John Sahag at work in September 2003.
06/15/2005 at 05:00 PM EDT
Celebrity hair designer John Sahag – who prepared such clients as Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Lopez , Sarah Jessica Parker and Drew Barrymore for their major magazine shoots – died of cancer on Wednesday, a representative tells PEOPLE. He was 51.
Born in Lebanon and raised in Sydney, Australia, Sahag set off for Paris at age 18 and soon received a credit in Italian Vogue. Over time, he would work with such internationally renowned photographers as Richard Avedon, Patrick Demarchelier, Helmut Newton, Irving Penn and Albert Watson.
He was also credited with giving actress Kirsten Dunst her famous five-inch cropped cut – a look he repeated on Maggie Gyllenhaal. Sahag also did Demi Moore's famous boy cut in 1990's Ghost.
"Cutting and shaping hair is a very personal and intimate experience for me," Shag once said. He opened his own New York salon, The John Sahag Workshop on Madison Avenue, in 1985 and launched his own product line in 1998.
Other famous heads he shaped included those on Gwyneth Paltrow, Courteney Cox Arquette, Gretchen Mol, Brooke Shields, Sandra Bullock, Winona Ryder and Bruce Springsteen.