Kenneth Battelle, Marilyn Monroe’s hairdresser has revealed a detail, until now unknown, about the American star’s pubic hair
In 1958, when he was already a well-known hairdresser, Battelle received a call from Monroe. The actress sought the help of a professional to take care of her hair, which was falling due to various procedures done for her role in the film Some Like It Hot.
After their first meeting at Monroe’s New York apartment, the two started what would become a close working relationship and a strong friendship, The Daily Mail details.
A surprising event in his relationship with the actress took place in 1959, moments before the world premiere of Some Like It Hot. A film executive accidentally spilled champagne on the tight beige silk dress Monroe was wearing, exposing her body.
“You could see everything, like she was in a wet T-shirt. She was going to throw the mink coat over the stains for the press conference, but I told her that if she wasn’t changing her dress, she should at least put on some underwear”the hairdresser recalled in her biography.
Monroe rejected the idea, not wanting the lines of the lingerie to show through her dress. Battelle then suggested that she should bleach down under so that it wouldn’t show through the wet fabric of her clothing.
“So I went downstairs to the hotel drugstore and bought her powdered milk of magnesia, 20 per cent peroxide, and spirits of ammonia. It’s a very old formula for decolorising hair. I told her, “Now go in the bathroom and bleach [it].” Nothing showed through when they switched on those bright lights”writes Battelle.
Monroe was just one of many prestigious clients of the hairdresser, including First Lady Jackie Kennedy, actresses Judy Garland and Audrey Hepburn and Princess Margaret.
Considered by many to be the first celebrity hairdresser, Batelle died in 2013 at the age of 86 while working with writer Giuseppe Longo on his biography. With his notes and memories of people close to Batelle, the author wrote Shear Elegance, a book that tells the compelling story of the hairdresser and will be released shortly.