'70s Disco Hairstyles

Written by nancy hayden
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'70s Disco Hairstyles
Afros were a big trend during the disco era. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

The 1970s began with very natural styles in hair and make-up, influenced by the hippie fashions of the late '60s. Long hair with no layers or styling was the look for many women and men. When disco came along in the second half of the decade, it ushered in not only new musical sounds, but fashions as well. A few hairstyles quickly became synonymous with the disco era.


The feathered style was made popular by "Charlie's Angels" star Farrah Fawcett. Hair was cut into layers, and the hair framing the face was curled with a round brush while blow drying, or with a large-barrel curling iron. The curls were brushed out enough to form "feathers" on the sides. Feathered hair was parted in the middle and many women wore it shoulder-length, but it was often seen in styles as short as chin-length. Both men and women feathered their hair in the '70s. Men combed it straight back on both sides, similar to John Travolta's "Saturday Night Fever" hairstyle.


The wedge hairstyle was also called the "Hamill Camel" in the '70s, and was named for Olympic ice skater, Dorothy Hamill. It was quite short, but still had swing and movement. It was a good cut for disco because it was worry-free during a night of dancing. It was vaguely shaped like a bowl cut, rounded in front along the forehead and on the sides. It differed from a bowl cut in the back because it was cut into a "V" shape, or wedge. Women sometimes curled their fringe and sides under with this look.


The shag was another cut worn by both men and women on the disco scene. It varied in lengths, but got its name because it was intended to be shaggy and messy, not overly styled. It was achieved by cutting many short layers into the top of the head and leaving a longer section at the bottom, below the ears. Actress Florence Henderson wore a shag on TV's "The Brady Bunch." Like the mullet which would come along in the '80s, the popularity of the style came from it having the ease of a short cut while maintaining length.


If any one haircut is most often associated with the world of disco, it is the afro. Both men and women, and people of all races wore afros. The style consisted of a large puffy ball of curly hair on top of the head. Those who did not have naturally curly hair got tight perms to achieve the afro look. Since it was nearly impossible to get a comb through an afro, people carried picks to pick the curls out and make the afro as big as possible.

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