The classic style that is conjured when you hear about the 1940s man includes a sharp suit and a fedora sitting atop an impeccable head of hair. In truth, this was indeed the goal with 1940s male hairstyle. Men wore their hair as neatly as possible and well-styled to complement the glamorous clothes of the day.
Although the classic male hairstyle in the 1940s was neat and tidy to fit beneath a hat, the common haircut was actually a bit long in certain areas. One of the hairstyles seen most often on the '40s man consisted of a neat, short cut above the ears and in the back, with the sides and top longer and slicked back. A man needed his hair to stay neat while putting on and removing a hat throughout the day. This longer, slicked back style held its neat look.
To Part or Not To Part
This slicked-back hairstyle was worn a few different ways by men in the 1940s. One trendy look was for men to comb their hair straight back, all over the head, with no part in their hair. This style was considered quite chic and was worn by glamorous Hollywood screen idols like Clark Gable. Other men preferred to part their hair -- and severe side parts were worn by many men. A part in a man's hair was usually definitive and neat, as opposed to the hair being merely swept to the side.
Another common hairstyle worn by men in the 1940s was the bowl cut. This style has developed the tongue-in-cheek name over the years due to the fact that it can be achieved by placing a bowl upside down on the man's head and cutting all of the hair off below the rim of the bowl. The bowl cut saw all of the hair shaved off below a line about a half inch to an inch above the man's ear. Above that line the hair was either layered or all one length and slicked back.
Short All Over
World War II was raging for the first half of the 1940s. Soldiers were required to have their hair cut severely short. This look also became a trend for men who were not serving in the military. Patriotism ran deep throughout the country during the war and the G.I. look of shaved hair left slightly longer than a buzz cut was considered dapper and masculine by many. This trend waned during the second half of the decade, when the boys returned from war and could grow their hair out a bit.