November 10, 2017

From handlebar moustaches to the man bun: A look at mens grooming trends from the past 100 years

By Sophie Kelly In Hommage-Magazine

Men’s grooming is now a multi-billion pound industry worldwide. However, men’s fashion styles in terms of hair and facial hair are often overlooked when it comes to the difference that these trends have seen over the past century. We aim to take a look back through some of the most famous and memorable men’s grooming trends from over the past 100 years.

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1910 Men’s Grooming 

Mens grooming hommage

Hair: The 1910s dawned a time of slick back hair, with 1910 being the time period that the musical ‘Peter Pan’ was released, grooming influences came from popular theatre and the hairstyles of this time were brought over from the Victorian Era.

Facial hair: The trend of the walrus-style moustache originated from the 1800s but stormed its way through into the early 1900s which then became known as ‘handlebar moustaches’. This moustaches trend was brought about due to a sizeable leap in technology which meant that more and more men began styling their moustaches with more precision.

1920s Men’s Grooming 

Mens grooming hommage

Hair: In the 1920s slick back hair survived, however the severe centre parting became its new partner in crime.

Facial hair: Facial hair took a step back and a more clean shave was opted for, giving a classic and yet modern man look. Men took a great amount of pride in their grooming during the beginning of the 20th century because many had important places to be, and people to see. The lack of facial hair is said to be due to the back end of the First World War as many men that spent weeks in trenches would save time by shaving rather than having to wash away mud and grime that was attained in their facial hair.

1930s Men’s Grooming 

Mens grooming hommage

Men’s grooming hommage

Hair: Clark Gable, the American film actor, was behind the inspiration for the 1930s look. This includes waved, yet perfectly sculpted hair with a small quiff towards the front of the forehead.

Facial hair: The facial hair supported was a very thin moustache with an upwards gap towards the centre of the mouth. This facial hair, was known as the ‘literary look’.

1940s Men’s Grooming 

Mens grooming hommage

Hair: Hairstyles in the 1940s saw a never before seen turn, the styled quiff. In this image, for example, a sailor’s hat is included to represent the famous image of a sailor passionately kissing a nurse in the middle of times square.

Facial hair: Facial hair once again opted for the sleek, hair-free route. Suddenly an emphasis on personal hygiene made a comeback and a sleek hairless look becoming the ideal look for men, as did it for women, with a rise in promotion of shaving underarms and legs.

1950s Men’s Grooming 

Mens grooming hommage

Hair: The 1950s hairstyles were inspired by no other than.. yes you guessed right, Elvis. It was revealed that Mr.Presley himself actually used three different types of hair wax. However, unlike most men of the time it was revealed that Elvis actually had naturally blonde hair, that he died brunette before taking on his music career.

Facial Hair: A hair-free look continued to reign on. Beards were unpopular but the occasional moustache wasn’t irregular.

1960 Men’s Grooming 

Mens grooming hommage

Hair: The 1960s hair styles often included a long bob that is curled inwards towards the ends. With an often blow-dried, fluffier hairstyle and combined with a sweeping fringe, inspired by the Beatles.

Facial hair: Along came the goatee well, almost, a longer version of the goatee came along before the popularly known shorter style. Used to term facial hair on the chin, but not on the cheeks, the goatee actually originated from Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome, and started becoming more popular post-war in the United States after the 1940s.

1970s Men’s Grooming 

Mens grooming hommage

Hair: Though there was variation from long to short and bouffant to spiked, the 1970s saw a wave of free loving hippy vibes, perfectly demonstrated through male hairstyles. With inspiration from the Beatles still reigning on, hair products suddenly also became marketed at men for the first time in history.

Facial hair: On came a lack of facial hair grooming, trimming seemed like the only reasonable grooming technique in the hippy era of Saturday Night Fever. Moustaches were particularly in and some even opted to wearing fake moustaches and goatees to quickly change up their look. This was due to an emergence of more conservative views when it came to facial hair, with many schools and businesses seeing long hair and facial hair as morally corrupt. Therefore, men turned to wigs and stick on moustaches when they were in more social settings.

1980s Men’s Grooming 

Mens grooming hommage

Hair: Some of the varying hairstyles adopted in the 1980s include the mullet and tall mohawk hairstyles but the flattop style slick back look was one that is most memorable today, thanks to the wolf of wall street debut in 2013.

Facial Hair: The 1970s trend of moustaches and full beards were carried over into the early 1980s but soon died out and and a clean shaven, no sideburns or facial hair look became the norm. However, the success of Miami Vice did spark the designer stubble trend, a short growth of facial hair, reinvented by singer George Michael.

1990s Men’s Grooming 

Mens grooming hommage

Hair: CURTAINS. The hairstyles in the 1990s were similar to that in the 1970s but during the 90s, 1995 to be exact, the grunge rocker curtains peaked. Famous to support the middle parted flopping curtains were the likes of Beckham, Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt.

Facial hair: The facial hair on the other hand differed, the goatee-soul patch came along. This was the new facial hair of alt-rock, it was bold, thick and was often supported by musicians.

2000s Men’s Grooming 

Mens grooming hommage

Hair: The new millennium brought the spiky styles, often frosted at the tips with hair gel. This was one trend that didn’t discriminate, it was a trend acquired by all ages and many would often dye the ends lighter in order to add that additional dimension to the look.

Facial hair: In the 2000’s facial hair took a backseat once again, it seems to be the trend that after a few years there will always be a shift from facial hair to clean shaven, and vice versa.

2010s Men’s Grooming 

Mens grooming hommage

Hair: Along came the man bun. Being reported to have arrived in 2010, but first becoming popular in late 2013, the man bun has managed to maintain its following up until 2017. The only catch is that men need to have naturally long hair at all times in order to make the bun, unless however you are able to pick up an instant clip-on man bun from Amazon.

Facial hair: a strong beard has became the most popular look with long facial hair being able to conceal a smaller chin, a double chin, or an elongating or rounder looking face. More recently beards have been seen as a way for men to demonstrate their manhood.

However, we forecast a change in men’s facial grooming trends for 2018 and for the foreseeable future with a rise of the hairless look. Be prepared for the change and be on trend:

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