Q: Do you have a detailed diagram for cutting the Hammil Wedge haircut from the 70s?
A: You’ll find what you’re looking for in the graphic below. The wedge cut is a classic short hair style that became very popular in
1976 when champion figure skater Dorothy Hamill sported it as she won the Olympic Gold Medal at the age of 19. After she won the
gold, Hamill became a highly sought-after spokeperson for endorsements. Her signature look became popular with young women across
the globe and soon the “Dorothy Hamill ‘Do’” could be found in nearly every neighborhood. Oddly enough, although Hamill’s signature
hairstyle is the wedge, the hairstyle evolved and has continued to remain popular.
Originally, Hamill’s “wedge” was more of a bowl cut, but gradually shortened into the wedge
haircut that most people associate with her. The cut features a strong weight line and shallow-angled layering underneath, which
creates a style with a lot of freedom and movement. It is a cut that must be done precisely to be most effective, but it works for
most hair types, except African-American or other very curly, kinky hair.
The wedge is one of the few hairstyles that can adapt to virtually any age group as well. As is
customary, many women adopt shorter and shorter hairstyles as they grow older, and the wedge generally works very well for most of
these women in spite of its initial popularity among – and being highly suited to - the very young.
To cut a proper wedge, section the hair, leaving down a ½-inch perimeter and whatever shape of
bangs area you desire. Cut the bangs to the desired length, and cut a guide in the back to the desired length. Cut the outline of
the bottom edge of the hair cut as desired working first from back to front on one side, then the other. Next let down the hair and
comb it down with a center parting. Carefully cut the guide for your weight line, which generally curves from the bangs area to the
occipital bone in the back of the head. Once the weight line is established, comb out thin vertical slices of the hair and raise
the hair to a 90-degree elevation. Cut the hair at an angle from the perimeter length to the weight line. Start in the center back
and work forward on each side.
Once completed cross-check the cut by combing out sections horizontally and look for mismatched
lengths. (See the graphic for the cutting diagram showing the elevation and cutting angle to be used.)