The Pageboy style is another of those classics that many women don’t realize IS a classic, because every era has its own variant.
Some have been longer (as with the modern trend) and others have been shorter (in the 1950s and 1960s) but they’ve all followed the
same basic formula: A blunt (or only minimally layered) cut styled to create smooth, silky waves.
As with almost any style, you can change the placement of partings to adapt the style to flatter many face types. In addition, the
advances in cosmetic chemistry have created a plethora of products to give the hair that silken shine and ultra-firm hold that is
sought after in this look. While few modern women know it, the Pageboy is a classic mostly because it was such an easily maintained
style. When it originated in the 1940s, our country was at war and women were taking jobs in factories. Society dictated that these
women still had to be feminine so their hairstyles had to be the kind that could survive a long hard day on the factory floor, while
looking good in the dance halls at night. The combination of fingerwaves and low-set rollers could be snuggly slung into a hairnet
and be ready to take down and dazzle after the whistle blew and it was time to go home.
Today, fingerwaves and rollers can still give you the same effect and new products improve the smoothness and hold, but you can get
the look in a fraction of the time through heated irons and rollers. If you want to look like a movie star at your next big function,
follow Dita Von Teese’s example and try a shoulder-length pageboy. I promise you, heads will turn.
For men, the classic looks are supremely simple and basic: Short back and sides, longer on top; or uniform lengths all over the skull.
These, obviously, require that the hair be cropped in some fashion and therefore don’t include the long hair styles that have existed
throughout history. (Most of the long hair styles for men have counterparts in women’s styles and therefore needn’t be covered here,
and don’t classify as classic men’s styles anyway.)
The classic hairstyles for men – like those for women - have had their variations throughout the decades (and in some cases centuries).
Leaving added length in the front regions of a standard men’s cut leads to a “Collegiate Cut” (see photo of Josh Henderson); while
the “longer on top” qualification can often be a very minimal increase in length. (See the photo of Blair Underwood below.) The
overall range of lengths varies from decade to decade, sometimes growing to nearly two inches at the shortest length, or decreasing
until the hair barely extends beyond the scalp.
The uniform length styles for men have their origins in military tradition as soldiers and warriors in many ancient societies would
shave or shear their hair to keep from giving an enemy an extra handhold. The invention of mechanical clippers allowed barbers to
cut the hair to uniform lengths (or shear the hair to the scalp) with speed and precision. Many men today favor short “buzz cuts”
for their simplicity and ease of care. It also tends to be a flattering look for many men who suffer from male pattern hair loss.
(See photo of Christopher Meloni.) It is unlikely, given the longevity of these styles that the looks will ever fade from prominence.