1940's men's hairstyles

Written by lynn klein
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1940's men's hairstyles
In the 1940s, men's hairstyles tended to be short or shaved. (haircut art image by robert mobley from Fotolia.com)

Like most cultural trends in the 1940s, hairstyles of this era were heavily influenced by World War II and tended to be low-maintenance and practical. Many male haircuts at the time were dictated by military standards, which meant that hair had to be very short or shaved. For those men outside the military, hair was still worn short and mimicked the styles of cinematic stars, according to the HairCareResources website

Crew Cut

For men who were fighting in World War II, a crew cut hairstyle was common. With this style, hair is cropped or shaved very shortly on the sides of a man's head, but it is left slightly longer or tapered on the top of the head, especially toward the forehead.


Many soldiers in the 1940s also donned a flattop hairstyle. Like a crew cut, the sides of a man's head are shaved or tapered short, but the hair on the crown of his head is left longer so it can stand straight up and give a flat appearance. Variations of the cut depend on the sides of the hair. For example, if the sides go straight up, it is called a "boxy" flattop, or if the sides are contoured, it gives a more circular appearance and is called a "rounded" flattop.

1940's men's hairstyles
Hair is cut very short in the back for both crew cut and flat top styles. (young soldier in field cap image by Alexey Klementiev from Fotolia.com)

Side Part

For men who were not in the military and had the freedom to choose their hairstyles, the most common style was to cut hair short, usually above the ears, and part it on the side. This mimicked popular movie stars at the time, like Spencer Tracy and Humphrey Bogart.

Slicked Back

Men from the 1940s also liked to slick back their hair using vaseline, grease or lard, according to HairStyleTwist website. Men could achieve this look by growing out their fringe and then brushing them back, which sometimes resulted in a big wave on top of the head. Movie stars of the era like Clark Gable sported this look that left the forehead exposed.

1940's men's hairstyles
Men in the 1940s often slicked their hair back and parted it on the side. (hair cut image by MLProject from Fotolia.com)

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