After serving in the Navy he attended beauty school much to the dismay of his mother. He worked hard climbing the ladder to success at Helena Rubenstein's Salon. That is where he was introduced to Jacqueline Kennedy in 1954. He created a whole new look for her with big rollers, thus her famous bouffant! He restored Marilyn Monroe's tresses with conditioning and soft waves. Lucille Ball named him "God". Other celebrity clients of Kenneth were Brooke Astor, Lee Radziwill, Katherine Hepburn, Judy Garland and many more! He served all the grande dames of Manhattan
He showed woman that bleaching, perms, and hairspray were unnecessary in achieving their final style. He went for a more romantic look and introduced more use of the roller set creating natural looking waves. His beauty parlor located at 19 East 54th Street was set up as a place for fun. Almost "club like" with a circus ambiance of wild colors and patterns, all the while serving tea and finger sandwiches.
Kenneth accompanied Marilyn Monroe to the movie set of "Some Like It Hot" starring Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis. He also groomed her coif for President Kennedy's rally in May 1962 at Madison Square Garden where she performed "Happy Birthday Mr. President ".
There is so much more to Kenneth Battelle's life as an inventor of modern hair. Humble as he spoke this line, "What I do," he said, "is only a shampoo away from being nothing".
I truly wish I could have shook his hand thanking him for making the cosmetology world a successful place to work for myself and my fellow cosmetologists.
Buona giornata and God bless the United States of America!
--Mary N. DiZazzo-Trumbull
Read prior weeks' "All That Zazz" columns at www.allthatzazz.com. Mary is a third-generation cosmetologist and a Massachusetts distributor of Kosmea brand rose hip oil products. She may be contacted at (978) 470-8183 or firstname.lastname@example.org.