Here’s how her hair pros created the look — including step-by-step diagrams!
The flap over Farrah Fawcett’s flip: The famous “Farrah” feathered long hairstyle (1977)
“The thing I like about her a lot is her hair.”
“Her hair gives the feeling of free.”
“I would want to touch it, so long as it doesn’t have hair spray on it.”
“Her hair doesn’t seem to be in place, but maybe it is.”
“Sometimes her hair looks fine, and sometimes it doesn’t do that much for you.”
“I think she’d look good without any hair at all.”
“I’m not particularly fond of all that hair. She would look better with a shorter haircut. Her hair is too bushy. It hides half of her face. She has a pretty face and it shouldn’t be hidden.”
There are lots of pretty girls. What makes Farrah Fawcett-Majors, one of the three stars of television’s “Charlie’s Angels,” so special?
There are all kinds of responses to that question, but a frequent answer in an informal poll of Orlando men was “Her hair.”
A Washington Post reporter wrote of her thick, tawny mane, “It cascades and tumbles to her shoulders like a waterfall straight out of ‘Bambi.'”
THAT MAY be carrying it a little far, but her hair is pretty. So pretty, in fact, that her hairstyle is being copied ad infinitum and a wig company has tried to entice her into lending her name (and hairstyle) to a wig.
And to help women trying to copy Farrah’s look, a nationally-distributed magazine will soon come out with a feature giving detailed information on how to achieve the Farrah coif. [See below for the hairstyle how-to.]
What is the secret to Farrah’s hair?
Bob Palmer, publicity agent for “Charlie’s Angels,” said in a recent telephone interview from his Los Angeles office that Farrah had created her own look.
DON’T MISS: See how vintage hot rollers like these helped make retro hairstyles happen
FARRAH FAWCETT’S HAIRSTYLE just “evolved,” he said. “It was her own idea. The cascading look is very much her own.”
She has worn her hair in that frothy mass of curls about four years.
Although Palmer isn’t minutely versed on the whys and wherefores of Farrah’s hair, he said she washes her naturally curly locks every morning.
Farrah goes to the “Angels” set with her hair damp, and Naomi Cavin, a hairdresser at ABC’s studios, blows it dry, and sets it on electric rollers. She also combs it out.
“Naomi (Ms. Cavin) knows how Farrah likes it. She helps her with it,” Palmer said.
MS. CAVIN frequently trims Farrah’s intricate cascade of bangs. They must always be perfectly shaped to assure that carefree look.
Although he’s not sure, Palmer said, “I don’t think it’s sticky with a lot of (hair) spray.”
But Farrah’s hair must be sprayed a little, to keep that cloud of tresses in an orderly manner of disarray as she moves in front of a camera.
Although Palmer’s job is selling Farrah, he himself sounded a little taken with her.
He said he doubts that her look is something that was calculated, because she’s just not that kind of person.
“She’s a very free and joyful person. She’s a very athletic girl. She plays a lot of tennis, volleyball, she can skateboard — she can do anything.”
And with such an active life, well, her hair just looks like that.
So far the Farrah flip hasn’t made much of a splash on New York streets, but she seems to have an army of imitators in the Middle West and South. The Crimpers salon in Chicago had to retrain its staff because of the demand.
SAID NANCY Carbone, educational director for both the Winter Park and Altamonte Springs Guys ‘n’ Dolls salons, “At least once a day, we have someone asking for the Farrah-Fawcett cut. Mostly, they’re the young girls — 18 to 25 years old — who want it because they already have long hair.”
At the Hair Parlor, Martie Schmidt gets an average of 10 requests a week for the style, but she said the shop fills only about two of those requests, because the look is difficult for most women to wear.
Said Gladys Marshall, supervisor of the Trimmers at Ivey’s Winter Park, “It’s had its mileage — it has been good for the last eight months, but has begun to decline since Christmas here and in Atlanta and Miami (two other areas she visits regularly). We still get a few requests for it from the younger kids.”
New York hairdressers are resisting the Farrah fad. The city’s trendsetting hair stylists avoid it, and think it’s dated.
STYLISTS POINT out that both Farrah’s look, as well as the curly look made popular by Barbra Streisand, are dated. But while the current trend to curly hair is an evolution of the hippie “naturals” of the 1960s, the Farrah mane is a copy of the Cinandre flip, which swept the country about seven years ago.
Andre Martheleur, who owns Cinandre, might be said to be prejudiced. He has done Barbra Streisand’s hair, but not Farrah’s. Kenneth Battele, who usually likes longish, loose hair, said that curly hair makes sense in some instances but that copying Farrah “may be leading a lot of women down the garden path.”
Farrah Fawcett’s famous hairstyle
“I call the Farrah Fawcett-Majors cut an ‘antigravity’ hairstyle,” said Chicago hairstylist Paul Glick. “It takes lightweight textured, thick hair that moves forward and backward.
“A qualified technician can tell if his client’s hair will move that way. But the woman who asks to have her hair styled that way will have to decide if she’s willing to control it every day. For some people, it may mean setting it in hot rollers twice a day.”
Keith Zenobia, artistic director of the Vidal Sassoon salon, advised anyone attempting to imitate Farrah’s hairstyle to keep in mind that “Farrah Fawcett-Majors is a beautiful woman, and would look good in a crew cut.
DON’T MISS: See 30 fab vintage blow dryers/handheld stylers from the ’70s & ’80s
“That’s not to say she has a bad haircut. I have no right to judge another’s work. But long hair is heavy. When you set it, you change its texture, in effect, and force it into place. We like to give a client a haircut that will do the work, rather than have the client have to work at it. With hair that is cut to the shoulder or above, more (styling) alternatives are available.”
“FACIAL FEATURES, size of forehead, and texture of hair have a great deal to do with whether the style succeeds,” said another Chicago hair stylist.
“Farrah Fawcett-Majors must have nearly twice as much hair as most other people. It also seems to be closely knit at the scalp and medium to coarse in texture.
“Fine hair set in that style would just flatten without constant maintenance. (The Crimpers suggest a body wave for a fine-haired client pining for the Farrah look.)
“But if a woman has her heart set on the Farrah style, he wouldn’t discourage her on a first appointment. By the next appointment, very often she will have decided to try a shorter style.”
Vintage actress Farrah Fawcett with Schick hair tools from 1970s
Barbra Streisand’s curly look is, by far, a more practical alternative. Curly hair has been around for three or four years. It spares the woman with naturally curly hair a lot of bother. She can wash it and towel-dry it instead of spending a lot of time trying to blow it straight. A look that’s that definite must be tiresome in the mirror.
However, it’s easy, and it’s understandable why some women want tight permanents, Andre said that, for Barbra Streisand, the frizz has given her a whole new outlook. Her hair is incredibly fine and straight, he said. ‘Now that she has a permanent, she can do it herself.”
Which is ironic, since she has Jon Peters, a former hairdresser, sharing her house. He apparently is tired of doing her hair: He called a California hairdresser for the original Strei- sand hairdo, then asked Andre to take over when she was in New York.
AS FOR FARRAH, many hairdressers are pleased that she may speed a trend to longer hair. They feel it’s on the way. But not with Farrah’s kind of chopping.
“That hair may look carefree,” said one hairdresser, “but … you know there was a hairdresser there five minutes before the picture was taken. You’ve got an extreme difference in lengths. And the growing out of that kind of hair would be awfully difficult.”
“Most people don’t understand what goes into that hairdo. It needs constant combing, hot rollers or electric ironing. No haircut in the world will make it stay that way. We’re trying to give women hair that’s easy to take care of. She’s a step back,” said another hairdresser.
Step-by-step: How to re-create Farrah Fawcett’s hairstyle (1977)
Does your husband sigh every time Farrah Fawcett-Majors tosses her head and her long tawny locks catch the breeze? Does your boyfriend make snide comments like, “How come you can’t fix your hair like hers?”
The flowing, blonde mane of Farrah Fawcett-Majors has become the envy of many women.
Farrah Fawcett-Majors caught the national eye because of her starring role this season in ABC’s “Charlie’s Angels,” but next year plans to quit the series to go it on her own with her “Six Million Dollar Man” husband Lee Majors.
IN CHICAGO, some stylists had special training sessions to acquaint their scissors with the short at the top, long at the bottom cut of Farrah’s style, and the setting required for it.
A Chicago stylist says the fashions “are not high fashion, but rather adaptations of former styles.” The long look has been around for 10 years, stylists say, and is now just a long version of the shag.
A director of a salon advises anyone attempting to imitate the Farrah hairstyle to keep in mind that Farrah is a beautiful woman who would look good in a crew cut.
FACIAL FEATURES, size of forehead and texture of hair have a great deal to do with whether a style succeeds, a stylist suggests.
Long hair, salon directors agree, is very heavy. When it is set, the texture is changed and, in effect, it is forced into place. Fine hair of any length in the free-style of Farrah’s, will just flatten without constant maintenance.
Farrah Fawcett was known as the ‘Wella Girl’ before Charlie’s Angels hit the tube, and she has been featured in countless advertisements and commercials for the firm’s Wella Balsam hair care products during the last three years.
“Bags of mail are brought in daily requesting directions on how to duplicate Farrah’s famous hairstyle,” says a Wella Corporation spokesman.
To answer the demand, the company’s prepared a booklet including a diagram of Farrah’s haircut to take to your favorite hairstylist, plus setting and comb-out directions that also can be followed at home.
Much of the secret to her hairstyle lies in the cutting, and it is suggested that if you want to make this hairdo a success it is suggested that you take the sketch of the haircut along with the directions to a beautician. Note that this kind of hairstyle works best on women with thicker hair with some natural curl or body.
Famous vintage favorite: How to get Farrah Fawcett’s hairstyle
To achieve the Farrah Fawcett-Majors hairdo, here are the directions.
The haircut is layered on long hair. To cut, start at the top and, holding hair straight up, cut to the desired length (about three inches). The cut is a slight variation of the gypsy cut, popular about five years ago.
Using this length as a guide, pull each section of hair straight up, measure the cut strands and snip off. You will note from the diagram that hair is almost at a 90-degree angle when it’s cut (see diagram).
Ms. Fawcett-Majors has a side part. To set the front curls off the forehead, set the top section of the hair in three big pin curls all going one direction. Or, use rollers for a different, smoother effect.
Farrah haircut is layered on long hair. To give the cut, start at the top and holding hair straight up. Cut to the desired length (about three inches). Using this length as a guide, pull each section of hair straight up, measure to the cut strands, and snip off. You will note from the diagram that-hair is almost at a 90-degree angle when it’s cut.
Set section of hair across the top in three big pincurls (you can vary the style by setting the top in rollers). Use the large 1-1/2-inch size rollers and set the sides going backwards. The crown, back and nape area rollers are all going down.
Take out the rollers and pin curls. Relax the setting pattern by brushing the hair into the desired lines. The top section is very lightly teased and smoothed into soft waves.
The hair on the sides and in the back is lightly teased close to the scalp to obtain a firm foundation. The ends are left free to form airy, bouncy waves and curls.
DON’T MISS: 1970s home perms: How women got those retro permed hairstyles
In the 70s, nearly every girl (and lots of the boys) had feathered hair if they could pull it off. The Farrah look was the Holy Grail of hairstyles, and it was what most people were going for. Of all the 70s looks, I hope this is one that eventually makes a comeback. :)