Mens' Hairstyles from the 1940s

Updated June 13, 2017

The Second World War had an impact on almost every aspect of life, and that includes hairstyles. For men in the 1940s this generally meant a short, sleek, functional look, says the Beauty and the Bath website. But there were a range of different styles within those basic parameters.


No matter what hairstyle a man chose, it always started by being short in the 1940s, says Going to the barber for a shave and haircut was part of every gentleman's grooming routine, and if the hairline crept anywhere near your collar at the back, it was high time for a trim.

Crew Cut

This hairstyle was de rigeur for American soldiers during the Second World War because the close-shaved cut was believed to be hygienic on the battlefield, says Stephen Talty on the New York Times website. This style also became part of a soldier's identity, clearly marking him out as a brave warrior who was fighting for his country.

Side Part

Men who weren't fighting in the war took their hairstyle cues from the silver screen, where Clark Gable and Cary Grant were sporting a sleek, side-parted look, says HairStyles Blog. The hair was kept shortest at the back and sides, with a little extra length on top and a definite side part..

Combed Back

For this look, the hair was again cut quite short on the sides and back, but kept a bit longer on top. This allowed for it to be swept back from the forehead and over the crown of the head, where it was held in place with hair grease or Vaseline.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Jessica began her writing career in 1995 and is Senior Editor at a London communications agency, where she writes and edits corporate publications covering health, I.T., banking and finance. Jessica has also written for consumer magazines including "Cosmopolitan" and travel, home/lifestyle and bridal titles. Jessica holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature and journalism from the University of Queensland.