Hair styles at English schools have varied widely over time. As far as we know, they first became a major issue in the 1970s. We are not sure to what extent state primary schools had hair cut codes. Certainly grammar schools and other state secondary schools did, at least until the 1970s. Private schools certinly did. Prep schools used to be very strict about hair cuts. They did not normally require short back and sites cuts, but the styles were definitely on the short side. Attitdes about hair changed considerably and the prep schools for the most part decided go go with the flow. We note a range of different styles in the 1980s. Most schools allowed the children considerable lattitude here as long as the hair was kept reasobanly near and off the collar. Here schools varied. Some schools continued to be very strict about hair styles. Some schools have a barber come to school on a regular basis. Other schools let the parents handel hair cutting. This was especially true of day boys. Headmasters might, however, have boys whose hair is demmed beyond the pale visit a local barber.
Girls cut for the most part left up to the individual as long as nothing exotic appears. Hair styles like fashion have varied over time. Here not only was fashion a factor, but also health especially in the 19th century and early 20th century.
We are not sure to what extent state primary schools had hair cut codes.
A reader tells us, "I never actually saw my primary school uniform regulations in a printed form but I am sure that my Mum was sent it when we started at the school so I don't know if it mentioned hair. And I went to a Church of England Primary. They would have been stricter than a regular primary. Anyway at that time most boys did have the "short back and sides" that my Mum preferred too and I never saw any boys with anything other. As I have told you it was quite a shock when I went to secondary school and some of the younger posher boys did have long hair - even in the prep school but even then the "no longer than collar length" rule was applied as the pictures that I have sent to you show - some boys' parents just seemed to allow them to grow it *upwards* instead!
Certainly grammar schools and other state secondary schools did, at least until the 1970s.
A British reader tells us, "Well I think that I have already metioned to you that hair styles were one of the first things that I remember being specifically mentioned on my grammar school uniform regulations list - "Hair should be no longer than collar length". Private schools certinly did.
Boarding may have been a factor here. At boarding schools the regulations over hygeine and hair washing were probably stricter fot the reason of them being together more often and therefore hairlength would come into that. Prep schools used to be very strict about hair cuts. They did not normally require short back and sites cuts, but the styles were definitely on the short side. Attitdes about hair changed considerably and the prep schools for the most part decided go go with the flow. We note a range of different styles in the 1980s. Most schools allowed the children considerable lattitude here as long as the hair was kept reasobanly near and off the collar. Here schools varied. Some schools continued to be very strict about hair styles. Some schools have a barber come to school on a regular basis. Other schools let the parents handel hair cutting. This was especially true of day boys. Headmasters might, however, have boys whose hair is demmed beyond the pale visit a local barber.
Hair styles like fashion have varied over time. Hair at school became a major issue in the 1970s, but hair was not always a major issue. Both boys an men in the mid-19th century war their hair relatvely long, often covering their ears. As far as we know it was entirely up to the boys and their parents as to how a boy wore his hair. Only in the late-19th century did short hair for men and school age boys become standard. We are not sure just how schools began to address the queston of hair. For boarding schools it was simple. The school simple brought in a barber and gave him instructions and billed the parents. The boys had nothing to say as to the style. For private day schools and state schools the issue of har was left to the parents.
Here not only was fashion a factor, but also health especially in the 19th century and early 20th century. Personal hygene was a problem in the 19th and early 20th century when many homes did not have running water. Short hair was a way of limiting haead lice. This concern continued into the 1960s. A reader tells us, "... at primary school we used to have visits from the "nit nurse" who would inspect our hair for headlice!This was probably going back to the days when children could not be kept so clean but even so it was quite a performance and any child who had them was given a bottle of solution to take home. My Mum always kept our hair washed on a regular basis but even then headlice could spread no matter what parents did and long hair was discouraged in boys for that reason." I'm not sure if schools in the early 20th century had hair cut rules. I think there was more general concormity, but I am not entirely sure about this. Many schools certinly began adopting hair cut codes in the late-1960s as long hair began to become popular. We are not sure just when the schools began to develop dress codes ad hair styling codes. We know this developed in the 1970s when long hair began o bcome popular. To wht extent it occurred earlier, we are not sure. Schoolboys tend to have short hair cuts in quite uniform styles as most schools forbided long hair or excessive styles. A reader writes about the 1970s, "One thing that I can tell you that there was a variation between schools in the 70s and parents then went along with that. My little brother went on to a non-uniform school when we moved and he was allowed to have longer hair (by Mum not due to school regulations) than me and my older brother had ever been allowed. Maybe Mum saw that short hair and uniforms went together and my uncle (who had been in the army) always said so too. I keep meaning to write to you about our trips to the barbers because they seemed such an adventure and I shall try to do so. I also sometimes think that Mum allowed my little brother to have longer hair because he was the youngest but I can't be sure of that." Gradually after waging hair wars, schools became to become more flexble on the issue. This occurred when younger masters started showing up with longish cuts. Actual rules varied from school to school. Hair color is another issue. Boys will usually earn a temporary exclusion if they turn up with died hair.
Children of course go to school with the popular styles of the day. Some times the school rules both on uniform and hair styles do not move as quickly as popular fashions. This occurred in the 1960s when long hair became popular, causing conflict between the students and schools, especially at secondary schools. The conflict was charged because students at the time liked long hair styles so much and to many conservtive adults they were offensive. A reader writes, "I think that I told you about this when I first wrote to you regarding the television series "And Mother Makes Three" because in that series both of the boys did have long hair whereas the other uniform requirements did, more or less,refelect the times (the early 1970s)."
Girls cut for the most part left up to the individual as long as nothing exotic appears. A reader tells us that girls at his primary in the 1960s "... were not allowed to have loose long hair at my primary school - they had to have it tied up in pigtails or plaits and even then for P.E. they had to tie it up in bows so perhaps it was better for us to have short hair anyway without all of the bother!"
Different styles have been popular at varios ages. Of course a factor here is that parents have more to say about the hair styles of younger children.
We notice a range of different hair styles worn at schools. These of course have varied over time. One popular style for younger boys is bangs. Cuts using bangs have varied in popularity over time, but have never disappearred. Long hair became popular in the late 1960s and this became an issue at many schools. Eventually this became less a problem because some of the teachers began wearing long hair as well. It was not always long hair that was a roblem. Skinhead styles became popular in the 1970s. A reader tells us, "... Mum wouldn't allow me or my older brother to have long hair. When it came to the point where I was allowed to choose my own hairstyle it was a "skinhead" cut which was very short anyway and then the schools objected to that!"
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