The 1950s Men’s Hairstyles page is dedicated to the ducktail haircut. Other than the poodle skirt, no other symbol of the Fifties has captured the imagination and endured so well.
Also called the D.A. or duck butt, the style requires that you comb the hair back to the middle of the head, then with the end of a rattail comb, make a center part.
Let us consider its contribution to the term “greasers.” To accomplish this look, lots of hair grease is required. In this case, a little dab ain’t gonna do ya. In the 50s you may remember, there were no blow dryers to create a look. To make hair stay in a certain style, you had to either spray or grease. Well, real men didn’t spray.
The D.A. quickly identified a guy as a rebel, a non-conformist. Although once everyone in a group does an identical thing, such standardization is conformity, but hey, it’s remains cool compared to the mainstream.
Although the ducktail was adopted lovingly by Hollywood to represent the wild youth of the Fifties, the fact is that only a small minority of guys actually sported a D.A.
Most fellas looked more like the guy at right. The crewcut was the hair style of choice for many young men.So was a do known as the flat top.What’s the diffference? Herbert Klug explains:
“The crewcut was one type of cut and the flat top was totally different. In the crew cut, the hair was shaved to an even distance all over the head. The top of the head was rounded. This was also called a “butch haircut”. It was the sort of hair cut that one would get if one went into the military. In the flat top, the sides were shaved close, but what made it different was the hair on the top of the head was allowed to grow longer and was then cut off in one level plane so that it produced a “flat top”.
Adult men weren’t allowed much hair within the confines of respectability. A short, neatly trimmed cut such as that at left was standard.
By the way, for those of you who want to know – that’s Cary Grant. I chose him because he exuded a timeless class which still endures.