Male Hairstyles in the 20th century

Written by victoria thompson
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Male Hairstyles in the 20th century
Men's hairstyles were versatile throughout the 20th century. (Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

Twentieth century male hairstyles were influenced by cultural trends, political movements and celebrities. These styles represented various decades, and some have transitioned into the modern styles of today. Male hairstyles transcend age, class, race and have been made popular by some of the top celebrities in American culture.

Hi-Top Fade

The hi-top fade style was made popular in the late 1980s and early 1990s by the hip-hop generation. This haircut was worn by African-American youth and men. The hair was worn long and thick at the top with the sides either cut low or shaved completely. The hair's thickness faded from the top of the head to the nape of the neck.

Mop Top

The mop top got its name because it resembled a mop. It was also known as the Beatles' haircut, since this famous 1960s group sported and popularised mop tops in the United States. The haircut hung straight over the ears and formed fringe over the forehead. The hair was shaped into layers and left to hang near the collar. This style was best suited for straight hair.


The shag haircut was for any length of hair and was worn by men during the 1970s. The shag was formed by gradual layers that grazed the neckline. To get this style, the top layer of hair was cut and shaped first, followed by the shaping of the longer layers. The shag provided a "messy" look that fell back into shape easily.


Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra wore the pompadour in the 1950s. The pompadour could be styled with any length of hair. The sides were cut short or tapered back. The hair on top of the head was longer, combed back and slicked down with grease, which earned wearers the nickname "greasers."


The afro was a fashion and political symbol during the 1970s. It originated in the African-American community and expanded through other cultures. To achieve this look, hair was combed or picked out away from the head and then neatly patted into a rounded shape. Thicker, coarse hair was used to form the afro style.

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