What’s popular today is often influenced by what happened in the past.
This is especially true when one talks about fashion or hair – if there has ever been a great hairstyle or perfectly put-together outfit, you can bet it will make its way into the present at some point in time. More often than not, hairstylists or fashion designers find a way to put a modern twist on it, paying homage to the past while still keeping with the times.
Men’s hairstyles in particular seem to be forever indebted to the hairstyles and haircuts that came before them. For instance, the pompadour can be linked to Elvis Presley and James Dean, while the surfer boy men’s haircut trend seen today can be traced to the groovy, mellow hairstyles of the 70’s.
Follow along as we take a look back at men’s hairstyles through the decades, and see which hairstyles and cuts are coming back into style, and which ones are better left in the past.
First up, the 1950’s…
Men’s Hairstyles in the 1950-60’s
The 1950’s and 60’s were a transformative time, where rock n’ roll was king and hairstyles had to fit the part.
If you grew up in this time period, chances are you were taking style cues from one of the stars at that time – Elvis Presley, James Dean, Marlon Brando, or Cary Grant, to name just a few. Most of these men had medium length hair, and used lots of pomade to achieve their desired hairstyle. We can credit them to inventing the pompadour haircut, which is still widely asked for today.
While we’re happy to report that long sideburns aren’t coming back as a popular hairstyle trend anytime soon, there are still men today that utilize the conservative men’s haircut inspired by Cary Grant and Clark Gable. This hairstyle is short and neat, and usually styled with a part line down one side.
Men’s Hairstyles in the 1970-80’s
The 1970’s were far out, while the 1980’s were all about big hair and volume.
While the 1950’s featured more polished and simple looks, the 1970’s allowed men to let loose, making facial hair widely accepted in that time period. Long hair trends that started in the 60’s continued to become more mainstream in the 70’s, influenced by bands like The Beatles, Pink Floyd, and Led Zeppelin.
Although you most likely won’t see long, shaggy hair on men the way you used to, depending on one’s profession you can still see the men’s hairstyle trend today. Surfers especially like this look, and it has become synonymous with laid-back California style. Facial hair is also no longer frowned upon, and is instead even encouraged on men today, in part thanks to the 70’s for making it more mainstream.
If the 70’s were all about letting your natural hair grow, the 80’s were all about styling your hair, both with product and with hairstyling tools. Men wanted big hair, and that meant getting thicker hair using a blow dryer. The rock bands of the 80’s had a huge influence over men’s hairstyles at the time, along with stars such as Lionel Richie and Michael Jackson.
Most men’s hairstyles from the 80’s (thankfully!) haven’t come back into style, with the exception of curly hair being a popular way for men to style their hair nowadays.
Men’s Hairstyles in the 1990-2000’s
The 1990’s and 2000’s have seen a combination of hair trends and fashion statements that have essentially mixed together hairstyles and cuts from different decades.
In the 1990’s for instance, we’re able to see an exaggerated hairstyle reminiscent of some of the early haircuts from the 1950’s. Unfortunately unlike the 1950’s, we think many would agree that these hairstyles and cuts from the 90’s should remain right where everyone left them. The middle side part and the tapered bowl cut aren’t the most flattering cuts we’ve seen, but they do make us nostalgic for all things 90’s: boy bands, sitcoms like Friends, Saved by the Bell, and 90210, turtlenecks, and graphic tees.
The early 2000’s continued to introduce interesting hair trends that were more geared towards shorter hairstyles and easy to put together looks. Cornrows were increasingly popular, as hip hop culture took off and many realized this style was easy to manage. Spiked hair was also seen on a lot of men at the time, along with frosted tips. We’re not quite sure how frosted tips became such a big trend, but we can guess it’s because some leading men at the time were sporting this two-tone look.
Men’s Hairstyles & Haircuts Today
What are some popular hair trends happening right now for men? You might be surprised…
If you thought the man bun was good, bad, interesting, flattering, or just plain weird, the man braid is taking it one step further. An increasingly popular trend this year, more and more celebrity males seem to be opting for this hairstyle. We have to give them credit for the creative and stylized braids they’re doing, but the jury is still out on this 2016 hair trend.
Short and Choppy
This low maintenance hairstyle is perfect if you’re not looking for something over the top or for a haircut that is going to give you sharp contrast when you style it. This men’s haircut is also perfect if you have slightly thinning hair on top, since the choppiness adds texture and weight to the hair.
The Textured Quiff
We’ve seen a version of this hairstyle over the past couple of years, but this year the emphasis is on texture, and less of a polished look. It is still a quiff, with height on the top and a shorter cut on the side, but it has less structure than a normal quiff would. This hairstyle can also suit a variety of face shapes, making it an ideal cut to get.
What was your favorite decade for hair, and which hairstyle are you looking forward to trying in 2016? Tell us in the comments section below!