German Boys' Hair Styles: Curls

Figure 1.--This is one of the relatively few Germn portraits we have noted wit a boy wearing rnglet curls. The back reveals that this photo was taken in 1895 and the boy was born in 1889. The cap band says "Marinv". It says "Marine" meaning the navy. Image courtesy of Albumn2000.

Ringlet curls were a fashionable hair style for boys in the late 19th century in America, Britain, and many European countries. We notice very few images of German boys with ringlet curls, but some German boy did wear them. We have no means of quantifying this, except the prevalence in the availble photographic record. A bhhere it is very limited. A German reader writes, " I have an extensive collection of historic German photographs and I have yet to find an image of a German boy in tight righlet curls like the photograps you have archived in the American section of your HBC website." One thing we should note here is what a ringlet is. A ringlet is a curled lock of hair. Now the most obvious are the tightly curled ringlets associated with the Little Lord Fauntleroy style in the late-19th and early 20th century. They were deriselvly called saudafe curls. This was not the only style of ringlets. In some countries boys wore long hair, but they were not done in tight riglets. They might be no culing at all or only very light, flowing runglets. The tight curled ringlets were common in America. In fact you raely see a boy with long hair that did not have tightly curled ringlets. We also see them in England. In fact the French called them English curls. We see French boys with long hr, but not commonly done in tight ribglets. We do see the lose, more natural ringlets. This also seems to have been the case in Germany. Actually long hair wa not very common in Germany. And rarely do German boys with long hair have tightly curled ringlets. We are not sure why German hair style trends were different in this regard. We suspect that German parents prefered more masculine hair styles for boys than in many other European countries. So far most of our German long hair impages are of boys in sailor suits. We think that this is just a testiment to the popularity of the sailor suit in Germany rather than any stylistic association.

Kilt Suit (about 1870)

We note a Stugart boy about 1870 wearing ringlet curls with a kilt suit. Neither were very common styles in Germany, even during the late 19th century.

Unidentified Stuttgart Family (early 1870s)

We do not know the name of this Stuttgart family. The clothing and hair styles suggest that they came from an affluent family. They were photographed by Brandseph, a notale city photographer. The long hair of the older boy suggests that the portrait was probably taken in the early 1870s. There are three children, we believe two boys and a girl. It is difficult to determine the gender of the younger child wearing a skirt, but we would guess the child is a girl. The other two children are clearly boys. The middle cgild wears an expensive-looking velvet suit and has long shoulder-length curly hair. The older boy wears a double-breasred suit and high-cut vest. Both boys have small collars and cross ties rather than bows.

Sailor Suit (1895)

This is one of the relatively few German portraits we have noted with a boy wearing rnglet curls (figure 1). The back reveals that this photo was taken in 1895 and the boy was born in 1889. The cap band says "Marinv". It says "Marine" meaning the navy. Also notice the long double breasted coat. The boy's cap is destinctive. we have noted a lot of German boys wearing this style of salor cap--but not in straw. Also notice how wide the cap band or talley is. We note that his curls are not very well defined. We do not know if this is because his curls were curled a day or so earlier or if this was the style his mother preferred. A German reader writes, "I don't consider the curls of the boy in my picture as ringlets." Well of course here our reader means ringlets that have been curled. The lock on the boy's left does look rather like a loosely curled ringlet, but it may be an entirely natural ringlet.

Sailor Suits--Brothers (1895)

Here is an portrait of two brothers dressed up in similar, but different color sailor suits. Wjile their sailor suits are different their caps look identical. Both boys have long hair. The younger boy has his hasir on one side done in large ringlet. This photo was taken in 1895 at Kehlendort Germany.

Sailor Suit (probably early 1900s)

A HBC reader tells us, "That is a rare photo of the German Boy with ringlet curls, I had a look through my German CDVs, Cabinets and postcards and could find only a few examples of German boys with long hair--let alone curls. This may be because most of my German photos are relatively late i.e 1890 onward-- but I could probably find numerous pictures of American boys around this time with this style of hair." The image is undated, but we believe was taken in the early 1900s. He wears a white sailor suit with a broad-brimmed sailor hat. Like the boy on this page, the curl are not a defined as was commonly the case for American boys.

Russian Blouse (about 1910)

Here we have another German boy with long hair and curls but not tightly curled ringlets. Long hair was not very common for German boys, but we see some boys with long hair. The boy here is unidentified, but he wears the Russian blouse and short pants that wee popular in the early 20th century. The Kaiser's grand children wire outfits like this, but with much shorter hair. We do not know where in German the portait was taken. While the portrait is also not dated, it looks to have been taken about 1910.


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Created: 11:45 PM 11/19/2004
Last updated: 8:24 PM 7/31/2007