German Officer Hairstyles

Written by elizabeth hannigan
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German Officer Hairstyles
Historical re-enactors are interested in German officer hairstyles. (German flag image by Nicola Zanettin from

If you are an enthusiast of historical re-enactments, it may interest you to learn that military haircuts were very different for German soldiers during World War II. Unlike the officers of today, who have very short haircuts, German officers actually wore their hair quite long on top. They slicked it back with pomade to keep it from getting in their faces.

Slicked Back

German officers wore the same haircuts as enlisted men during World War II. Young officers that sported full heads of hair usually wore it slicked straight back. Barbers shaved the back of the officers' heads and the sides above the ears. No soldier was allowed to have hair touching his collar or ears. Then the officer would grow the hair on the top of his head several inches long. This would be slicked straight back and fixed into place with pomade. Officers applied the pomade liberally. Those with fine hair would have their hair stuck to the top of their heads, and those with thick hair would have some height from their hair's body. Some with curly hair may have chosen to wear their hair only an inch or so long at the top. It was highly uncommon for officers to wear their hair any shorter.

With a Part

Many older German officers during World War II, such as Adolf Hitler himself, chose to wear a part in their hair. This was more common with officers who had fine or thinning hair. Young officers with fine hair could shave their head on the back and sides, then make a slight part at the centre and slick their hair back with pomade on either side. The hair would still be slicked to the back, rather than down the sides. The hair would barely angle away from the part. Older officers, especially those losing their hair, might choose to style their hair with a deep part. These officers would part their hair just above their ears on one side, slick it all the way over their heads, and wear the hair on the other side of the part very short.


German officers could distinguish themselves from enlisted men by growing moustaches. Enlisted men were forbidden from having moustaches, and it was relatively uncommon for officers as well. Not every type of moustache was allowed for the officers, though. Officers could grow Adolf Hitler's famous facial hair, called a Schickelgrüber. This involved trimming the moustache so that it was only two small patches just beneath the nose. They could also grow Hollywood or pencil moustaches, both types that are trimmed thin and do not extend past the corners of the mouth. Officers were not allowed to wear handlebar or bushy moustaches, though, which were associated with the British and Americans.

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