Rattail (hairstyle)

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Child in the 1980s with a rattail

A rattail is a hair style that is characterized by a long "tail"-like element of hair growing downward from the back of the head. The rattail usually hangs naturally; however, it can be braided, treated as a dread, permed, straightened, poofed, or curled with an iron. In some instances, an individual might choose to grow several tails as opposed to a single very long tail. A rattail is characterised by hair longer than the rest of the hair surrounding it.[1]

The rattail saw a brief period of mainstream popularity during the mid to late 1980s. By the mid 90s it had rapidly fallen out of fashion.[citation needed] However, it has recently[2] seen renewed popularity.

Cultural prevalence[edit]

Some punks and rivetheads have been known to sport rattails, although in a much more punk fashion, sometimes with the tail dyed a different color than the rest of the hair or by shaving the rest of the head, leaving only the tail. It is a very popular hairstyle in Broome, Western Australia and New Zealand, especially among boys, and is sometimes combined with shaved sides as a soft fauxhawk.

New Kids On The Block performer Jordan Knight wore a long braided rattail for much of his time with the band, which helped further the style's popularity.[citation needed]

Former junior welterweight boxing champion Kostya Tszyu sported a rather famous rattail throughout his career.[3]

Game developer Richard Garriott has worn a rattail since 1984. [4]

In the Star Wars universe, Jedi Padawans wear a rattail called a Padawan Braid until they are given the rank of Jedi Knight.

In the "Cool Guy Clarence" episode of Clarence,[5] Clarence gets a rattail after admiring the one his new friend has.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Rat Tail Hairstyle". Retrieved February 15, 2010.
  2. ^ "Is the rat-tail, the worst men's hairstyle ever, making a comeback?".
  3. ^ "Shane Mosley & Kostya Tszyu: Boxing's Smiling Assassins". Retrieved February 15, 2010.
  4. ^ @RichardGarriott (26 January 2015). "And... Just for me... The rat tail jokes! Had mine since 1984!" (Tweet). Retrieved 1 August 2020 – via Twitter.
  5. ^ "Cool Guy Clarence". IMDb.

External links[edit]