School Uniform: Hair Styles

school hair syles
Figure 1.--Boys mostly have left parts. Hair cuts with a center part became popular in the 1990s. It was a revial of a turn-of the 20th century style. Only a minority of boys attempted center parts, but quite a number did so.

Just like uniform and other schoolwear styles, hair styles have also changed over time. We do not see any specific school styles. School photographs just provide us excellent examples of popular styles. That said, some schools had guidelines and rules, usually on length not styles. Mandating a style was difficult if not impossible because of all the different types of hair. Not all children had the type of hair needed for many styles. One exception was cropped hair for boys. Another exception is the bangs style we see for girls in Japan and some other Asian countries. We have seen school hair styles from close cropped hair to long shoulder-length styles. And school photographs are the single best way of following these changes over time. This is complicated somewhat by the fact that some schools have had very strict hair style regulations or attempted to regulate hair styles. In part this was a public health issue, but with improving sanitaion standards it by the mid-20th century was essentially a fashion matter. With teenagers attempting to make a statement and schools tending to insist on conservative hair styles. At schools with uniform, hair styles were the only fashion stateement pupils can make, other than wearing the uniform slovenly. But uniform schools tended to be stricter about hair styling. Other schools have had only general dress code regulations. Many schools leave it entirely up to the children and parents. We note wide variations in styles and school rules over time. Often educational philopsophy is more important here than fashion. There are also significant differences among countries. We only have a few country hair pages, including: America, England, France, and Germany. We only have a page on Russian girls. This is a section that we hope to expand. Hopefully readers will provide some insights on this topic with descriptions of their experiences.

Chronology

Just like uniform and other schoolwear styles, hair styles have also changed over time. styles. And school photographs are the single best way of following these changes over time.

Styles

We do not see any specific school styles. School photographs just provide us excellent examples of popular styles. That said, some schools had guidelines and rules, usually on length not styles. Mandating a style was difficult if not impossible because of all the different types of hair. And this varied from country to country. Not all children had the type of hair needed for many styles. One exception was cropped hair for boys. Another exception is the bangs style we see for girls in Japan and some other Asian countries. We have seen school hair styles from close cropped hair to long shoulder-length.

Rules and Regulations

Using school portraits to follow chronological changes in hir styles is complicated somewhat by the fact that some schools have had very strict hair style regulations or attempted to regulate hair styles. In part this was a public health issue, but with improving sanitaion standards it by the mid-20th century was essentially a fashion matter. With teenagers attempting to make a statement and schools tending to insist on conservative hair styles. We see struggles with school administrators in the West (1970s) for a time until longer styles became more standard. Soviet and Eastern European school authorities were more successful because of the poweer they held and an inbuilt refusal to be influenced by popular influences. . At schools with uniform, hair styles were the only fashion stateement pupils can make, other than wearing the uniform slovenly. But uniform schools tended to be stricter about hair styling. Other schools have had only general dress code regulations. Many schools leave it entirely up to the children and parents. We note wide variations in styles and school rules over time. Often educational philopsophy is more important here than fashion.

Ages

School hair styles followed the same basic age trends as school hair styles in general. Here there was one exception. Many boys received hair cuts as they approached ot turned 6 years of age. This was because many of the hair styles that mothers liked like longer hair and curls did not fly well at school. Many boys received more boys cut earlier, but almost all had their hair cut before neginning school. Other than that, school hair cuts just basically followed popular age appropriate styles. A major style here were bangs. This was a very popular style for for primary age children, but declines after children, especially boys, began secondary styles.

Countries

There are also significant differences among countries. Here a factor was geoography and immigration. A country like Japan which have few immigrants meant that children mostly had the same type of hair, this tended to mean that there was not a variety of styles. The United States, on the other hand, is a country of immgrants so we have children with all kinds of diiferent hair types, meaning different styles. Another factir is economic development. In the 19th century there were few schools outside of Europe and North America. Many children did not go to schools. In Aftrica and Asia there wre few schools. In Latin Anerica there were more schoolsm but large numbers of children did not attend school. This only began to change in the 20th century, especially the second half of the 20th century. Both factors affected coyntry trends overall as well as specificaslly school hair styles. We only have a few country hair pages at this time, including: America, England, France, Germany, and Japan. We only have a page on Russian girls.








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Created: 3:24 PM 7/9/2007
Last updated: 6:26 PM 4/2/2018