The 1940s brought dramatic changes to men’s hairstyling and grooming. With many men serving in World War II, hairstyles adapted to be short and practical. But despite limitations on styling, 1940s hairstyles managed to ooze retro flair.

    Let’s look at 15 iconic 1940s men’s ‘dos and how to recreate those dashing vintage cuts.

    Iconic 1940s Hairstyles for Men

    1. The Crew Cut

    The Crew Cut

    The 1940s crew cut was a practical, masculine look for soldiers and working men. Hair was clipped short on the sides and back with slightly more length on top. This style needed little upkeep and is still a classic choice today.

    2. Short Back and Sides

    Short Back and Sides (2)

    Similarly, short back and sides styles were popular 1940s cuts. Hair was kept tight and parted on the side. This allowed a bit more length on top for combing. It created a clean, polished look when slicked with pomade.

    3. Slicked Styles

    Slicked Styles

    Slicked hairstyles let 1940s men sculpt their hair neatly. After washing and towel drying, hair was combed and parted before “pomading” (styling with pomade). This sleek, shiny look was iconic of the dapper 1940s style.

    4. Side Parts

    Side Parts-1940s hairstyles men

    A defining feature of 1940s cuts was the side part. Hair was firmly parted and slicked down on one side. This allowed styling height and volume on the other side for a dashing silhouette.

    5. Wavy Styles

    Wavy Styles-1940s hairstyles men

    For a more relaxed look, 1940s men wore looser, wavier styles. Hair was still parted but combed in softer, more natural waves. This “wet look” was iconic on stars like heartthrob Frank Sinatra.

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    6. Mustaches

    Mustaches-1940s hairstyles men

    Various mustaches complemented 1940s hairstyles. The pencil mustache was incredibly trendy, worn by celebrities and soldiers alike. Other popular ‘staches were the toothbrush, handlebar, and Chevron shapes.

    7. Pompadours

    Pompadours-1940s hairstyles men

    The pompadour emerged as a 1940s men’s style, especially among jazz musicians. Hair was combed up and backward from the forehead. This created volume and flair reminiscent of the iconic ‘50s pompadour.

    8. Widow’s Peak

    Widow's Peak-1940s hairstyles men

    The natural widow’s peak hairstyle was another distinguishing 1940s men’s look. Hair was parted and slicked back on the sides to accentuate the V-shaped peak at the front.

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    9. Brushed Up

    Brushed Up-1940s hairstyles men

    For added flair, 1940s men brushed the front top hair upwards. Pomade held this textured brush-up style in place. It gave a tousled, casual effect while keeping hair controlled.

    10. Side Part Pomp

    1940s Side Part Pomp

    A hybrid ‘40s pompadour combined a side part with volume brushed up on top. Hair was combed diagonally backward from the part for a show-stopping vintage style.

    11. The Flat Top

    1940s The Flat Top

    The flat top hairstyle featured hair clipped short on the sides and back, with the top hair cut to stand upright. This created a flat, leveled ‘platform’ on top. The front edge could be rounded or come to a point.

    12. The Businessman

    1940s style for professional men

    The businessman cut was a conservative 1940s style for professional men. Hair was parted and combed neatly to the side. It was kept shorter than fashionable looks but well-styled with pomade.

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    13. Brush Cut

    1940s Brush Cut

    The military brush cut shaved hair very close on the sides and back. On top, short, bristly hair was brushed upwards. Soldiers widely adopted this no-fuss style during WWII.

    14. Slicked Wet Look

    1940s Slicked Wet Look

    Slicking all hair tightly back while still damp created a ‘wet look’ style. This gave the hair a glossy sheen and accentuated waves. The wet look was popular for evening events.

    15. Curly Styles

    Curly Styles-1940s hairstyles men

    Finally, men with naturally curly hair embraced texture in the 1940s. Tight curls were combed and parted neatly or worn more freely. This gave a classic, ruggedly handsome look.

    Recreate Iconic 1940s Men’s Hairstyles

    Barbers can replicate these dashing retro cuts. Start with a short back and sides. For elevated styles, leave length on top to sculpt with pomade. Create a strong side part and brush hair up for height. Add a part pompadour or slick it all back. You can easily mimic these iconic ‘40s men’s hairstyles with some products and practiced styling.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Q: What Hair Products did Men Use in the 1940s?

    Ans: Pomade was the primary styling product for men in the 1940s. Brands like Murray’s or Royal Crown were popular for slicking back hair neatly. Other products included hair tonics, brilliantine, and early hairsprays.

    Q: How Often did Men Get Haircuts in the 1940s?

    Ans: Men typically visit the barber every 2-4 weeks for maintenance. Short hairstyles needed frequent trimming to keep them neat. Some barbers still made house calls in the 1940s for men’s haircuts.

    Q: Were 1940s Hairstyles Different for Black Men?

    Ans: 1940s hairstyles for black men involved keeping hair very short and close-cropped to the head. Styling options were limited due to racial discrimination. Some used pomade or styling grease to create waves or texture.

    Q: What were Military Hair Regulations?

    Ans: The military required men to wear short hairstyles that were easy to maintain and didn’t touch ears or collars. Styling with pomade was minimal for uniformity. Crew cuts and buzz cuts prevailed.

    Q: How can I Style my Hair Like 1940s Men’s Hairstyles?

    Ans: Go for a short back and sides with length on top. Create a strong side part and slick sides back. Brush the top hair up and backward. Use pomade to sculpt neat waves and hold everything in place. Finish with a fedora hat!


    Ans: 1940s hairstyles for men were practical yet dapper. Short cuts with immaculate styling created a variety of retro looks. Parted and slicked styles, buzz cuts, pompadours, and mustaches gave men a polished style even during wartime. Try recreating these iconic 1940s men’s hairstyles today for a vintage charm.

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    Jessica is a talented hairstylist and a passionate writer specializing in all things related to hairstyles and haircare. With years of experience in the beauty industry, She has honed their skills and developed a deep understanding of the transformative power of hairstyles.

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