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.
References and ResourcesThe 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