Why Do Men Have Short Hair? How Did It Start?

Long hairs have always been at the top list in terms of the fashion industry. We all live in a turbulent environment and changes are common but what never goes out of trend are the long hairs. Hairs add a dimension to ones look. Well this is all about women. What about men? Why do men prefer having short hairs? To answer all your questions lets turn the pages back.

Long hairs have been popular since the American revolution and is also dated back to ancient Greek and Romans. During the ancient times men usually had long hairs but shorter than the women. Hairs were treated as a symbol of beauty and self-respect for the women, which meant that every women had to keep long locks. However, during the civil war the popularity of men having long hairs decreased tremendously. During the 1800’s the long hair trend began dying but it got back its roots during the 1960’s but survived only till 1970’s. The 1970’s marked the end of the long hair trend for the men.


There are three main reasons why the “long hair trend” came to an end.

  1. Civil war
  2. Incident – Archbishop Anselm of Canterbury
  3. Health and lifestyle.


image credit- crazy crow

The American civil war also known as “ The Civil War” was fought in the United States from 1861 to 1865 between the north and the south. The war broke out on 12 April 1861 due to the controversy on the enslavement of black people and lasted till 9 May 1865. The war resulted in the dissolution of the confederate states, slavery being abolished and marked the beginning of the reconstruction era.

During the civil war the long hair trend lost its popularity because the governments of the north and south were focused on the war rather than on the people. It is believed that many people lost their lives due to battle related injuries but this isn’t the truth. Many people lost their lives due diseases which were spread due to lice. Back then there were no treatments available and lice had become common among people especially men. Lice contributed as the major factor in the spread of various types of diseases. This happened mainly because of the living conditions during the war. Men had to cut their long hair into short so that they could get rid themselves of lice.


image credit- wikiwand

Anselm of Canterbury also known as the Anselm of Aosta, born in 1033 was a philosopher, monk and theologian of the catholic church. He held the office of archbishop of Canterbury from 1093 to 1109. He had a philosophical approach and sometimes was also credited as the founder of scholasticism. He is now known as the originator of ontological argument for the existence of god.

In 1094 Robert Bartlett noted that ‘Archbishop Anselm of Canterbury’ refused to give ashes or his blessings to those young men who grew their hair like girls unless they had their haircut. According to him men who grew long hair were feminine in nature. This is also considered to be reason for men having short hairs.


image credit- malayalam emagazine

According to the Stenn, a former professor of pathology and dermatology at Yale heath and hairs are interrelated. Long hairs needs to be taken care off and one needs to be healthy in order to have healthy hairs. Men are more related to rough sports and games and managing long hairs were difficult. In today’s arena there are numerous hair care products and if one wants to keep long hairs while involving sports it is possible.

St. Paul’s letter to Corinthian’s stated “Doth not nature itself teach you that if a man have long hair it is shame unto him? But if a women have long hair, it is a glory to her.” This clearly showed that the mentality of the society is also a major factor contributing towards men having short hairs.

Talking about today’s arena some men do have long hairs and some have short hairs. But men usually have short hairs because it’s easier to maintain, easier to get a job and long hairs aren’t easy to pull off.

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