May 2001: Wonder of the Wedge

Only a few women have "single-headedly" started a hair fashion trend. Perhaps the most unlikely woman to do this was a quiet, modest figure skater from Chicago.

Dorothy Hamill gained national attention in 1976, when she won a gold medal at the Winter Olympics. She not only skated well, but she had a hairstyle that was a bit revolutionary for its time, yet flawless in its function. The wedge moved with her on the ice -- up and down, back and forth, this way and that. Yet the hairstyle kept snapping back into place, almost without any stray strands.

Within weeks, women worldwide wanted a wedge. The style faded from popularity in the West after a few years -- but 25 years after its initial fame, it's recently shown signs of a comeback, so we decided to examine how this amazing cut works.

The photo above is a good example of the style at its best: neck-length at the back, but deceptively long-looking in the front. The closest hair to the eyes is cut at an angle, so the strands progressively become longer -- from perhaps one-inch long around the eyes, to full length near the ears.

In her book, "On and Off the Ice," Dorothy Hamill tells of her long search to find a stylist who could keep a skater's very fine hair out of her eyes. (Curiously, the photos from her youth in that book show her hair so short that it's hard to believe it ever fell.) Hamill's hunt finally ended with New York's "Suga," whom she says found a way to keep the stray strands away. As you might expect from someone with Super-Hair, Hamill's book never reveals exactly what that way was.


Dorothy Hamill Bankruptcy History: Tough Lessons and Financial Mistakes>

Hamill Files for Bankruptcy | Financial Regrets | Bankruptcy Attorney Columbus

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July 2000: Turn of the Pageboy

February 2000: Sweeping Side-part

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