Boys' Hair Styles
Hair styles are not precisely clothing styles, of course, bit because
they are such an integral part of how boys looked and were dressed
during the past 500 years, that we would be remiss in not briefly
addressing the topic. Boys hair fashions have ranged even more significantly than
their clothes and have varied from the long sausage curls of the 1880-90s to
the short crew cuts of the 1950s. Long hair became popular again in the
1970s and early 1980s. Boys in the 1990s have been freer to select a style
and length that suited them with no one style predominating. The long
hair worn in the 1970s, however, is now rarely seen. One style popular
in the 1990s has been shearing the head off at the neck giving a bowl-cut
Figure 1.--Boys dressed in Fauntleroy suits were often done up in long
sausage curls or at least long hair and bangs. Long hair became less
common after the turn of the century.
- Long hair: Long hair became popular for boys after the publication
of Francis Hobson Bennett's book Little Lord Fauntleroy in 1885-86. Many
romantically enclined American mother sought to recreate Cedric in their little darlings.
Often the boys' hair was curled. Sometimes it was just left long or put
into bangs. After the turn of the century long hair became uncommon, except for very small
boys. Ther was a revival of long hair in the 1970s, influenced by
John-John Kennedy's bangs, the Beattle's cut, and incrasingly long hair
worn by popular rock groups. Relatively long, uncurled hair was very
common for boys through the mid-1980s.
- Sausage curls: Some boys were put into
long ringlet or sausage curls by doting mothers during the
Fautleroy ceaze of the 1880s-90s. This style required a great deal of
work to maintain, almost necesitating that the boys so attired were from wealthy
families which could afford hired help. The style went out of fashion after the
turn of the century, but boys in long curls were occasionally seen until
- Curls: Mothers liked to keep their babies and todlers in curls.
Except for the Fautlroy period of the 1880s-90s. For the most part this was
just the natural curls of the young boys. They were normally cut when the
19th century boy went from dresses to pants. Often mothers would save the
shorn curls as a keepsake.
- Bangs: Bangs have been commonly worn since the 19th century. The
"Dutch boy" cut was popularly worn with
Buster Brown suits at the turn of the century.
Younger boys often were kept in bangs throughout the 1900s. Jacki's
choice of hair cut for John Kennedy Jr. and the Beattles
made bangs popular even for older boys in the 1960s and the style was commonly
seen through the 1980s
- Crew cut: Short hair with a fringe at the front became popular with
boys in the mid-1950s at the same time that coon-skin caps appeared. The
style was popular among boys at it required little care. Once it became an
established style, however, and parents became insisting on it in the
1960s, boys becan to insist on longer hair.
- Side burns: Side burns which were a common adult stlyle in the mid-1860s
appeared again on teenagers in the late 1950s, in part a reaction to the short crew
cuts which became an "established" look. The style received great popularity as a
result of the metioric careet of Elvis Presly.
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Last updated: March 21, 1998