American Boys' Hair Styles: The Flat-top--Styles

Figure 1.--This high school year book photo is a good illustration of the flat-top hair cut. Unfortunatelyvwe don't have the date, but would guess the early- or mid-1950s. Note especially the flat-top hair cut and the loud tweed jacket with horizonally striped necktie. The boy looks about 15-years old.

There were several different terms used for short, close cropped hair cuts. Other close cuts include crew cuts and butch cuts. We are not yet sure to what extent these were different styles as opposed to different terms for the same short cuts. But the flat-top was destinctive. The hair was cut to create a flat surface at the top of the head. The standard crew cut involved clipping the hair evenly all over the scalp. Of course, the military cuts that inspired them were not styilized like the flat-top. This appears to have developed after the War. We are not entirely sure if the boy here is wearing a style that would have been called a flat top, but it certainly has some of the featurs. The flat top seems to have been destinctive as rather than a short cut following the contours of the scalp, the flat top formed a flat top service with hair at different lengths ar various points of the scalp. The basic stylistic variationn for flat tops was the length of the hair. During the 1940s-60s when the cut was most popular, the hair was usually cit some where between 0.5-1.0 inch.


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Created: 6:58 AM 10/16/2010
Last edited: 6:58 AM 10/16/2010