Victorian Men's Hairstyles

Everyday Victorian fashion was very formal, and men of every rank and class were expected to dress and groom themselves as gentlemen. While styles for hair atop a gentleman's head were similar, conservative and often hidden beneath a hat, Victorian men got creative by styling their sideburns, moustaches, and beards.


Men's hairstyles were conservative. Hair was kept short and styled with wax or oil and parted either at the side, slightly off-centre, or brushed straight back. Longer, unkempt hairstyles were generally looked down upon.


Sideburns were allowed to grow long and further down the face. Bushy "mutton-chops" were a popular style. Another was "Piccadilly weepers" (also known as Dundrearys), which were side-whiskers grown long and combed outwards. Sideburns could be worn with or without a moustache.


Moustache styles ranged widely. The "walrus" moustache was grown long and bushy, covering most of the lower part of the man's face. A "Kaiser," named after Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, was waxed and styled to turn up at the ends. Most moustaches were styled to compliment the gentleman's beard or sideburns.


Like moustaches, beards varied greatly in style. The "goatee," a thin and pointed beard extending down from a moustache and just covering the chin, was popular. The "fringe beard," another popular style in the 1850s and 1860s, extended down from the hairline and under the chin, and was often worn without a moustache. Some men grew longer, fuller beards which could be styled with wax. Others trimmed them short.

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About the Author

Robin Marx has worked as an editor and designer for numerous literary journals and presses since 1997. His work has appeared in "The Beloit Poetry Journal," "Elf: Eclectic Literary Forum" and others. He earned a Ph.D. in English with concentrations in poetry and creative writing from the University of North Texas.