Bowl cut

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A modern boy's bowl cut that is short on the sides, and long on the top.

A bowl cut, or mushroom cut, is a simple haircut where the front hair is cut with a straight fringe (see bangs) and the rest of the hair is left longer, the same length all the way around, or else the sides and back are cut to the same short length.[1] It is named so because in medieval times, when it was popular in Europe, a bowl would be placed on the head and then used as a cutting guide to trim the hair.[1]


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

Historically, the bowl cut was popular among common European men, being an easy neat cut done by a non-professional. 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 the 1960s the bowl cut made a return in popularity, in part due to celebrities such as the Beatles.[1]

21st century[edit]

The popularity of the bowl cut faded in the early - mid 2000s.[citation needed]

Since the 2010s, the cut is often ridiculed by many and is often mocked via internet memes, especially after the infamous Charleston church shooting by Dylann Roof on June 17, 2015.[2][3][4] The civil rigts organization the Anti-Defamation League considers it a hairstyle that is used by White supremacists because of Dylann Roof, who opened fire in a predominantly black church.[5]

Young boy with a bowl cut

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Bowl Haircut at". Retrieved May 6, 2013.
  2. ^ Deabler, Alexandra (September 3, 2019). "Charlize Theron among celebs bringing back the bowl cut". Fox News.
  3. ^ Singh-Kurtz, Sangeeta (September 25, 2019). "Charlize Theron's Bowl Cut Speaks". The Cut.
  4. ^ "The Bowl Cut Your Mom Gave You Is Back".
  5. ^ Dickson, E. J.; Dickson, E. J. (September 26, 2019). "How a White Supremacist's Haircut Became a Symbol for Hate". Rolling Stone.

External links[edit]

  • Media related to Bowl cut at Wikimedia Commons
  • The dictionary definition of bowl cut at Wiktionary