One would assume that David Bowie got his iconic Ziggy Stardust red-rooster haircut at some ultra-fashionable hair salon in London, but the real story is far more interesting—and charming.

In the early 1970s, while working as a hairstylist at a local salon in an unglamorous London neighborhood, Suzi Lussey met a Mrs. Jones, an older woman who came in for a weekly Thursday-afternoon shampoo. Jones often spoke glowingly of her son David, an artist who “sings in a band.” David, of course, turned out to be David Bowie, who had just had a massive pop hit with “Space Oddity.”

In time, Mrs. Jones finally introduced Suzi to her boy, who was looking for a dramatic new look. Bowie, who had long blond hair at the time, showed the hairdresser a photo in a magazine of a female model with short, spiked hair dyed red and asked if she could do the same for him.

“I thought to myself, it’s a woman’s hairstyle, how am I gonna do that!?” Lussey told the British Daily Mail. “But inside I was excited—it was a moment to be creative. Here I was with a fantastic-looking bloke with a long white neck and a beautiful face. I thought, if I can pull this off, he’s gonna look great! I looked and found the color—Red Hot Red with 30-volume peroxide to give it a little kick.”

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