Only a few hairstyles are so famous they are named after a celebrity — and the Farrah flip might be the most famous of them all.
Farrah Fawcett, 62, who died Thursday after a three-year battle with cancer, influenced a generation with a feathered blonde mop that appeared for one season during her run on “Charlie’s Angels” in the Seventies. The hairstyle, it seems, has several fathers. Originally, it is said to be invented by L.A. hairdressers Allen Edwards and Hugh York, but José Eber played a role in maintaining the look. So who made the final cut?
Edwards said he is the true father of the Farrah cut and has newspaper pictures to prove it, although he noted because of Fawcett’s friendship with Eber, “she wanted him to have credit for it.” And for a while, Edwards added, he was so sick of the hairstyle that he tried to refuse when clients asked for it.
But the hairstyle wouldn’t go away, Edwards said, because it opened up the face to enhance women’s features. “In those days, in the Sixties and Seventies, most haircuts were short,” he said. “This was really the first creative haircut for long hair. Women all over the world with long hair had someone to relate to in Farrah.”
Fawcett’s lustrous locks had consumers — and hair care brands — swooning. Over the years, Fawcett promoted Wella Balsam, Head & Shoulders and a namesake hair care line by Fabergé. Consumers rushed to hair aisles to pick up curling irons and hot curlers to replicate the look.
“I was in high school and every high school girl had that hair cut,” remembers Scott Cox, president and chief executive officer of Ghd Professional North America, a maker of heat appliances. “Across the U.S., it influenced every high schooler there was.”
Hairstylist Kim Vo, who works on Fawcett’s “Charlie’s Angel” co-star Jaclyn Smith’s hair, called the Farrah ’do “iconic.”
“We all had the poster, which showcased her stunning locks. Farrah defined the feathered look and her influence is still relevant in today’s modern hair world. Clients still ask for the ‘Farrah Fawcett’ color and style, and we all know exactly what they are referring to. Farrah’s highlights were golden and sun-kissed. Natural and free was her signature.”
Stylist Tommy Buckett, who works out of the Sally Hershberger Salon Downtown in New York, said, “Her hair on the show was its own character. It had movement and a life of its own. It was the first time we were seeing hair off the face.” He continued, “This was also the first time feathered hair was introduced and opened up other doorways to Joan Jett’s feathery mullet along with other styles. It was also a different way of styling hair, instead of setting hair, women were blow-drying it with a feathered brush.”
While there is much debate surrounding the origins of the Farrah cut, East Coast hairstylist Edward Tricomi said the cut actually derived in Paris by Jean Louis David in the very early Seventies, prior to Fawcett’s rising star.
“He was working on a Forties-inspired flip for a photo shoot,” said Tricomi, and eventually, “the hairstyle worked its way to New York, where it started appearing on the cover of Cosmopolitan, and then it travelled to Los Angeles.”
There is no doubt, though, that Fawcett brought the cut to the masses.
“When sexy really came in, she was there. People wanted to be sexual and she brought it. She embodied sexiness in the Seventies,” said Tricomi, who added that “she was a really nice girl. Never had a complaint or an attitude. She was a pleasure to work with.”