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Elly Jackson of La Roux wearing her hair in a quiff
Itamar Franco, former President of Brazil, with a quiff

The quiff is a hairstyle that combines the 1950s pompadour hairstyle, the 1950s flattop, and sometimes a mohawk. In fact, the style was born as a post-war reaction to the short and strict haircuts for men, aiming to let some styling freedom into men’s lives.[1] The hairstyle was a staple in the British 'Teddy Boy' movement, but became popular again in Europe in the early 1980s and faced a resurgence in popularity during the 1990s.[2]

Origin of the word[edit]

The etymology of the word "quiff" is uncertain, and several proposals have been suggested for its origin.

  • It may owe its origin to the French word coiffe, which can mean either a hairstyle or, going further back, the mail that knights wore over their heads and under their helmets.
  • Another possible candidate for its origin is the Dutch word kuif, meaning "crest". The Dutch name for Tintin, who sports a quiff, is Kuifje, which is the diminutive of the same word.


The modern-day quiff includes plenty of hair at the front of the top of the head, receding into shorter hair at the back with a trimmed back and sides.

The Japanese punch perm, a favorite among yakuza (organized criminals) and bōsōzoku (biker gangs), is similar to the quiff.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Quiff Style Guide: What It Is & How To Style It Perfectly". Retrieved 2019-10-01.
  2. ^ Averill, Farah. "Top 6: Timeless Hairstyles". UK.AskMen.com. Ziff Davis. p. 5. Retrieved 2014-10-11.

External links[edit]

  • Media related to Quiff at Wikimedia Commons
  • The dictionary definition of quiff at Wiktionary