** boys hair styles : parts -- country trends United States America








Boys' Hair Parts: United States

The great majority of photographic images we have noted in which parts are destinct, show boys with side especially left parts, although center parts were popular during certain periods. We note mostly side parts in the 19th century. A good example is two unidentified New York City children in the mid-19th century. We note center parts were fashionable in the early-20th century. I'm not sure how common this was in other countries, but we see many boys at the time with center parts. It is side parts, however, that are the dominant trend. Right parts are much less common. An American reader tells us, "I imagine my experience is rather common. My mother combed my hair was a younger boy and on special occassions would supervise or even pitch in even when I was well into primary school. It was always combed on the left which I never gave much thought to. The only variance was in the 1950s when I had a crew cut. Here there was so little hair at the sides and the rest of the hair so short that there wasn't much of a part to contend with." The other basic parting alternative besides the side part is a center part. This is the less common alternative, at least for boys. It was the standard part for girls. This was true in the 19th and 20th century and continues to be the case in the 21st century. It was very common for girls as it was an effective way of dealing with long hair. A center part is the single most valid indicator that the child in an unidentified old photographs is a girl. Tt is, however, not absolute. It is mothers who beging combing a child's hair and make the first choice as to parts which began a soon as the infant had enough hair to comb. This varied from child to child, but began well before the childwas 1 year old. Thus it was mom who established how a child's hair was parted. Mom can easily chose either a left or right part, but most chose a left part because most men parted their hair on the right side. And barbers also generally did right oarts for boys unless they were left-handed. Mom's still have to help boys comb their hair in primary school.


Figure 1.--The great majority of photographic images we have noted in which parts are destinct, show boys with side especially left parts, although center parts were popular during certain periods. We note mostly side parts in the 19th century. We note center parts were fashionable in the early 20th century. A good example is Clarence Rogers here.

Parting Alternatives

Hair parts are an easy subject to follow, at least once photography was invented. We have a huge photographic record to draw on once photography was invented beginning in the 1840s. There were two major ways for parting hair. Side parts were the most common for bpys. Here the basic choice was left or right. As most people are right-handed, left parts are the most common. It is easier for a right-handed person to do a left than a right part. The more complicated matter is just where to do the part, how far to come down the side of the head. This varied,but most boys parted their hair far away from the crown. Generally we see side parts about half-way between the top of the ear and the boy's crown. The other basic alternative is a center part. This is the less common alternative, at least for boys. It was very common for girls as it was a way of dealing with long hair. A center part is the sungle most valid indicator that the child in unidentified old photographs is a girl. While overwealming associated with girls, we do see boys with center parts. During certin periods, however, it was very popular for boys as well, even boys with short hair. Even during a few brief periods in which we see boys with center prts, side parts were virtually universal for boys. And even during the periods in which we do see boys with center parts, most boys still had side parts.


Figure 2.--Many long hair styles used bangs for the front. The part was not discernable in some of these styles. The boy here is Chrles P. Wellman who was 3 years old in 1880.

Gender

The other basic parting alternative besides the side part is a center part. This is the less common alternative, at least for boys. It was the standard part for girls. This was true in the 19th and 20th century and continues to be the case in the 21st century. It was very common for girls as it was an effective way of dealing with long hair. A center part is the single most valid indicator that the child in an unidentified old photographs is a girl. Tt is, however, not absolute. We do see boys with center parts. This was usually during brief periods when center parts becme fashionable for boys. While overwealmingly associated with girls, we do see boys with center parts. During certin periods, however, it was very popular for boys as well, even boys with short hair. Of course in the 20th century we can identify the gender by the way the children are dressed. In the 19th century this was not always the case which is why knowing the gender commotations of center parts is such auseful tool. Of course it is not a perfect indicator and can cause some misidentifications, but in combinatio with other indicators it can be apowerful tool in correctly identifying gender.

Combing Parts

It is mothers who beging combing a child's hair and make the first choice as to parts which began a soon as the infant had enough hair to comb. This varied from child to child, but began well before the childwas 1 year old. Thus it was mom who established how a child's hair was parted. Mom can easily chose either a left or right part, but most chose a left part because most men parted their hair on the right side. And barbers also generally did right oarts for boys unless they were left-handed. Mom's still have to help boys comb their hair in primary school. I recall just doing what mom began without giving any thought to it. We believe that modern boys are more atuned to how they look, both hair styling and clothes than boys 1-2 generatuins ago. This all varies fron child to child, bur few boys in primary school are completely independent as to hair care. Bt 5yh nd 6th grades some boys may be doing their own combing, but may require some supervision. As boys begin doing their own hair, the practiclirt of righhanded boys doing left parts begin to replace any left parts mother may have done. We think that unless a boy had some destinguishing characteristic, mother combed all here boys' hair on the same side. We have seen some instances of brothers with different sude parts. We suspect that one of the bous may have been left handed. Another possibility is that the older boy may hve begun experimenting.








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Created: December 19, 2002
Last updated: 7:02 PM 4/13/2016