Hair styling

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For humans, haircut, hairstyle, or hairdo normally describe cutting or styling head hair. Unlike other animals, humans of many cultures cut their hair, rather than letting it grow naturally. Hair styles are often used to signal cultural, social, and ethnic identity. Men and women naturally have the same hair but generally hairstyles conform to cultural standards of gender. Hair styles in both men and women also vary with current fashion trends, and are often used to determine social status.

Aside from its function of keeping hair neat and attractive, a hair cut can also be enjoyed at a similar level to a massage. While fingers and cutting instruments tend to the scalp and hair, the recipient of a hair cut may experience warmth and tingling sensations around their head, neck, and shoulders. A hair cut done with care and precision can be rewarding at pragmatic, physical, and emotional levels.

There is a thriving world market in cut human hair of sufficient length for wig manufacture and for the production of training materials for student hairdressers and barbers. In less developed countries, selling one's hair can be a significant source of income — depending on length, thickness, condition, and colour, wig makers have been known to pay as much as US$40 for a head of hair. In the United States, cut hair of at least 10 inches (25 cm) length may be donated to a charitable organization, such as Locks of Love.


  • In the 17th century, Manchu invaders issued the Queue Order, requiring Chinese, who traditionally did not cut their hair, to shave their heads like Manchus. The Chinese resisted. Tens of thousands of people were killed due to their hairstyle.
  • In the 1920s, the evangelist Billy Sunday popularized the phrase "long-haired men and short-haired women", a term he meant to encompass his disapproval of radicals, liberated women, homosexuals, and Greenwich Village artists.
  • Until the Beatles came along, classical music was called longhaired music, because a longer style was popular among male orchestral musicians and conductors.
  • In 2006, Virginia Senator George Allen became involved in a political controversy that turned, in part, on the difference between a mullet and a Mohawk.

Hairstyling and Passing

Many cultures have specific standards for hair styles based on gender. With this in mind, those who wish to transgress gender norms will almost always modify their hair style to fit the standards of their target gender. Biological processes based on the presence or absence of significant amounts of testosterone will often affect hair quantity and quality which then affects the type of hairstyle that meets the needs of the wearer.

Simply allowing hair length to increase as a biological male to fit in as an women may not work nor will cutting all the hair off and going bald help for a biological women to fit in as a man. A general rule of thumb says that cutting your hair in layers will "tone down" a typical square male chin, getting bangs will also put focus on the eyes and soften a masculine face by hiding the male brow ridge that men often have. For trans men or those that want a strong, masculine hairstyle that might roughen up any soft features on the face, it is not always necessary to cut the hair down really short or even bald to achieve the desired look. One of the best ways to try out various hair styles without actually getting the hair cut is by visiting online hairstyle simulators. These sites, some charge a fee, others do not, will allow a picture to be uploaded. The site’s software then allows the user to try out varying hair styles in cyberspace giving them the opportunity to determine which style best fits their needs before actually getting their hair cut.

For trans women who have had significant damage from male pattern baldness, hairstyle can make a significant difference in how well they pass. Some trans women who only occasionally transgress norms require temporary hairstyles to fulfill their desired roles. To this end, wigs, falls and other hair replacement strategies are often used to generate a hairstyle that fits more readily into the cultural norm for women.

Types of haircuts

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  • Afro, a hairstyle popular with people of African and Melanesian descent, it is often considered symbolic of Black racial pride; however the hairstyle can also be worn by non-Blacks who have loosely curled hair
  • Bangs (or fringe) is a shaped cutting of the front part of the hair so that it is combed forward and hangs or curls over the forehead.
  • Bantu/Zulu knots, haircut of African origin consisting of many small buns.
  • Beatle haircut or 'Moptop', after the fashion of the early Beatles, is a hairstyle that is fairly thick all around and neatly cut. This hairstyle was relatively new to Americans at the time, but not an uncommon British haircut. During the height of "Beatlemania," "Beatle wigs" were sold.
  • The Beehive, a large "big hair" style popular in the 1960s.
  • Big hair, various styles denoting a lot of volume.
  • Bouffant, another "big hair" style.
  • Bun(also known as a Bobtail) is a type of hairstyle, typically worn by women, where the hair is pulled back from the face, twisted or plaited, and wrapped in a circular coil around itself, typically on the back of the head or neck.
  • Blowout hair anywhere from a quarter inch to 2 inches taped up with gel. Often worn by Italians and guidos.
  • Buzz cut, also called a butch cut; short all over.
  • Bob, a short cut for women, first popular in the 1920s, considered a sign of a liberated woman.
  • Bowl cut or "Moe", after the Three Stooges] characters.
  • Caesar cut, a short men's cut with longer bangs, also called a Clooney cut; widely popular among men from the early 1990s to the present.
  • Chelsea girl, shaving the crown and occiput of the head, and leaving the front, back and often the sides as fringes.
  • Chonmage, a samurai's topknot; the hair on the top of the head was usually shaved, and the rest of the hair gathered together and tied in a topknot; a modified version is still worn by some sumo wrestlers.
  • Comb over, combing hair over a bald spot.
  • Cornrows, raised, continuous braids, woven closely to the scalp; originating in indigenous Africa, they remain a popular African American hairstyle.
  • Crew cut, similar to buzz, originally worn by college rowers in the 1900s to distinguish themselves from football players, who had long hair (to supplement the inadequate helmets of the time).
  • Crop, a very short woman's cut.
  • Croydon facelift,the hair is pulled back tight and tied in a bun or ponytail at the back.
  • Devilock, short in back and on sides, long in front.
  • Dreadlocks, where hair is divided into many long, matted plaits; well known as a Rastafarian hairstyle.
  • Duck's Ass, combed long on sides, parted in back, also called ducktail or southback; the parting in the back caused the hair to stick up, hence the name. Also known as a "D.A.".
  • Emo hair
  • Fauxhawk, a fake Mohawk: short on the sides and back, medium length on top pushed up in a Mohawk direction, a portmanteau of the French 'faux' (false) and 'Mohawk'.
  • Feathered, the defining features of this style were the Side Parting and the length which varied from just showing the ears to almost shoulder length, this style rose dramatically in popularity during the 1970s but died down in the mid 1980s; it is slowly gaining back popularity; Tim Brooke-Taylor used to have this hairstyle.
  • Finger wave, popular in the 1920s and 1930s.
  • Flattop, just as it says, when combined with a D.A., called a "Detroit" because the flat top is not always compatible with a round head, there is often a spot on the top that is buzzed shorter, almost to the point of being shaved; this area is called the landing strip.
  • Flip, a medium to long cut where the sides are symetrical and curled away from the neck [1] [2]
  • Fofa, short to medium length on the sides and back, with a receding hairline from the forehead back due to a natural baldness; usually found on distinguished gentlemen and derived from the style of the monks.
  • French braid Unlike a regular three-strand braid, a French braid starts with small sections of hair at the crown of a person's head, and intermittently, more hair is added to each section as the braid progresses down the head.
  • French twist A classic "updo" in which long hair is gathered into a ponytail, then twisted together, and finally tucked and pinned together along the length of the roll.
  • Goatee Connect- This is where a thin line is made of the side burns and connects into the beard. Usually done with a shape-up.
  • High and tight, cut/buzzed very short (or even shaved) on sides and back up to the crown where the hair is left longer, can be a variation of crew cut or flattop.
  • Hime cut, a women's hairstyle consisting of straight cut side bangs and frontal fringe
  • Hi-top fade, popular style worn by African American males in the early late 1980's and early 1990's. Popular endorsers included Kid 'n Play and Grace Jones.
  • Hockey Hair, short bangs with medium length "flipped up" hair in the back and sides.
  • Horseshoe Flattop, sides are shaved and back is shaved to the top of the head, making the remaining hair looks from above like the top is cut like a horseshoe.
  • Induction cut, the very shortest of hairstyles, without actually shaving the head with a razor.
  • Ivy League Cut, or "Princeton", cut short and tapered at the back and sides and cut close (about ¼ inch) across the crown of the head, but getting a little longer (up to 1.5 inches) at the front of the head. It provides a little more flexibility in terms of styling while still having a crisp "buzzed" appearance.
  • Jheri curl, a perm that loosens the curls of a person with coarse hair; known more for the oily residue of the chemicals used ("Jheri Curl Juice") than the actual style
  • Japanese hair straightening, a process that takes usually wavy or curly hair and breaks the cystine bonds by way of chemicals, then a hot iron reorganizes the structure of the hair leaving it soft, super-straight and healthy looking.
  • Khokhol, also spelt 'chochol' and 'chachol', a Slavic name for a longer tuft of hair left on top or on the front side of the otherwise cleanly shaven or shortly cut man's hair.
  • Layered hair, where the top layers of hair are cut shorter than the layers beneath.
  • Liberty spikes, the hair is arranged into long, thick, upright spikes.
  • Low and tight, cut/buzzed very short (or even shaved) on sides and back up to a line above the ears but below the crown, hair is left longer above this line.
  • Messed up Hair, looks like you have just got out of bed, usually for men, created using wax or putty.
  • Mohawk or 'Mohican', long hair divided into sections which are then braided and worn down, both sides are shaved or buzzed, long and usually spiked in the middle.
  • Mullet, this Haircut is popular with young men and became popular in the mid-1980's, the haircut is short in the front and long at the back of the head.
  • Odango, a women's hairstyle consisting of two long pigtails emanating from two perfect "spheres" of hair on the top of the head; Made famous by Sailor Moon. It is Japanese slang for a bun. (the hairstyle)
  • Ofuku, worn by apprentice geisha in their final two years of apprenticeship; similar to the wareshinobu style; also called a momoware ("split peach") because the bun is split and a red fabric woven in the centre.
  • Pageboy, a Womans hairstyle in which the hair is almost shoulder-length except for a fringe in the front.
  • Perm, or "permanent wave," is a chemical-induced curling of naturally straight hair; originally created electrically with an apparatus resembling an electric chair; among African-Americans, a perm is the straight or large-curled look created by chemical relaxers.
  • Pigtails, long hair is parted in the middle and tied on the sides, often curled into ringlets (hence the name).
  • Pixie, a very short hair cut for women that almost resemble school boy looks.
  • Pompadour, big wave in the front, named for Madame de Pompadour aristocratic fashion leader of pre-Revolutionary France, mistress of Louis XV of France; Elvis Presley had one.
  • Ponytail, a hairstyle where most of the wearer's hair is pulled away from the face and gathered at the back.
  • Quiff, a hairstyle where part of the hair is put up high on the top of the head.
  • Recon, a radical version of the High and Tight, with the sides and back cleanly shaved very high up the head, intentionally leaving a very extreme contrast between the longer top hair and the shaved sides.
  • Rattail, is a male with all of his hair cut short all over except for a long strip of his hair growing in the back of the middle of his head typically at about ½ inch to an inch wide and can be as long as all the way down his back, but it is mostly found on a boy under 14 years old but some men wear one too. Occasionally females wear a rattail also.
  • Relaxer (chemical) typically done on black women, this is the process of making kinky or course hair staight. Timed applications are required. Read instuctions before application.
  • Ringlet is a type of hairstyle. It is achieved by wrapping a lock of hair around the length of a thin curling iron or can be sported naturally by people with sufficiently tightly curled hair.
  • Ronaldo cut: shaved head except for the front thirdish which is buzzed.
  • Shape-Up: This is where the barber cuts around the hairline making it visible
  • Sidelock: Long in front of the ears, short in back. The hair that is directly over the ears is allowed to grow long, but it is combed forward, in front of the ears, where it is sometimes twisted or curled if there isn't a natural curl to start with. The opposite of the Tom Hanks backward sweep cut, or the Duck's Ass cut. Compare payot in Numbers 6:5.
  • Tape-Up: This is the same as a shape-up but part of the hair along the side of the face is made shorter then the rest of the hair.
  • Tonsure: This haircut is most identifiable with European monks; having a rim of hair about the head with the top shaved off.
  • Updo: This haircut is where the hair is put up on the top or back of the head and is commonly used for formal events such as weddings and proms
  • Wings, a new hairstyle similar to the Beatles cut but with the side and back bangs flipped up, occasionally by the use of a ballcap, usually worm with medium-long haircuts.

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