Evolution of men’s hair styles

Evolution of men’s hair styles

Some days it feels as though a specific hair style is everywhere you look one day and then is nowhere to be seen again the next. And most of the time that observation would be correct! Trends come and go and hair styles are no exception. How have times changed?

Let’s take a walk down the memory lane of the past seventy years and check out some popular hair styles of the past. We will take it strand by strand. Some are suave, some are stylin’, some are scruffy, and some are nothing short of cringeworthy.

The 50s and 60s

We will start off this list with an honorable mention of the 50s and 60s. This was right in the time that the world—and the men in it—tried to part ways with the conservative mindset that was rife in the World War II era. Men did away with the mandatory hairdos that conscription brought with it and opted instead for slicked back styles like the Ducktail, also known as D.A., and the Pompadour that was made famous by the King himself. Sideburns started making a name for themselves and much of the styles we see today are inspired by the hairdos of this time.

Photo of Elvis Presley with a pompadour haircut

The 60s took over from the 50s and Elvis’ pompadour was replaced by The Beatles’ mop top as the band rose to popularity throughout the decade. Tidy, slicked back hair gave way to a messy fringe and hair down to the ears. Later on, the band’s haircuts became shaggier and now included sideburns. The hip men of the world followed the trends set by the Fab Four throughout their career as they continued to grow out their hair while supplementing it with mustaches and beards.

The 70s

Now let’s take a look at the 70s and all of the many styles that it brought with it. Some of the most popular styles, such as the Pompadour and the Ducktail, were tag-alongs from the 1960s while others were brand new. Gone were the days of short neat cuts and in its place were longer wilder styles that acted as a symbol of rebellion against the social norms of the past.

Photo of The Bee Gees with classic 70s haircuts

This was a time where all kinds of hair care products dominated the style scene. The mod haircut, the grown-out mullet, the afro and what was known only as the “Long and Luscious” kept barbers busy. Long sideburns were all but compulsory! But towards the end of this decade, short was back in style and many men sheared their manes for buzz cuts, crew cuts and shag styles. 

The 80s

Hair styles in the 1980s were a thing of sheer wonder; so much so that it’s hard to keep up when looking back. Jheri curls? Yes! Shaved heads? Check! Mullets? You betcha! Mohawk? Of course. Hi-top fades? You know it! If ever there was a time when men could express themselves and proudly boast their personality to the world it was the 1980s. The thick sideburns that the 70s brought with it were modified to be sleeker, shorter and neater.

Eriq La Salle with a Jheri curl in the movie "Coming to America"

Perms were the norm, hair gel was practically bought by the bucket, chemical treatments kept barbers in business and spiked hair styles came onto the scene. Bon Jovi, Motley Crue, Whitesnake and Michael Jackson were the OGs of the style scene and many looks were inspired by them.

The 90s

Fast forward to the nineties: long locks were still in style and the most popular variants of it were ponytails, long cornrows, surfer hair, and the curtained hair sported by the likes of Johnny Depp. Halfway through this decade, long locks were abandoned and frosted tips were their official replacement! The hair styles in this time were unlike any style of the past and men were seemingly encouraged to get really creative with their styling.

Young Will Smith with a flattop haircut as "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air"

Other than the frosted tips that this era is now known for, styles inspired by grunge music and TV shows were also incredibly popular. The most popular of which included the Kurt Cobain-inspired chin length long bob, the classic Fresh Prince flat top, and the infamous Caesar cut that was popularized by George Clooney.

Early to mid-2000s

The early to mid-2000s were an odd time in terms of the way men styled their hair and cared for it. It seems that most of the hair styles of this time were determined by what was seen on the big screen and people took their inspiration from reality TV stars, professional athletes and musicians.

Photo of a teenage Zac Efron with a shag haircut

It’s in this era that men once again became more liberal with their hair styles and either used copious amounts of hair balms and waxes or none at all. Pomade was especially popular in Britain where men opted for neat styles inspired by the 1950s. In this time, the most popular hair styles were undoubtedly the fauxhawk, the Justin Bieber-inspired mop top and the Guido blowout.   


Comb overs aside, the men’s hair styles of today are quite different from those of yesteryears. These days men can do pretty much whatever they want with their hair—both the hair on their heads and the hair on their faces—free from worry of being judged.

Jason Momoa with a beard and long tousled hair tied in a man bun

Long or short, coupled with a certain beard style or not, dyed or natural gents of today get away with almost any style. Fades are all the rage, top knots are here to stay, undercuts are ever popular, the bowl cut is popping up again and man buns seem to be slowly fading back into obscurity. For now…

We are not gonna lie, some of these styles are dope and wouldn’t look out of place on today’s streets while we are thankful others have remained firmly in the past. From the Jheri curls and mullets of way back when to the top knots and bowl cuts of today, men’s hair styles sure do look good while they evolve. What does tomorrow hold for men’s hair styles? Only time can tell. All we can tell you is that no matter where the future of men’s hair styles takes us, our styling products will adapt to it and keep you looking fly.