German Schools: Hair Styles

Figure 1.--Here we see an unidentified German school class, probably taken in the late 1920s. The boys wear a variety of clothes and hair styles. Note we no longer see the close-cropped hair common in the early 20th century. The boys all have relatively short hairm except for a boy in the back row wearing asailr suit.

The hair styles worn by German boys over time have varied substantially. As far as we can tell, school hair styles generally reflected popular hair styles of the day. What we do not jnow if the schools imposed any rules about hair styling. We suspect that there may have been some school intervention in the 19th century, but more for sanitary reasons than stylistic reasons. Head lice was a real problem in the late 19h and early 20th century when many German families did not have the bathrooms and running water that make high personal hygene standards so common today. This was a problem in other countries as well. We suspect that the military ethos of Wilhelmite Germany may be another factor in making close-cropped hair for boys so common. Age was another factor. It was most common for younger boys. This changed after World War I, especially by the mid-20s. Boys still war shirt hair, but not short that it could not be combed. Rarely do we see boys with long hair until the 1960s. German boys by the 1970s were adopting the same pan-European hair styles that we see in clothing styles.


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Created: 8:51 PM 1/7/2009
Last updated: 8:51 PM 1/7/2009