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The Beatles Real Legacy

Updated on December 9, 2019

Prior to the 19th century, men usually had long hair styles in all forms. In fact, if you look at nearly any painting or photo, most men had long hair. Sometimes, it was down to the shoulder, other times, just collar length. Perhaps the reason for this was due to bad haircuts or lack of barber shops and cutting equipment, in any case, it was the norm.

At the turn of the century (early 1900's), most male children had a "dutch boy" style haircut with hair bangs on the forehead and longer sides. Most men, started to have much shorter hair, cropped around the ears and short in the back and sides. This more manly style, dominated men's hair styles in various forms from then on. If a man had long hair, it was thought that he was poor or was a sort of hoodlum. At worse, he was considered a queer or fag. This perception continued until around 1955, when Elvis Presley, the King of Rock, changed things with his longer hair style.for the time. It was less groomed but still radical and different which youth identified with.

Of course, the Beatles, were teens then and like all youth, adopted similar Elvis hairstyles of their idol.

But the their legacy was the Beatle hair style. Long hair on men had not been around and accepted since 1900, so when the Beatles hit worldwide fame in 1964, the media frenzy over them was largely over their appearance - their haircuts. It was a variation of the old "dutch boy" cut, but modernized and cooler looking with the groomed forehead hair bangs, longer sides over the ears and collar length in the back. Sure, their music was also different and far superior to Elvis, but their hair was also an act of rebellion of the status quo, something nearly every male under 20 quickly adopted by 1967. In fact, if you did not, you were considered "square". In addition to their hair, their unique clothing style also complimented their look with their Beatle boots, collarless jackets or shirts.

As they would say later, their hairstyle was just happenstance and not planned. Their style evolved between 1962-63, and John was the last to adopt it. The same can be same of their clothing.

By 1967, nearly all men had adopted some form of long hair or Beatle style. The older generation (those 30 or more) still had short hair for the most part, well trimmed and with hair tonic. Hair tonic was never used by those with long hair because it was a "dry" look.

In the work place, long hair was still refrained upon and employers could discriminate if you had long hair in their view. This continued until the mid-1970's, when it was generally accepted to be not an issue.

Today, the Beatle style is still prevalent all over the world. Asian countries like South Korea, Philippines, use it and men have variations of it. The style is eternal and fully accepted and quickly can be identified with hair bangs on the forehead.

So, the next time you see this, you are looking at an enduring legacy of the Beatles which started it in 1964.


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