Through the 1960s and 1970s, Sassoon expanded his empire with salons in European and U.S. cities. He also launched product lines in England and the U.S.
After years of 60-hour workweeks, Sassoon said he was ready for a change. He sold his European salons and teaching academies to several of his colleagues in 1979, and the U.S. salons and schools in 1983.
When he sold his hair-care product line to Richardson-Vicks in 1983, his company's annual revenues were a reported $110 million.
Procter & Gamble purchased the business in 1985, and Sassoon remained a consultant and spokesman until 2004. He had sued the company for failing to promote the product line to his standards, and the suit was settled out of court.
His first marriage, to a receptionist at his London salon, ended in divorce.
With his second wife, Adams, whom he married in 1967, he had four children, Catya, Elan, Eden and David. After the couple divorced in 1980, he was briefly married to Jeanette Hartford Davis. His daughter Catya died of a drug overdose in 2002.
Sassoon is survived by his wife of 20 years, Ronnie, three children and seven grandchildren.
In the 2011 documentary "Vidal Sassoon: The Movie," the stylist said: When "the doubters tell you it can't be done, nonsense. If you can get to the root of who you are, and make something happen from it ... you are going to surprise yourself."
Rourke is a former Times staff writer.
Times staff writer Valerie J. Nelson contributed to this report.