Dorothy Hamill Hates Her Hair (The Uncut Interview Transcript)

America’s Sweetheart Uncensored


Q:First of all, you made a hairstyle famous, but you also made it cool for women to have a practical look that allowed for an active lifestyle. Looking back, how does that make you feel?

DH: It still surprises me because I always hated my short hair. My mother would run around the house with a comb trying to brush my hair and I never let her so that’s when she said, “ok, we’ll just keep it short” because I had tangled hair. I just find it really quite humorous that people copied my haircut, the haircut I had. As an athlete, skating all the time, being able to wash and wear hair was really important to me. I found I tried to grow my hair but for my life, it’s just not practical, having long hair. And of course, as we age, everything changes, the bones get a little stiffer, the skin changes, so trying to remain healthy and keep the great skin I had, trying to keep it hydrated and keep fit and eat properly, all of those things are some of the tips we’ve put together for this.
Q:DM: I certainly had your hairstyle in 1979, I loved it! I had images of being at the YMCA and a bunch of young girls my age, having their moms dry their hair under the hand dryer. As a fitness editor, I look back at that and say, “We were such Title IV girls.” We grew up playing sports and because we sort of had a different societal expectation than the readers of More magazine, because I’m a little younger than 40, I think you helped make it easier for women to work out publically, perhaps because they’re less concerned about messing up their hair or skin. I think you helped make it easier for women to work out publically, perhaps because they’re less concerned about messing up their hair or skin. Do you think women today are better equipped to deal with chapped skin and sweaty hair?
DH: Absolutely. There are wonderful products now so we don’t have to have chapped skin. But I think there’s something nice and very fresh looking about when you just come off of a work-out, whether it’s skating or basketball or tennis, or whatever sport, jogging, to sort of have this ready, sweaty messed-up look. We have things now that we didn’t have when I was a kid growing up. First of all, we didn’t have Title IV I know Peggy Fleming opened a lot of doors for me and hopefully I’ve opened a few doors for others.  Really, there’s nothing like seeing someone who’s just worked out and there’s no feeling like it in the world. As hard as it is to get out there and do it, it just feels so good once you’ve done it. Yeah, I think it’s okay for women to feel like that. Of course, I’m much older than you and more your demographic and I’m a subscriber, its great that your magazine provides all this information so we can be right up to date on everything that’s known and hopefully have healthier, longer, lives. Longer, but healthier as well.
Q: On a practical level, do you have any daily hair or skin related advice for women who exercise outside?
DH: Emphasis is on the sun block and we all know the damage sun does to skin – although we do need sun for vitamin D, which is necessary. I wash my hair everyday, I’m not sure if I’m supposed to but I do if I’m sweating. Moisturizing, keeping your skin dry so it doesn’t show all the cracks and wrinkles. Those are the basics. I wear a hat if I’m exercising outside. Those are the kind of things I do, but I think we all know now because we have access to that. Those are important things to do.

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