Jeremy Renner with longer crew cut in the movie The Hurt Locker.
The crew cut is a very popular hairstyle among men. This has been very true since the 1950s. Many men have wondered about the history of this particular method of cutting and styling hair. Many different stories have been published, including that General George Washington required recruits into the Continental Army to have this haircut. However, the true crew cut history is very different, and makes more sense when the name is considered.
The fact of the matter is that this hairstyle was created by the Yale rowing team in the late 19th century. The goal of the team was to make it easier to differentiate them from the football team. Football players at the time wore long hair to provide extra padding because the helmets of the time were simple leather head coverings with little to no padding. The name was coined because a team of rowers was referred to as the boat’s crew.
Yale rowing team.
In 1895, the Yale football team adopted this hairstyle as well, eliminating its use as a means of telling the different types of athletes apart. However, it had the advantage of ensuring that the hair of players stayed clear of their eyes and did not impair vision.
The true military crew cut history begins in World War II. At this time, there was a severe problem with head lice, especially in areas where a large number of people were quartered in a small space such as army barracks. It was found that cutting the hair extremely short helped to cut down in infestations.
It also served to make all recruits look similar and added to the uniformity of appearance. It was quickly adopted by all branches of the US armed forces.
Many of the men who served in the armed forces found that they liked the hairstyle and chose to continue wearing it after the war ended and they returned to civilian life. It was one of the most popular styles among young men during the early 1950s, at least among those who were not displaying a strong rebellious streak.
Over time, this hairstyle came to be popular among specific groups, particularly white supremacist groups. While it was still a mainstay in the military, civilians who wore it came to be held in lower regard from the mid 1960s to the 1970s. This is still a popular style in some of these circles, however, it is also regaining popularity among the more mainstream population.
The true crew cut history may be very different from what is told in many places. However, the history of this distinctive male hairstyle is a long and distinguished one. It is a buzz cut style that has been altered in many ways, including the creation of the flat top, the slightly longer Ivy League, and the crew cut as seen in the US military. Even in civilian life, it is a short men’s haircut that is proudly worn by many who firmly believe that men should not have long hair or who have an occupation where it is essential that their hair stay out of their eyes.