Long Hair: Age Variations

Figure 1.--These two smartly dressed boys, based on the similarities in their outfits, are probably brothers. Usually the younger brother had curls or long hair. In this case it is the older brother. I'm not sure about their nationality, but it is probably French. Notice the sashes and strap shoes.

Boys in the 19th century and early 20th century might have long hair and curls as young boys. The pattern, however, was quite variable, The age of cutting a bpys lon hair varied, as did breeching. Some boys might have their hair as young as 2or 3 years of age Some boys might wear long hair until 7 or 8 years of age or even older. Some boys had their hair cut upon breeching, while others had their curls cut before or after breeching. Generally it was the older boy who had the shorter hair--but this was not always the case.

A HBC reader reports, "I find it interesting that the apparantly older boy's hair is long, and the little guy's is short. Reading the HBC hairstyle page, I always assumed that the younger boys had long hair from that era, and it was cut after the boy was breeched."

HBC makes it clear that the cutting of a boys' hair could take palce at the time of breeching. This was, however, not always the case. It could be either before or after. In some cases several years after breeching.

While the older boy in the great majority of cases was most likly to have shorter hair than his younger brother. This also was not always the case. Undortunately, many available images are unidentified and are not accompaned with information. HBC is not sure why a younger brother might have shorter hair.
Too young: Some boys have been to young to grow curls like their older brother. Children vary. Some young boys have thick hair. Others have relatively little hair.
Other reasons: HBC can not think of other reasons at this time. Do let us know if a reason occurs to you.

Christopher Wagner

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Created: April 27, 2000
Last edited: April 28, 2000