1920s Men's Hairstyles

by Lori A. Selke

Portrait of 1920s Englishman.

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The Roaring Twenties was an era renowned for its stylishness, for both men and women. The tight strictures and restrictive fashions of the Victorian era were over and, thanks in part to Prohibition, the party was on. Women's fashion went through the most startling changes, with bobbed hair and flapper style at the center of the new aesthetic. But men's haircuts, too, were suave and distinctive in their style.

Part Your Hair

In the 1920s, most men kept their hair short on the sides and longer on top, with the neck left bare. This cut is sometimes referred to as an undercut. In this era, the hair on the crown of the head was usually clearly parted -- either in the center, slightly off-center or severely to one side or the other.

Slick It Down

Once a man's hair was parted, it was slicked down with a hair product that left the cut looking glossy and smooth. Brilliantine, an oily finishing product, was popularized during this era, but men also applied coconut or olive oil, pomade or even petroleum jelly to achieve the desired effect.

Shave It Clean

Facial hair was not a common look in the 1920s. Occasionally, men would sport a small, thin moustache, but for the most part they preferred to stay clean-shaven. They were assisted in this effort by innovations in shaving technology -- namely, safety razors -- that made it easier than ever to maintain a close shave.

Curls and Hats

Men with curly hair who could not get their locks to lay flat opted to simply smooth them out with a little Brilliantine and leave them alone on top -- as long as the hair was kept off the neck. Sometimes men would put finger-waves in the front portion of their hair, much as women of the same time period did. As a rule, men wore hats whenever they were outdoors in this era.

Photo Credits

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About the Author

Lori A. Selke has been a professional writer and editor for more than 15 years, touching on topics ranging from LGBT issues to sexuality and sexual health, parenting, alternative health, travel, and food and cooking. Her work has appeared in Curve Magazine, Girlfriends, Libido, The Children's Advocate, Decider.com, The SF Weekly, EthicalFoods.com and GoMag.com.