Today, men of all ages continue to search for a hairstyle that defines their sense of fashion, accentuates their facial features and speaks volume about their character. Over the years, the evolution of popular hairstyle trends has brought men from conservative and slick-backed cuts to full and free manes and back again. In honor of these trendy tresses, below is a list of 15 popular men’s hairstyles worn fashionably over the years.
1. The Pompadour (1950s)
A trademark of the rockabilly subculture that embraced rock and roll and fast cars in the 1950s, the Pompadour hairstyle for men continues to reign supreme among models, A-List celebrities and advocates of modern fashion. The most notable Pompadour-wearers of all time include Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Frank Sinatra, although contemporary actor Emile Hirsch (above) sports the style with elegance.
2. The Shag (1960s)
A symbol of youth and vitality since the 1960s, the Shag is an easy-to-wear hairstyle made famous by musicians The Beatles, Rod Stewart and David Bowie. A haircut characterized by length, layers and bangs that frame the face, the Shag remains a popular hairstyle worn in modern times by actors Zac Efron (above), Ashton Kutcher and Christian Bale.
3. The Comb Over (1960s)
Many believe it was World Cup winner and 1966 European Footballer of the Year, Bobby Charlton, who inspired the trend of the Comb Over, concealing his balding areas with longer stands of hair combed over the top from one side of the head. Other Comb Over enthusiasts throughout the years include Donald Trump, Robert Robinson, former University of Illinois basketball coach Lou Henson and United States Senator from Arizona, John McCain (above).
4. The Afro (1960s-70s)
Made popular in the 1960s and 1970s by celebrities Cicely Tyson and Jimi Hendrix, the Afro is perhaps the most imitated trendy hairstyle in pop culture history. The Afro needs no explanation, for everyone knows what it is, but the best Afros require the same length of tightly curled, coarse and thick hair all around the head, as worn by rocker Lenny Kravitz in the photo above.
5. Cornrows (1960s-70s)
The ancient roots of the Cornrow hairstyle date back to as early as 500 B.C. and African American women often preferred the style during the 1970s as not to show their natural hair in public. Interestingly, many believe it was actress Cicely Tyson from the popular 1960s television show, East Side/West Side, who sparked the end of the “natural hair” trend. Soccer superstar David Beckham (above) also wore the style in early 2003, and Cornrows have since become a popular hairstyle for men in England.
6. Jheri Curls (1970s)
Achieved using a variety of chemicals including a rearranging cream to loosen the hair, a solution to set the curls, as well as activators and heavy moisturizers, Jheri Curls became a popular and rather high-maintenance style in the 1970s. The Jacksons and rapper Ice Cube sported the Jheri Curl proudly during their time, while actor Samuel L. Jackson (above) supports the style in the 1994 Quentin Tarantino film, Pulp Fiction.
7. The Mullet (1970s-80s)
Football players, pop stars and TV stars everywhere supported the Mullet in the early 1980s, a style that was short in the front and sides, and long in the back. Many considered the Mullet a good thing to have when applying for a job in the 80s, but today, the brutally outdated hairstyle is more or less an open invitation towards public ridicule. Despite enduring public outcries against the Mullet, however, Duane “Dog” Chapman from A&E’s Dog The Bounty Hunter (above) still finds the style attractive.
8. Rattail (1980s)
Characterized by a long “tail”-like element of hair that grows downward from the back of the head, the Rattail saw a brief period of mainstream popularity during the 1980s. Viewed as an alternative to the full-blown mullet style that also became a popular fashion icon during its era, the Rattail made a significant impression on society, but quickly fell out of vogue as a fashion icon.
9. Liberty Spikes (1980s)
The name for Liberty Spikes descends from the Statue of Liberty, which features an array of tall spikes on its head. Characterized by long, thick and upright spikes, the Liberty Spikes hairdo originated as a symbol of punk rock subculture. Benji Madden (above), guitarist and backup vocalist for the popular punk band, Good Charlotte, reignited the Liberty Spike trend and paved the road for outlandish punk rock lovers the world over.
10. The Mohawk (1980s)
The Mohawk hairstyle descends from the Native American Mohawk Indian tribe, but the punk rock movement of the early 1980s deserves the credit for its immense popularity in modern subculture. A symbol of rebelliousness against all types of authority, both social and political, the Mohawk undoubtedly defined punk rock fashion. This versatile hairstyle also accommodates various looks, including the “tough guy” image portrayed by Mr. T (above) from the 1980s television series, The A-Team.
11. The Bowl Cut (1980s-90s)
As a part of his Three Stooges persona, actor and comedian Moe Howard wore the Bowl Cut, a style characterized by short hair on the sides and back, as if someone put a bowl on the head and cut off all the visible hair. In late twentieth century, however, the Bowl Cut resurfaced as a part of rock music’s counterculture originally credited to the Ramones and the Beatles, until the mid-1990s when its popularity faded. Modern actor, Jim Carrey (above) rocked the Bowl Cut for his role in the 1994 film Dumb & Dumber.
12. The Hi-Top Fade (1980s-90s)
A symbol of the Golden Era of urban contemporary and Hip Hop music during the late 1980s and early 90s, the Hi-Top Fade was common among African-American youths, until it fell completely out of style by 1997. The Hi-Top Fade called for cut off or very low sides and very long hair on the top of the head, as seen in the photo (above) of Christopher ‘Kid’ Reid (left) from the popular hip-hop and comedy duo from New York City, Kid ‘n Play.
13. The Buzz Cut (1990s-2000s)
A very short haircut that can make the face look more defined, the classic Buzz Cut was a fashionable unisex hairstyle in the late 20th century made popular by celebrities including Kevin Costner, George Michael, Sinéad O’Connor and Natalie Portman. Armed forces recruits also wore the Buzz Cut upon entering training, originally to prevent the spread of lice and later to provide ease of maintenance, cooling and uniformity. Justin Timberlake (above) is a modern wearer of the Buzz Cut, which has yet to go out of style as a sexy and low-maintenance cut that accommodates all types of hair.
14. The Fauxhawk (2000s)
A hairstyle that has transcended to all hair types and genres over the years, the Fauxhawk closely resembles the style of a Mohawk, only without shaving the sides of the head. The Fauxhawk re-emerged in the spotlight of style and fashion in the early 2000s, and some of the more popular modern sports figures and fashion models continue to sport Fauxhawks in various lengths, textures and colors. Actor, Jude Law (above), wears a conservative Fauxhawk complete with shorter sides blended into a longer length on the top of the head.
15. Emo Hairstyle (Today)
The most recent hairstyle trend on our list, the “Emo” cut worn by Justin Bieber (above) has become an icon of fashion among people of all ages across the country. In fact, approximately 6 out of every 10 kids are now requesting the style, informally known as the “Bieber,” with many going as far as to process their wavy or curly hair chemically to achieve the straight, feathery effect worn by the teen pop star.