1930s Hairstyles for Men

by Katie Christiansen

Men wore their hair short and visited the barber often in the 1930s.

George Marks/Retrofile/Getty Images

Men's hairstyles of the 1930s reflected societal ideals and cultural trends of the era. Grooming was an important part of maintaining the gentlemanly facade so prized during the depression era. Men wore their hair short and visited the barber often in order to maintain immaculately shaved faces and sharp cut styles. The 1930s were focused on well-kept perfection as exemplified by the decade's heartthrob, Clark Gable. Short cuts, dapper hats and fashionable facial hair were of the utmost importance to the depression era gentleman.

Short Hair

Short, well-kept and meticulously maintained hairstyles were the 1930s ideal. The back of a man's hair could never touch his collar, and though men maintained length on top, the entire style was clean cut and perfectly styled. The longer top portion of hair was often combed over the back of the head and secured in place with a pomade that gave the hair a shiny, and often immovable, finish.

Side Parts

The short hair sported by most of the decade's gentlemen was sure to be meticulously parted and well kept. Because hair was kept long on top, men parted their hair on the side in order to appear groomed and keep with the trends of the day. Side parts were most popular and any deviation from that norm was notable as seen by the intentionally off center part sported by actor Ramon Novarro.

Curly Hair

Though hairstyles were kept quite close to the head, curly hair was fashionable for both men and women. While women favored exceptionally voluminous finger waves, men tended to slick back their curls over the tops of their heads for a waved look. Curls were fashionably favored, but good grooming and precise styles were still necessary and as such, men's curls were cemented in place with waxy pomades that would hold up even under their fedoras.

Photo Credits

  • George Marks/Retrofile/Getty Images

About the Author

Katie Christiansen started writing for various online and print outlets in 2007. One of Christiansen's pieces earned her the “Best Arts & Entertainment Feature Story” from the California College Media Association. She currently works as a corporate communications assistant and blogger. Christiansen is a graduate of California State University, Northridge, and holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism with a minor in creative writing.