It turns out the popular new haircut you’ve started requesting—“buzzed on the sides, longer on top and slicked back with a dab of pomade”—is not as new as you may have thought. The Times reports on the latest trend in male hairdressing: the Hitler Youth haircut.
But a lot of them just ask for a Hitler Youth, said Sam Buffa, a founding partner of the barbershop. “I was trying to not use that” term, he added.
The old-school coif has become a go-to haircut not just for Web designers in heritage-brand clothing, but for fashion designers and D.J.’s in the style capitals of Europe.
Lest we jump to fascist conclusions about every wearer of this hairdo, the reality is that variations of this haircut have been consistently present in pop culture and, as with any stylistic re-appropriation, the initial associations become more distant with each reemergence. Further, most, if not all, of the people embracing the haircut either have no idea of the fascist associations or, more likely, don’t really care. After all, it’s just a haircut.
However, there is admittedly something a bit jarring about seeing the floppy coif—which, it’s worth noting, really only works with straight hair—atop a military jacket or other item of structured outerwear. Which might be why the unsmiling fellows in pictures one and six in the Times slideshow accompanying the article seem somehow more menacing than, say, the grinning, unshaven Joe Jonas at number 2. Not that we don’t love you, Joe.