Victorian Hairstyles for Men

Written by katie christiansen
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Victorian Hairstyles for Men
Top hats often capped off a Victorian era gentlemen's hairstyle. (Grant Faint/Photodisc/Getty Images)

The Victorian age, an era spanning the reign of Queen Victoria in the mid to late 1800s, was a time of huge progression in technology, the arts and other cultural and scientific sectors. The vast advancement of civilisation and wealth enjoyed during this period defined the popular styles of the day. Men hairstyles were largely dictated my societal expectations and the need to present an impeccably groomed front in a time of evolving social classes. Neatly trimmed looks were popular, sideburns were worn long, and side parted -- slightly slicked hair was de rigueur, or required according to fashion etiquette.

Short Hair

Neatly trimmed cuts that would not look out of place today were popular when paired with a full and groomed beard. Stylish men of the Victorian era kept their hair short -- but not exceedingly so -- with the top, sides and back all of a similar length. Hair was worn above the collar and short enough to be parted to the side and back swept.

Victorian Hairstyles for Men
Neatly trimmed short cuts were popular. (Cutting hair image by lefebvre_jonathan from


Though hair was kept relatively short on the top and back, sideburns were sometimes worn long -- with or without facial hair. This popular style is visible on many notable men in Victorian times such as John Charles Rykert and echoed the famous mutton chops of the civil war era worn by Ambrose Burnside. Sideburns were elaborate extensions of a gentleman's hairstyle that went out of fashion in the early 20th century.

Victorian Hairstyles for Men
Sideburns were a popular and elaborate extension of men hairstyles. (stripping comb image by Edsweb from

Side Parts and Slicked Hair

Men's hair in the Victorian era was worn in side parted and slicked back styles. Heavy pomades such as the ones in the preceding years, were not used, hair was rather lightly affixed with less waxy creams. Hair was parted on the side rather than the middle, and combed away from the part, not straight back -- though sometimes men would comb hair up and away from their head so as to create a slight pompadour or wave to the front of their head.

Victorian Hairstyles for Men
Men's hair in the Victorian era was parted on the side. (Silver comb image by Star from

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