Comb over

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Don Rickles with combover, 1970s.

A comb over or combover is a hairstyle worn by bald or balding men in which the hair is grown long and combed over the bald area to minimize the evidence of baldness. Sometimes the part is lowered so that more hair can be used to cover the balding area.

In Japan, men with comb overs are called "bar code men" (バーコード人), referring to the similarity between the striations caused by the comb and the UPC on products. The "barcode style" is called "bākōdo na kamigata" (バーコードな髪型).[1]

A variant of the comb over was patented in 1977.


A variation of the comb over where baldness is concealed by long hair combed in three separate directions has a U.S. Patent 4,022,227 by Donald J. Smith and his father, Frank J. Smith, of Orlando, Florida. In 2004, the Smiths were awarded an Ig Nobel Prize.

Famous comb overs[edit]

Charles, Prince of Wales with side parted combover.
Modern combover of Mohamed Rabbae derived from the Mod haircut, where the hair on the back of the head is combed forward.
Combover of Swedish King Karl IX was arranged to resemble a cross.
  • The Emperor Constantine combed his hair forward to disguise his receding hairline.[2]
  • In the UK, two people noted for comb overs were the former chairman of Call My Bluff, Robert Robinson (known as the "king of the comb over")[3][4] and World Cup winner Bobby Charlton.[5][6]
  • In Spain, the Basque nationalist politician Iñaki Anasagasti is noted for his comb over, giving his name to comb overs ("hairstyle a la Anasagasti").[7]
  • Algerian president Abdelaziz Bouteflika is known for his comb over in Algeria and neighbouring countries.[8]
  • American business magnate Donald Trump has been lampooned for his comb-over. Vanity Fair described it as a two-directional double combover, made visible in harsh lighting,[9] and the Daily Mail called it an "astonishing coiffure".[10]
  • Purdue University basketball coach Gene Keady wore his hair in a combover for decades until 2013 when he shaved it off at the behest of his fiance (now wife). He told a reporter in 2014 that he spent $600 a week on the hairstyle that included hair extensions and dye.[11]

In popular culture[edit]

Donald Trump's combover

See also[edit]


  1. ^ From: Japan Akihiko Yonekawa ed Slang Dictionary (3rd edition) publishing house in Tokyo in 2006, 483 pages. see also: „Miscellaneous“ in the article on barcodes in the Japanese Wikipedia[dubious ]
  2. ^ Stephenson, Paul (2010). Constantine, Roman Emperor, Christian Victor. Penguin. p. 207(print),181(ebook). ISBN 9781468303001.
  3. ^ Dugdale, John (March 9, 2002). "Volume control". Retrieved 2012-09-05. 
  4. ^ "Ask the Family, BBC2, Monday". 2012-05-09. Archived from the original on 2008-05-16. Retrieved 2012-09-05. 
  5. ^ Lewis, Rob. "Oxford Student - TT2005 Week 7 - Features - Charlton". Archived from the original on 2005-11-18. 
  6. ^ Littlejohn, Georgina (3 March 2011). "David Beckham's hair emulates Bobby Charlton's comb-over". Daily Mail. London. Retrieved 2012-09-05. 
  7. ^[dubious ]
  8. ^ "الرئيس". Retrieved 2012-09-05. 
  9. ^ Handy, Bruce (March 31, 2011). "Shocking Truth Behind Donald Trump’s Hair Revealed?". Vanity Fair. 
  10. ^ Mcdermott, Nick; Nicolson, Stuart (June 11, 2008). "A step-by-step guide to the gravity-defying Donald Trump combover". Daily Mail Online. London. Retrieved 2012-09-05. 
  11. ^ Doyel, Gregg (November 12, 2014). "Doyel:Gene Keady spent how much on that combover". Indianapolis Star. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Walker, W. H. (2010). "Is the "Comb Over" Dying? A Mouse Model for Male Pattern Baldness (Androgenic Alopecia)". Endocrinology 151 (5): 1981–3. doi:10.1210/en.2010-0217. PMID 20410210.