This is the conundrum that is Trevor Sorbie, born in Paisley in 1949, the son and grandson of barbers, who dropped out of school at 15 and who dreamed of becoming a famous artist.
On the one hand, he is revered by his peers in the international hairdressing and fashion scene as probably the greatest hairdresser in the world. Since the early 1970s, when he was Artistic Director at Vidal Sassoon, his pioneering techniques and cuts (like The Wedge, The Chop, The Scrunch) have defined the avant-garde "look" in hair around the globe over almost three decades.
They have become, quite simply, classics and have made Trevor Sorbie a hero amongst hairdressers. As a style pioneer, he has worked with the best photographers to create stunning images that elevate hairdressing to an art form - as is clearly demonstrated in the recently published book and tribute his works, "Visions in Hair", compiled by his wife Kris and journalist, Jacki Wadeson.
Constantly at the cutting edge, he mounts spellbinding shows and here - as well as in his many TV appearances - his natural charm, humour, eloquence and showmanship shine through. And yet there is another side to Trevor Sorbie. He is disarmingly honest, straightforward and "unshowy" when you meet him in person. Although he is always driven by his creative energy to break down barriers and leave his mark, and has won every leading industry award (including four times British Hairdresser of the Year - an achievement unmatched by any other hairdresser), he talks about his work with great humility.
No one was more astonished than he when he was asked to speak at the Oxford Union, treading in the hallowed footsteps of world leaders and Nobel Peace Prizewinners.
At his new Covent Garden salon (27 Floral Street, London WC2) Trevor still only charges £125 for a hairdo (while appointments with many leading hairdressers would set you back at least twice that amount). This is because his philosophy is that, while he greatly values his celebrity clientele, and his artistic work is his abiding passion, he also wants to create wonderfully wearable styles for ordinary men and women, He calls it "real hair, for real people".
Of course, at times this means a wait of several months for an appointment with Trevor Sorbie himself, but a wait his devotees think is more than worthwhile.
However, at the salon there is also a tremendously talented team working alongside Trevor who share his philosophy and approach to the art of hairdressing.
Further evidence of his mission to bring his expertise to consumers everywhere was the launch of his pioneering range of haircare products. The Trevor Sorbie brand was the first comprehensive designer range on the markets which could be bought in the high street across Britain.
The Trevor Sorbie Professional range led the way when it was first launched in the late 1980s for a host of other hairdresser brands which have become available in chemists, drugstores and supermarkets in the UK.
Based on superb ingredients, and Trevorís no-nonsense and authoritative approach, the Trevor Sorbie Professional brand has been so successful it has been launched in 11 countries.
Having spent at least half of his time over the last decade working and performing in the USA, Trevor has settled back in the UK full time - returned to his roots, so to speak.