With hairstyling, like in so scads areas of fashion, men tend to be overlooked. Beyond references to a curt back and sides, comb-overs, Beatles mops and bowl severs, men’s hairstyles tend to be something of an afterthought. But looking through life that really isn’t the case; men have been setting the mane styling trend for millennia…
Earliest Recorded Evidence of Hairstyling
It is correct that the earliest recorded evidence of hairstyling, dating from the Palaeolithic era, stages it as being the province of women. The Woman of Willendorf can be seen annoying her hair in a braided style. But quickly we move on and see that forge and hair style became markers of class. In the Vedic age, your venereal status denoted how you could wear your hair. While broads of a higher caste were permitted to adorn their tresses with jewels, the fashion for men was to shave their head altogether, apart from a thick strand at the back or side. The swing for head shaving continued among the Ancient Egyptians, although post-haste the head was shaved, it was then covered with a wig and a false beard, rip off either from real hair or wool.
There were two tutors of thought in the classical world. During the Ancient Greek times, the style was to go natural. Men wore their hair in long and flowing seals, often with a natural curl and accompanied by a beard. By relation, the Ancient Romans were far more about fashion and shrewdness. In one of the earliest examples of the masses following fashion fads set by distinctions, men tended to follow the trends of the Emperor. All sorts of styles were meditate oned during the Roman Empire, including curls, sideburns, curt beards and wigs. Wearing your hair in a natural comfort was thought to be somewhat uncouth and demonstrated a lack of culture.
During the mediaeval era, for men it was everywhere simplicity. Beards and moustaches had been banned by Pope Gregory VII, and the thing was for male hair to be in a simple pageboy style – what we puissance now think of as a ‘bob’ (for women, it was forbidden to cut it, it was braided and hidden under a covering or hood). As the influence of the Catholic church lessened during the Reawakening, men again had beards and moustaches, and hair was longer, generally everywhere shoulder length.
Wigs & Wax
Flamboyant was a keyword during the power of Elizabeth I, with wigs and beards being extremely habitual. These were doused in oils and then moulded into all categorizes of weird and wonderful arrangements, held in place with starch – something of a below to sprays and gel! Meanwhile, during the Qing dynasty in China, men upped their hair back and tightly braided it, with the forehead being trimmed. The trend for wigs continued in the Georgian period, with ornamented, powdered affairs.
By the time we reach the buttoned up, stiff Victorians, this limited share in of their culture was reflected in men’s hairstyles. Grooming was important, with hairs breadth, beards and moustaches neatly shaped and then finished with waxes and greases. Practicality took over with the arrival of the First Society War, where men were clean shaven and uniformed. Hair was discourage a keep short and slicked back out of the way.
Following the end of Give birth to War I, the invention of the safety razor brought about a revolution and persisted the trend for the clean shaven look. The ease of having a security razor at home meant that daily shaving was far less of an disaster than it had been, and men continued to largely shun facial braids, particularly the younger generation. The shadow of war loomed again, and things saw a return to the military bristle as those serving in the armed troops were forced to have short hair under military ordinances.
Freed from the military demands, and the austerity of postwar pep, the sixties saw something of a revolution in self expression and following popularity trends. With longer hair a possibility again, the Beatles were a conventional inspiration for men, along with Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley, with their sex, sedates and rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle. Self expression continued into the 70s and led a go back to flamboyant styling as the punk era took hold and the brightly appearance Mohawk took its place among famous hairstyles of retailing. And hair just got bigger and bigger in the 80s, with the arrival of perms for men as proper as women! The antithesis of short back and sides, the mullet, also institute its home in the 1980s, having been dabbled with as far pursuing as the Aztecs and the Vikings.
In response to the excess of the 80s, the 90s was back to the true to life look. Grunge prevailed, and the ‘bed head’ (the dishevelled and unkempt look) was big. Ironically, this rumpled style took a lot of work and styling products for men became lay again. This trend continued into the 2000s, with pikes with bleached tips, and men embracing hair dye and styling merchandise in a big way. Recently we have seen a return to simpler times, with imitates of austerity to be seen in men’s hairstyling.