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Celebrity hairdresser Ayo Laguda's death in Margate unexplained

By Jodie Nesling

A celebrity hairdresser who once cut the hair of Princess Diana died at home for reasons unknown, an inquest was told.

Ayo Laguda of Wellesley Road in Margate enjoyed a successful career as a stylist which saw him tend the locks of Sade, Cara Delevingne and Erin O'Connor.

He is said to be the first person of colour to cut a member of the Royal family's hair but friends say he was modest about his career.

Ayo Laguda was a much loved member of the community (4315425)
Ayo Laguda was a much loved member of the community (4315425)

The 59-year-old moved to Margate for a "quieter life" although he had friends all over.

His sister, Maria O'Malley, she had planned to travel from her home in the Wirral to visit him over the summer and before his death had spoken to him three weeks before.

He was in the process of renovating his property and also worked for the University of London as a lecturer so was often in contact with people.

The father-of-one was a regular at Cliffs coffee shop in Northdown Road and would often chat to his neighbours.

Ayo gets the thumbs up at Cliffs (4315419)
Ayo gets the thumbs up at Cliffs (4315419)

After not hearing from him for more than a week, best friend Millie Kendall raised the alarm.

They would usually text each other every day and he last messaged his daughter ten days before he was found.

PC Mams told the hearing he arrived at the address on the evening of March 28 and and knocked on the door; after not hearing a response they forced their way into the house and discovered him upstairs in bed and unresponsive.

Mr Laguda had been on medication for high blood pressure, depression and high cholesterol but a post mortem examination did not reveal any signs of heart disease and the cause of death was recorded as unascertained. There was a family history of cardiovascular illness after his father died at 40 of a heart attack.

Ayo wirh Cara Delevingne (4315423)
Ayo wirh Cara Delevingne (4315423)

In evidence read out at Canterbury Magistrates Court it was also revealed his London GP had been written to Mr Laguda on a number of occasions in order to review his medication and health but he failed to follow up with an appointment.

Following his death friends of the stylist paid tribute to him. Ed Warren who owns Cliffs, posted on Facebook: "The best thing about having our shop is getting to know all the great people who come in and hang out every day. The worst thing is when we lose one too soon. This guy will be greatly missed, specially by my kid. Love ya Ayo."

The shop also posted a touching Facebook post: "We’re terribly saddened to learn about the passing of Ayo, a regular here at Cliffs and I’m sure all over town. Such a warm, kind, intelligent and funny man, and very modest. He could’ve easily talked about how he was the first person of colour to style a member of the royal family, or how he cut Sade’s hair for decades, amongst his other achievements.

"He loved his black americanos and talking about music and playing with my kid. Google ‘Ayo Laguda’ next chance you get and read up on how big in the game he was. And then take the time to get to know someone who has a story to tell."

Assistant coroner James Dillon concluded a narrative verdict. He said: "He was found deceased at his home address of 17, Wellesley Road, Margate on March 29.

"Police found him in bed following a concern for welfare check, he had not been seen or spoken to in over a week. A post mortem examination was unable to ascertain the cause."

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