Bowl cut

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A boy sporting a bowl cut

A bowl cut, or bowl haircut, is a simple and plain short haircut where the hair is cut with a straight fringe on the front and the rest of the hair is the same length all the way around or is cut short on the sides and back.[1] It is so named because it looks as though someone put a bowl on the head and cut off or trimmed short all the visible hair.[1] A bowl cut is also known for being a cheap and easy haircut often sported by children.


A 1920s Soviet Ukrainian poster; the man on the left sports a bowl cut

Historically, the bowl haircut was popular among common people of various nationalities as an easy and relatively neat cut by a non-professional.[1] Indeed, it was done by putting a cooking pot of a fit size to the level of ears, and all hair below the rim was cut or shaved off. In some cultures it was a normal type of haircut. In other cultures the bowl cut was viewed as an attribute of poverty, signifying that the wearer could not afford to visit a barber.[1]

In popular culture[edit]

Dee Dee Ramone's Beatles-inspired bowl cut.


In the 1939 film the Wizard of Oz, the wizard can be seen sporting a bowl cut during his introductory scene.


  • Comedian and cornetist Merwyn Bogue, better known by his character's name of Ish Kabibble, sported one in big band leader Kay Kyser's 1949-50 TV quiz show Kay Kyser's Kollege of Musical Knowledge.
  • Child actor Adam Rich popularized the hairstyle with parents in the late 1970s and early 1980s as the youngest-son character Nicholas Bradford on the American series Eight Is Enough, which was syndicated around the world.[4] Joey Lawrence, when he was a child TV star, also had the same fuller on the sides version as Rich.[5]


  • From the mid-1960s onwards, the haircut resurfaced as a counterculture style credited to the moptop hairstyles of groups like The Beatles and The Monkees.[1][7] A longer version, known as the mod haircut, was popular among teenagers from the late 1960s until it was supplanted by the long-haired hippie or surfer look of the early 1970s.
  • During the 1980s, bowl cuts were popularised by punk rock groups like the Ramones.[8] The bowl cut gained popularity among teenaged and pre-teen boys in the late 1980s and the hairstyle was a veritable fad in some American locales, especially among the skater subculture. The popularity of the bowl cut faded by the mid-1990s.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Bowl Haircut at". Retrieved May 6, 2013. 
  2. ^ Spock on IMDB
  3. ^ Adam Brown with bowl cut
  4. ^
    • In Dragon Ball Z the character Gohan sports a bowl cut during the Namek saga of the show
    ""Eight Is Enough" cast: Where are they now, 30 years later?". Fox News. January 15, 2013. Retrieved May 4, 2013., Jan 15, 2013. Quote: "Playing the youngest of the Bradford clan, Adam Rich was America's little brother. In the late '70s and early '80s, thousands of boys sported a Nicholas-style haircut." Includes photo in slideshow.
  5. ^ "Kid's Haircuts: The Good, the Bad, and The Bowl Cut". Retrieved May 7, 2013.  Includes photo of Lawrence.
  6. ^ "Doctor Zee entry at". Retrieved May 7, 2013.  Includes photos of Rist and Stuart.
  7. ^ Sims, Josh (1999). Rock Fashions. Omnibus Press. pp. 151–152. ISBN 0-7119-7733-X.
  8. ^ Ramones in Rock and Roll High School
  9. ^ 1990's Time Period in Fashion History