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Men's 1920’s Inspired Hairstyles

Inspired by the 1920s and 1930s when hairstyles were simple, understated, classy and fashionable. They suited more formalwear occasions - think Great Gatsby style. The ‘Undercut’ or ‘Slicked back’ is probably the most sophisticated of this era where men would ask for the traditional "short back and sides" but keep length on the top. The key thing for this hairstyle is for the sides not to be blended with the top layers, the name ‘undercut’ indicates there needs to be definition between the two. Ask your barber or hair specialist to use the clippers at the side and backs, you can opt for scissors but this won’t give you a close to the scalp cut.

Ultimately it does depend how short you want your hair to be. With the top length you need it to be long enough to comb back over the crown of your head.

Slicked Back
Slicked Back

This hairstyle is best on clean hair and best styled when the hair is damp but not completely wet. You simply need a strong holding gel for the true ‘slicked back' look. Using a comb, brush the hair backwards from the front of your forehead. A point worth noting for this hairstyle is if you’re thinning on top, as it may not be the most flattering style for you. If you’re balding at the temples keep the sides as short as possible and have it blended on a higher grade towards the back. This will draw attention away from a receding hairline.

Side Part vs Undercut
Side Part vs Undercut

The other option for a 1920s inspired style is the ‘Side part’, again a sophisticated style for smart occasions. It’s a great style to shape your face and define the jawline, and works with those with a fade or buzz haircut. Keep the hair medium length on the top so you have enough to part and keep one side slightly shorter to identify the side part once you’re done styling. Ensure the top isn’t completely combed down flat to the head, especially during the daytime as this may look too formal. However, this is naturally a classic style for men, so keep a bit of volume and texture on the top.

Photo: Hannah Cassidy
Photo: Hannah Cassidy

Product wise, use a light pomade or wax, but be careful not to use too much. Unlike the undercut, which is meant to have a shine effect and unless you want to look like a school boy, this style isn’t meant to look overly slick so stick to matte products. Or you can use hairspray as an alternative if your hair isn’t too fly away.

Rakelle Maurici

With a thirst for exploration and over 10 years of writing experience, Rakelle is a keen fashion, travel and culture storyteller. Her work, from city guides to short stories, has been featured in both global print and digital media.

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