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The Ziggy Stardust
Costume Gallery

David Bowie at Earls Court (May 1973)

The Ziggy Stardust Haircut

"(The Ziggy cut) became to hairdressing in the early seventies, what the Lady Di cut was for the early eighties. Only with double the appeal, because it worked for both sexes." - Bowie (1993)

"The Ziggy Stardust cut is the only cool mullet that there's ever been." - Barney Hoskyns

"It was probably the most stylish hairstyle that any pop star's ever had. But mullet's a very pejorative word...and it wasn't a mullet." - Dylan Jones

"I had bright orange hair cut in the Bowie style. It got me into a lot of trouble with the school authorities...I was banned from school." - Steve Strange

"I cut my hair into a Bowie haircut and went from surfer girl to glam queen overnight" - Cherie Currie - lead singer of The Runaways.

"Bowie set a standard. Within weeks every boy under the age of twenty had that haircut." - Toyah Willcox

Central to the famous Ziggy Stardust haircut was Suzy Fussey, a hairdresser who worked opposite the Three Tuns in the Evelyn Paget (now Gigante) hair salon on Beckenham High Street and who gave Bowie his trademark Ziggy hair-style  - the famous bright red/orange mane. Fussey became Bowie and the group's full-time hairdresser and wardrobe assistant on the Ziggy Stardust Tours. She then became Mick Ronson's personal assistant and later married him. During the early Seventies Bowie's hair was long and blonde as seen on the album covers of THE MAN WHO SOLD THE WORLD (1970) and HUNKY DORY (1971). The transformation came in January 1972 when it was cut and styled into the famous Ziggy mane and dyed red. According to Angie Bowie - David suggested cutting his hair short and dyeing it red one morning during the recording of the Ziggy Stardust album.

The inspiration apparently came from a red spiky-haired mannequin that Bowie saw in a 1971 "Honey" magazine photographed by Masayoshi Sukita. On another occasion Bowie has stated that the haircut was based on the winged creatures in the film Jason and The Argonauts.

David says: "The Ziggy hair came lock, stock and curler, from the cover of a magazine and was sported by a model doing a shoot for Kansai Yamamoto's first London show. I couldn't afford the clothes but I could get the hair. Suzi did a straight forward copy. The cut and colour were both Kansai's - Schwartzkopf red was the colour. "I had her cut my hair short in early January 1972. No dye. Layed flatish. I believe that it went red and stood up between the 20th and 25th of January 1972, therefore that's when the Kansai show must have been given maximum press."

Angela bought hairdresser Suzi Fussey (later to marry Mick Ronson) from the Beckenham High Street Evelyn Paget salon to Haddon Hall on the pretext of cutting her own hair. Fussey was not impressed with Bowie's crop (just cut for the Ziggy Stardust album cover photos) believing it to be "too Rod Stewart".

The new look was a combination of three styles chosen from large number of Vogue magazines purchased and brought back to Haddon Hall. The pointy front was taken from a French Vogue, the side and back from two German Vogues. A decision was made to dye it red for greater effect. However, the next morning the creation had collapsed and Fussey was urgently summoned back to Haddon Hall for repairs. Further work by Fussey involved the use of a German hair dye (Red Hot Red) and peroxide to make it an orange/hot colour and a setting lotion to shape it. While Angie and Suzi were delighted with the result - Bowie remained wary until he received similar enthusiastic responses from friends and so the famous Ziggy haircut was born.

"When you've had red hair and no eyebrows you've got to have a sense of humour!" - Bowie (1993)

In Starzone Lindsay Kemp said with reference to the Ziggy haircut: "I picked up a tin of red spray paint and I sprayed his hair red and then they noticed" However, Kemp admitted later in a Crankin' Out interview that this was a naughty fib and not true at all! The Ziggy haircut featured on the BBC TV hit comedy programme The Good Life (1976) concerning do-it-yourself haircuts. In one scene, Tom Good suggests a hairstyle that his wife Barbara might try: "What about a David Bowie?" Barbara Good ran away...


By the end of his reign as Ziggy Stardust, Bowie needed to allow himself at least two hours before each performance to apply his stage makeup.  In Japan in April 1973, Bowie had even learnt Kabuki-style make-up techniques from one of the stars of Japanese theatre Tomasu Boru.

"David tells us that mostly all of his makeup comes from a little shop in Rome, Italy, that imports fantastic coloured powders and creams from India. (He's not telling the name of the store, however!!!) Basic essentials also include a white rice powder from Tokyo's Woolworth's equivalent - Indian kohl usually in black - for his eyes, which he smudges right along the lash line and sometimes a little bit on the outside. He also uses a very light liquid base, sometimes white - sometimes pink or yellow - and applies it with a damp sponge. For stage, David will often use an iridescent base, usually pure white. When he paints that gold circle on his forehead that's such a hit with his fans he uses a German gold base in cake form bought at New York's Makeup Centre. He also told us that the little Japanese brushes that the Makeup Centre has for applying powders and paints are much better than anything you can find in Japan.

Eight hour cream by Elizabeth Arden is what you'll see shining up David's lips and eyelids in photographs, it gives that extra-gloss effect. And a must is that old-fashioned black mascara, (sometimes blue) - you know the kind that you spit on the little brush and it's in cream/cake form... David will often paint waves of colour all the way across his eyes and eyebrows, rather than on the lids only usually in a pink or mauve tone. In his last few English concerts, Bowie painted tiny lightning streaks on his cheek and upper leg. Once in awhile he uses pearlized gloss on his lips in a tan/pink that comes across like a white-silver highlight. And - a warning! He doesn't use glitter too much, because it falls into his eyes when he's performing and it just isn't soft looking enough, he feels. Sometimes he will outline that gold circle in tiny gold rhinestones, stuck on with eyelash glue. As far as off-stage makeup is concerned, David doesn't wear any base- he uses a light natural moisturiser with rice powder dusted on top - but most often he prefers to show his very light, bare, clear English skin." - Mirabelle Magazine article (1973)

Bowie's personal make-up artist in 1973 was Pierre La Roche from The House of Arden. It was La Roche who applied the lightning bolt motif to Bowie's face for the ALADDIN SANE (1973) album cover photo and the astral sphere make-up on Bowie's forehead. For special performance and photo sessions he enlisted the aid of La Roche.

"He has a perfect face for makeup you see. He has even features, high cheekbones and a very good mouth.  I have to be careful though because his skin is very fine and some of the base powders I use are very strong.  They can make the face quite soft" - Pierre La Roche (1973)

---This page last modified: 10 Dec 2018---

Ziggy Stardust Scarf (1973)