What Is a Wedge Haircut?

Angela Bassett shows off a wedge 'do at "The Mountaintop" after party, in New York City.

Photo: Andy Kropa/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

If you crave the brash, confident vibes of a short haircut, but want the sexy volume of a longer 'do, the wedge haircut might make a perfect compromise. Add edginess with an asymmetrical, modern wedge or keep your style classic and professional. Wedges need styling to wear well, but they flatter a wide range of faces and hair textures.


The wedge cut burst onto the hair styling scene in the 1970s, thanks to U.S. figure skater Dorothy Hamill. When teenager Hamill won Olympic gold, the haircut became an overnight sensation. While historical, the wedge has continued to be a relevant hairstyle. It's best suited for medium-length hair, falling between the ears and the chin.


The wedge gives your hair swingy style. Shallow layering beneath the main cut line leaves you with movement and dimension. In basic shape, the wedge looks like a volume-rich bob, with more of an angle than the generally straight-on bob. Wedge cuts can feature full bangs, side fringe or no bangs to show off your face shape.

Hair Types

This cut transcends age, flattering both young and adult women. Additionally, wedge cuts work well for waves and straight hair. They generally look less flattering on natural African-American hair, with its bold texture, and other really curly tresses. A wedge helps manage thick hair, but fine-haired women can pull off this style, too. Divas with relaxed hair can rock this 'do, as Angela Bassett proves. Choose from a classic wedge, which has a bowl-cut shape, or a modernized wedge, which features greater angles, movement and layering.

Styling Tips

This is a medium maintenance 'do, definitely not wash-and-wear. To shape your wedge, blow-dry with a paddle brush, curling the hair under or blowing it straight for an edgier appearance. If you have curls or waves, you can flat-iron your wedge to achieve a sleek look. Straight-haired women can curl the wedge for a wilder style. Use hair gel on damp locks to put the finishing touches on your hair.

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