Men's Timeless Hairstyles
Does hair maketh the man...?
It is an oft quoted maxim that 'clothes maketh the man' -if this is true, (and it's by no means certain that it is) then how about the hair? Can a man be truly made parading about in today's fashionable outfit but with yesterday's hair? If not, why do so many highly successful men have such very bad hair?
Whatever the answer, there are some tenacious hair styles that seem firmly cemented in the pantheon of male hairstyles and while they may be worn only by a small but brave minority who refuse to cowtow to the winds of stylistic change..it is enough to guard these classics against fashion extinction.
These are the timeless men's hairstyles....
The Eternal Comb-over
Wherever there is male pattern baldness, there will be comb-overs. While some are more successful than others, the general effect of a standard comb-over is to draw attention to the very thing the wearers are desperating trying to conceal.
Comb-over wearers are often strong-willed types who insist on sticking to their guns and asserting their own opinions, despite professional advice and a truck-load of evidence to the contrary.
is possibly the most stressful of all timeless styles to adopt, as
wearers live in fear and must be constantly vigilant against strong
headwinds that can ruffle the carefully placed strands of hair and
expose the naked truth.
Comb-over fans can often be found in occupations like politics, banking, financing, serial killing, newsagency proprietor, tobacconist, web writer and sex-aid store owner/manager.
Less a hairstyle and more an architectural construction, The Presenter is a 20th century phenomenum born of the television studio and the need for extreme neatness and non-confrontational conservatism but with a hint of up-to-the-minute grooviness.
This style gained momentum in the 70's when it moved out of the TV studio and into the mainstream population...helped along by the invention of 'dry look' hair product and aviator sunglasses.
The Presenter remains popular with real estate agents, car salesmen and of course, television presenters.
Skyhooks...'I'm Living in the Seventies'
So called because it was worn to such memorable effect by Neil, a character in British TV cult show The Young Ones and also sported in the seventies by music icon, Neil Young. Often worn with loose, flowing clothes and and a superficially easy going attitude, the Neil has an almost religious aura to it, with an attendant halo easily imagined, if not actual.
The purity and simplicity of the style demands that nothing be done to the hair at all..no gel, no hint of a stylistic element...only the natural growth of the hair is to be revealed.
Warn by hermits, primitive man and others who have eschewed societal mores since time immemorial, The Neil reached its zenith in the early 70's, but still remains popular among a certain ilk. It is, in it's way a classic and deserves a place among the timeless.
Although often unemployed, living in the woods or perpetual students, Neil wearers have been known to work in occupations involving music, art, cult leadership, philosophy, blogging and sex-aid retailing.
The fop is a classic style favoured by the dandy...the male peacock among us. Fop wearers enjoy strutting, preening and particularly hair flicking, so a clump of hair must always be available on one side of the forehead for this purpose.
The fop has appeared in various guises for hundreds of years, dating back to renaissance Italy where gangs of youths would sport a 'quiff', (a long fringe) through to the pompadours of the British Teddy Boys, 80's pyschobilly bands and flaccid fops favoured by teenage pseudo-mods. Notably, a gravity-defying version of the 'quiff' was reninvented in the late 90's which featured a vertical high rise stiff fringe.
Although the quiff does not generally allow for hair flicking it can be even more attention grabbing than the traditional fop. The fop is worn almost exclusively by those in the entertainment industry or those who could have been in the entertainment industry, if only their lives hadn't turned out to be such a bitter dissapointment.
I know what you're thinking...the mullet is long dead right? No, I'm afraid that was just wishful wishing. The mullet is in fact a kind of inverted fop and is still favoured by a section of the male population, despite being mercilessly parodied in popular culture.
Like the fop wearer, the mullet fan has a flamboyant streak and enjoys attention but cringes somewhat at the idea of effeminite foppishness.
Conscious of wanting to appear macho, while at the same time seeking attention, the mullet wearer chooses to position his clump of excess hair at the back of the neck, thus avoiding any unnecessary flicking and fidgeting.This style is sometimes combined with excessive tattoos, often homemade or done by a prison inmate, for extra decorative effect
When not chronically unemployed, mullet wearers tend to gravitate toward the more manly professions such as trades, wrestling, amateur magician, professional criminal and nightclub security guard.
The Metal is an extravagant combination of Fop and Mullet and is generally only adopted by a small minority of individuals who may be conflicted, angry and wild or merely pretending to be conficted, angry and wild. It's essential that this style be worn with a lion-like pride, as any hint of timid self-consciousness will completely destroy the effect.
Often Metal wearers will form packs, adopting a musical instrument/phallic symbol to enhance their persona. In his excellent work, The Fop from a Freudian Perspective, clinical psychologist Dr Ernst Frith, discusses the sexual implications of the style:
The underlying sexual conflict found in the Fop can be further analysed through the more extreme version of the style we find in the Metal. The Metal is really a manifestation of a primitive urge to display one's sexuality through hair height and width; thus the extremely tight pants of the Metal wearer signify a metaphorical squeezing of the genital area up through the body to explode symbolically through the top of the head. They are in effect, wearing their sexuality as a kind of crown.
Although this kind of hair reached a popularity peak in 1980s - the decade of *big hair*, there are still devotees of the style around today. Metal wearers are found almost exclusively in occupations involving strutting, preening, leaping and gyrating...even if it's only in front of their own bedroom mirror and a few close friends.
The Macho, also known as the crew, buzz, shave or clipper is ostensibly for the man who's too busy to care about hair. This is a no-fuss-no-mess style that requires little or no maintenance, except that it does need frequent clipping or shaving.
A handy solution for men who are balding and don't want to go the comb-over route, it's a style also favoured by the military, the rugged, the ultra-hip, those seeking world domination and religious sects.
"Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?"
-St. Paul, 1 Corinthians 11:14
For "disturbingly healthy hair"..a li'l dab 'ill do ya
Professor I.M. Balding, A History of Male Hair in the Light of Style as a Social Construct Within the Decaying White Hegemony of the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries, Fokk University Press, 2003
Green, Sally, Perfomance Art and the Comb-over, Murdoch Press, 2010
Thick, Paul, My Mullet and I: A Personal Journey, Graveyard Press, 2009
Dr. Ernst Frith, The Fop from a Freudian Perspective, Ch. 5, Fokk University Press, 1968
Dr. Ernst Frith, Hair Envy, Fokk University Press, 1972
Carter, Osmond , The Return of the Neil in the Information Age, Vanity Publishing, 2007