home about youtube links contact
"I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing...kissing a lot. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls."
Audrey Hepburn


Friday, July 17, 2009

The 'Middy' Haircut

The Middy Haircut was a staple of the 1940's. It was an economical haircut that spoke of the times and the country's adaptation to the wartime cause. Ivan Anderson, a prominent hairstylist for Warner Brothers Studios, was the creator of the cut. He realized the need for a haircut that provided a good basis for the elaborate hairstyles of the time, without showing disregard for the war effort and the world's need for simplicity. Thus 'the middy' was born. It is a layered cut that creates a rounded shape and a proper showcase for the curled sets that were so indicative of Hollywood Glamour in the 40's.

My hair has lately been in a modified middy, which means it doesnt follow a diagram to the letter, but it does work for the vintage hairstyles I love. I usually just tell my stylist to cut my hair the same length all over...sometimes seven, sometimes ten inch layers. However, today I decided to put my trusty scissor-girl to the test by actually giving her a vintage middy diagram and putting her to work. She did a fantastic job. I opted for the "middy-long" which is six inches at its longest point (the lowest nape area) and isn't 'long' at all. But it will look great w/ many of the shorter vintage styles I've been trying to replicate.

So those of you who eye these diagrams and feel they look too complicated....or those who take the diagram to a stylist who says that is 'impossible'...DON'T BELIEVE IT. According to the owner of the small-town Salon I visited, this is standard 'beauty-school' stuff and anyone who WANTS to, can do it.

The middy is still going strong!

21 comments:

Vintage Mama said...

I can't wait to see the cut! I'm due for a trim this week and I've been debating on whether or not I should take the plunge and get the middy. I have a bun in the oven due any day now so I'm kinda' scared that I won't have the time to style it and end up walking around lookin' like a scare crow! Glamour is worth the effort...I just don't know if I'll have that "extra" effort left in me!

hannahbelle said...

Excellent!
Any way we could get the image in a bigger size? :)

Gingeyginge said...

Love your post's and tutorial's

Jessica Cangiano said...

How very useful, thank you for posting this terrific diagram. I'm bookmarking it instantly and will be including a link to this post in my weekly link roundup this weekend.


Wishing you a stellar weekend,
♥ Jessica

A_Osserman said...

Thank you so much for posting this diagram!! I was talking to my girlfriend yesterday about how I wish there was a basic haircut for the vintage styles and you posted this! I can't wait to get it done! Thank you!

jewlover2 said...

This diagram is not really the best for a stylist. Check out my video for more info...available today. :)

Jillian said...

Is there any way that you can post a larger picture of this diagram? My hairstylist is from Russia--and went to beauty school there--so I'm not sure if she will know how to do this cut or not.....

Thank you so much!! Your site rocks!

Sharon said...

Hi there, I'm keen to get my hair cut into a middy so I can do some basic '40s styles - I was wondering if you know if the middy is also suitable for some basic 1930s styles?

I'm keen to be able to do some quick curls and come up with a 'do like the one Jessica Biel sports in the movie 'Easy Virtue' - see http://www.collider.com/wp-content/image-base/Movies/E/Easy_Virtue/Easy%20Virtue%20movie%20image%20Jessica%20Biel%20and%20Ben%20Barnes%20%282%29.jpg

or Ginger Rogers in Follow the Fleet - see http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_WgEseLrtwBE/SnDUYi9SXfI/AAAAAAAABAI/WxgpRGkec04/s400/fred-astaire-ginger-rogers-follow-fleet-promo.jpg

Would a middy be suitable to pull off these looks?? Thanks for any input/advice!

jewlover2 said...

Sharon, yes it will work fine for 1930's styles like the ones you mentioned. You might want to stick to one of the shorter length middy options though. Thanks!

Lacy said...

My hair falls just below my ears and above my shoulders and it very fine, could I get a middy or is there a certain starting length that is best?

Lindsey said...

I asked my stylist if she has heard if the Middy hair cut and she said no. :( I was disappointed and didn't know if she really knew or not. Would she be able to look at the diagram a do the cut?

jewlover2 said...

She probably has not heard of it, Lindsey. You'll have to show her the diagram. And yes, she is capable of following it, if she went to hair school. ;-)

Morgyn said...

I brought a hair diagram of a middy and my stylist couldn't do it. :(

jewlover2 said...

Morgyn, then you need to find a stylist who can. This is basic stuff...if your stylist claims she 'can't' do it, she really just didnt want to.

carrie sue said...

How long does it take to get the same curls as the middy that Jessica Biel is sporting in Easy Virtue? I don't have a ton of time in the morning. Plus...I have super fine hair that doesn't hold curl for very long..any tips?

zelaznyfan72 said...

I'm going for more of an Ava Gardner look for my prom hairstyle, and I was wondering what to tell my hairstyle, length-wise, as well as how to do the layers...?

Taryn said...

i've watched, i think, every video you've posted on youtube. they're great, you're style is great, thanks for making it easy for the less skilled out there :)

Shannon said...

Thanks for the advice. I even took a screen capture of what you looked like after your middy cut and she argued with me that "it wasn't the same thing." She gave me something but it didn't seem right. Didn't set right. So I went home and found a way to do it at home. It's frustrating to find someone that I will trust to cut my hair now.

Hannah Grace said...

Thank you so much for posting this! I've been reading your blogs and have been following your Youtube channel for a while. You're amazing! I do have a question though. My hair is relatively long; half way to my elbows. I like my length, but I've been eyeing the 'middy' for a very long time now. But from what I've been reading the longest realistic 'middy' is 6 inches, am I correct? I wouldn't mind cutting my hair, but I have a feeling I will miss it if it's only barely at my shoulders. I would really like to get as close as I can to the real thing without modifying it too much and still keep a decent length. Is that even possible?

Lynn Brooks said...

I have to disagree on the statement "This is basic stuff...if your stylist claims she 'can't' do it, she really just didnt want to." I have been doing hair for 20 years, my cutting skills are excellent, but if a client brought me this diagram I would be confused as hell. This was not how layering was taught where I went to school, nor how i learned it. when I assisted at my first salon, or how Redken taught it when I learned thier cut tequniques as an educator. A visual learner may be able to figure it out, but not an audio or kinesthetic learner. Now if I had instructions with photos in a book or watched either a live or video demo, that is easier to understand. Although the woman in the video didn't show exactly how she was cutting your hair, I was able to get the gist that it's layered from the bottom up instead of the top down, that was helpfull.

jewlover2 said...

Lynn, while this may not have been the manner in which you were taught personally, I have it on good authority that most schools use a standard diagram like this to reference for instruction of layering. That is not to say that EVERY school uses basic diagrams that have been around since the 'invention' of the layered cut but no less than 10 personal friends who are licensed in your field have assured me that any skilled hair dresser can make sense of the diagram even if at first they are confused. I have had hair dressers respond to me in this way as well and I found that they simply weren't really looking closely at the text. It's actually quite clear. That said, I also have acknowledged in the above comments that this is not the ideal way to get your stylist on board and that there is a better way to explain it to them. I simply tell my stylist that I want my hair the same length all over. Problem solved.

Post a Comment