In the 1970s men’s hairstyles experienced a revolution. No longer did men all feel the need to stick to the close cropped styles of the 1950s and early 1960s. In the 1970s, they began experimenting with different ways of self expression and longer, messier and more natural styles became extremely popular. Some of the most popular hairstyles for men included the mullet, shag, long hair and afro.
The mullet is a hairstyle that is cut short in the front but left long in the back. The front can be trimmed with or without bangs, and the back can be just as long as the nape of the neck or as long as you would like. Glamor rock star David Bowie is partially credited with ushering in the popularity of the mullet for men in the 1970s.
The shag is a hairstyle intended to convey a messy, natural look. It is a shorter, layered style that is often tousled and held in place with spray or pomade to maintain a bed-head appearance. In the 1970s, the shag was more often feathered than it is today. However, the style is still popular, especially among younger men.
Men started growing their hair longer in the 1960s, after The Beatles introduced a longer style to the popular culture world. However, by the 1970s, and with the increasing popularity of hippie culture, men’s hair grew even longer. Men would occasionally grow their hair waist-length and braid it or put it in a pony-tail to keep it manageable.
Following the growing trends in the 1970s that involved keeping hair natural, the afro was another popular style with men who had hair curly enough to maintain it. It was particularly popular in the early 1970s among African-American men as a way to express their cultural pride and make a political statement about prevailing values and cultural traditions that upheld a standard of beauty geared toward whites.
References and ResourcesSimply Hairstyles: 1970s Hairstyles
Fashion Hairstyles: 1970's Hairstyles & Haircuts
All Hairstyles: Hairstyles 1970
"Encyclopedia of Hair: A Cultural History"; Victoria Sherrow; 2006