that’s what I do for a living and it’s really external. It’s what you see. But I’ve got to tell you it’s from within. If someone really feels confident, it portrays on the outside.
Katherine Lanpher: Okay. In the short time that we have remaining, you walk down on the streets of America, what vestiges of Farrah’s hair do you see?
April Barton: You always see a little Farrah in somebody. Even in the middle of a blowout, you’ll be like “that’s very Farrah” and then it takes one twist for a change and it’s out of the Farrah and into something different or contemporary.
Katherine Lanpher: You talked about the internal, again we have a few seconds here, but we’re talking about her hair, but we‘re really talking about something a little deeper here.
April Barton: Ya. It is. It’s her beauty on the inside. I mean, I think any hairstyle that she would’ve worn would have probably taken off because she was so magnetic and had so much to share.
Katherine Lanpher: April, thank you so much. April Barton, celebrity hairstylist. And rest in peace, Farrah Fawcett.