Beatlemania wasn't all about the hair, but the moptops definitely got people's attention back in the early 1960s. If you want a haircut like Paul McCartney's Beatles 'do, just ask a barber for a bowl or mushroom cut -- or do as the Beatles did in the early days, and have a friend do the honors with the scissors. Make sure there's enough movement in the cut so you can shake your head -- and your hair -- as you sing.
Freedom to Twist and Shout
Stories abound about how the Beatles got their trademark moptop cuts, but it's agreed they launched the look after a trip to Hamburg, Germany, in the early 1960s. Before that, they had structured styles like Elvis or James Dean. Gel won't work with the moptop look: The movement comes from the cut, which is very simple. A hair stylist giving you a bowl cut will trim your locks to just above the eyebrows in front and evenly on the sides to just about cover the ears; in back, your hair will fall about at the collarbone. It will have either a center part or no part. Layering -- and following the natural shape of the head -- gives your hair its weight and texture.
To style your hair once it's cut, just keep it clean. Too much pomade will sculpt it into a rockabilly look, and too much blow drying might make it stand on end instead of falling naturally. The haircut works better on straight hair than wavy -- if you're determined to be a moptop when you're a curly head, you might need a straightener. While Paul McCartney's hairstyles have changed over the decades, his former barber told the press that the multimillionaire rock star is not one to stress over such things -- he may even apply his own hair dye to get rid of the gray, New York stylist Guy Thomas told the Daily Mail.
- The Internet Beatles Album: A Hairy Story
- CBS News: The Beatles: Where Did You Get That Hair?
- Daily Mail: Sir Paul McCartney's Ex Hair Stylist Blasts the Former Beatle's Haircut
- Men's Hair Blog: How to Do the Mop Top Hairstyle and Haircut to Rock It '60s Style!
- Virgin Media: How a Haircut Changed the World: The Beatles Create the Moptop
- Hairfinder: Mushroom or Bowl Cut
- Hairfinder: Boys' Bowl Cut
Bonny Brown Jones has been a writer, columnist, copy editor and senior copy editor for newspapers that have included the "Orlando Sentinel," "Miami Herald" and "Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch." Jones has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Ohio State University.