A flash from the past: remembering the 1980s bowl haircut
If you were a child of the 1970s or 1980s, you will know that the bowl haircut was all the rage in the 1980s and 1990s. In the eighties and at least here in the United States, the bowl haircut was a straight textbook bowl cut. Your mother would place a bowl on your head and cut and buzz anything below it. That’s if you had straight hair or wavy hair. I remember my curly friends back in the day only had one hairstyle option: a buzz cut.
In the nineties, the bowl haircut evolved and became more of a taper haircut with a middle part hairstyle or side part hairstyle. Do you remember Saved By The Bell with Mark-Paul Gosselaar playing Zack Morris? Well, I’m talking that kind of hairstyle as the 1990s bowl haircut.
Nowadays, we have the undercut hairstyle which is, for all purposes intended, a bowl haircut. Now, a bowl haircut is not an undercut, but an undercut is a bowl haircut. I know it may be splitting hairs, but you will be surprised as to how many times I see this mistake (and many others concerning the undercut) in online websites. Another hairstyle name for a bowl haircut is a disconnected haircut, and, indeed, the undercut is a disconnected haircut too.
Lastly, the bowl haircut was one of the favorite military haircuts of the German army in the Second World War as the bowl haircut kept the sides and back of the head free of hair while still allowing enough hair length on the top of the head to cushion and secure the helmet safely. Furthermore, the hair on the top of the bowl haircut provided some insulation against the freezing temperatures experiencing in the eastern front between Germany and the Soviet Union.
A reader sends us his bowl haircut
Enough with the barber technicalities and hairstyle history lessons and let’s talk about one of our reader’s epic bowl haircut! We received a picture of his self-cut bowl haircut, which he attempted it with the old-school way of placing a bowl on his head and then buzzing everything below it. I’m surprised as to what kind of bowl he used as an adult male’s head is too big for the kind of small bowls that mothers used in the 1980s and 1990s for their kids’ haircuts.
Our reader (who prefers to remain unnamed) didn’t mention what type of bowl he used for his bowl cut, although I will try to ask him in our next correspondence. That way, if any of you are feeling some haircut nostalgia, well, all you need is to go to Walmart, pick up one of those plastic bowls, a decent hair clipper, and get cutting the old-school way!
Last updated: 26th May 2015