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50 Glamorous 1930s Mens Hairstyles

Although it seems to be a decade so far removed from us, the
1930s were, in fact, the moment in time when everything modern
started as far as men’s style is concerned. It was in the 1930s
that men began to take after their favorite celebrities, much
as we do now. It was also the haircuts they wore that gave
birth to the taper fades and disconnects of today. Are you
curious to know how? Here are 50 1930s mens hairstyles to take
you back in time.

1. The Clark Gable

This is actor Clark Gable during the shooting of Manhattan
Melodrama
in 1934. He was one of the most prestigious
actors of the moment and, naturally, his look and hairstyles
were copied all around.

Clark Gable during the filming of “Manhattan Melodrama”, 1934 1930s mens hairstyles images

 

2. The Frank Sinatra

One thing that was against the rules in the 1930s for men was
for them to wear long hair. Men were just surfacing from the
1910s and 20s, periods in which nothing but extremely short and
sleek hair hid under a broad-brimmed hat was acceptable.

frank sinatra 1930s mens hairstyles

 

3. The Errol Flynn

Here’s actor Errol Flynn on the set of The Private Lives of
Elizabeth and Essex
in 1939. Errol was a massive star of
the decade, even though he has been largely forgotten today. He
was also considered one of the best actors of his generation.

Errol Flynn onset The Private Lives of Elizabeth & Essex (1939) 1930s mens hairstyles

 

4. The Cary Grant

Rebelling a bit against the strictness of the previous decade,
1930s mens hairstyles meant a little long hair in the front and
on top and very short hair on the sides and faded in the back.
Everything was covered in oil or cream.

cary grant 1930s mens hairstyles

 

5. The James Roosevelt

This is James Roosevelt, the son of President Roosevelt. He’s
wearing a very roguish version of 1930s mens hairstyles with a
small strand of hair falling on his forehead, not unlike what
you would see on Zayn Malik today, for example.

James Roosevelt, son of President Roosevelt, 1930s 1930s mens hairstyles

 

6. The Gary Cooper

Here’s actor Gary Cooper photographed in 1934 by George
Hoyningen-Huene. To get this desired wet look, men used copious
amounts of a product called Brilliantine. Essentially,
this was an oily and perfumed liquid. Fun fact – when
Grease was released in Canada, they renamed it
Brilliantine, based on their hairstyles.

Gary Cooper, 1934, photo by George Hoyningen-Huene 1930s mens hairstyles

 

7. The Douglas Fairbanks Jr.

It’s very easy to see how 1930s mens hairstyles were the
great-grandfathers of today’s taper fade haircuts. Men were
trying to keep their hair shorter on the sides and in the back
according to tradition but also grow it a bit like the actors
in the movies.

Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. 1930s mens hairstyles

 

8. The Franklin D. Roosevelt Jr.

Speaking of haircuts that we still have today, here’s a
pompadour from the 1930s for you. As you can see, it also
features a hard part on one side and it has been slicked with a
lot of grease or oil.

Franklin D. Roosevelt Jr. 1930s mens hairstyles

 

9. The Jimmy Stewart

Actor Jimmy Stewart appeared in movies such as It’s a
Wonderful Life
and Rear Window. This picture of
him in the 30s proves that he too used to wear what is now
considered the epitome of 1930s mens hairstyles.

James Stewart, 1930s mens hairstyles

 

10. Simple 1930s Mens Hairstyles

Men who couldn’t afford to go to the barber in those days got
their hair cut at home. This resulted in very rough backs or
sides which might even have been shaved off completely. That’s
how the taper fade and modern disconnect were invented.

1930s mens hairstyles

 

11. Curly 1930s Mens Hairstyles

Even if you had curly hair, the same rule applied to 1930s mens
hairstyles. Your hair needed to be as short as possible on the
sides, almost like the modern undercut we have now and a little
longer on top.

curly 1930s mens hairstyles

 

12. Handsome 1930s Mens Hairstyles

You would normally part your hair on one side, slick it over,
and then apply a lot of Brilliantine or another oil or
pomade very loosely to make it stick to your scalp, not move
the entire day, and shine like crazy.

1930s mens hairstyles

 

13. The Fred Astaire

Alongside Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire made true Hollywood
history in movies such as Top Hat, Funny
Face,
and Swing Time. He was also one of the most
stylish men of the decade, wearing 1930s men hairstyles like
none other.

Fred Astaire 1930s mens hairstyles

 

14. The John Wayne

Winning the Oscar for True Grit and surnamed The Duke,
John Wayne is a Hollywood legend. He was undeniably helped by
his good looks, which included his wavy 1930s mens hairstyles
and classic handsome features.

John Wayne 1930s mens hairstyles

 

15. Elegant 1930s Mens Hairstyles

This is what men would look like if they went to a special
event such as a wedding, a party or the opera in the 1930s. It
all looks over the top to us now, but you were considered
underdressed if you didn’t follow the dress code.

1930s mens hairstyles

 

16. 1930s Mens Hairstyles with a Comb Over

This is an actual ad from the 1930s for the tennis shirt the
model is wearing. The commercial also included instructions to
the open stitch pattern so that you could knit it for yourself.
It is valuable to us because it gives us a glimpse of how men
used to style their hair and clothes during that decade.

tennis shirt cool, open stitch 1930s mens hairstyles

 

17. 1930s Mens Hairstyles for the Beach

Taken on the French Riviera at Cannes, this photograph belongs
to a very early series by the brothers Louis, Jules, and Henri
Seeberger. They were meant to depict street style in the 1930s.
We get to see what men wore as casual outfits at the beach
during those days.

1930s seaside (Cannes Deauville French Riviera, France) Early ‘street style’ photographs by French brothers Jules, Louis, and Henri Séeberger 1930s mens hairstyles

 

18. Business 1930s Mens Hairstyles

A business hairstyle from the
1930s would have the same elegant, slicked-back look that has
been treated with as much pomade or oil as it can take. The
well-tailored suit with large, baggy pants was considered the
height of fashion.

1930s mens hairstyles

 

19. Wavy 1930s Mens Hairstyles

Here is the cover of a 1930s men’s catalog which advertises a
sweater that was very trendy back then. However, we are more
interested in the wavy, slicked-back hairstyle, which produced
the image of a clean-cut and elegant man.

1930s mens catalogue cover- sweater 1930 mens hairstyles

 

20. Boyish 1930s Mens Hairstyles

Even boyish or teenage haircuts were as elegant as the rest.
Perhaps they were a little longer, younger men being allowed to
wear longer locks. However, you can see the same sense of order
and fall into a neat line everywhere. Later on, this is exactly
the look and idea that the 1950s men will rebel against and
start wearing pompadours. They would be called “The Greasers.”

boyish 1930s mens hairstyles

 

21. The Walt Disney

Here is a very young Walt Disney posing with his very first
Oscar award which he won in 1939 for a short film called
Flowers and Trees. He is styled according to the
decade in a light yet tailored suit and a slicked back
comb-over.

Walt Disney poses with his first oscar, mid 1930s mens hairstyles

 

22. The Robert Pattinson

Let’s move on now from actual classics and real pictures of
actors and stylish men of the decade and see how Hollywood
depicts the 30s in men’s hairstyles and clothing today. This is
actor Robert Pattinson in Water for Elephants.

robert pattinson Water For Elephants 1930s mens hairstyles

 

23. The Aidan Turner

Actor Aidan Turner starred in And Then There Were
None
, adapted after the famous novel by Agatha Christie, a
movie set in the 30s. His wavy black hair is slick and shiny,
exactly like most men used to wear it back then.

Aidan Turner on And Then There Were None 1939 1930s mens hairstyles

 

24. The Josh O’Connor

Here’s actor Josh O’Connor, one of the stars of the hit TV
series The Durrells in Corfu, about a British family
who moves to Corfu during the 30s. His take on 1930s mens
hairstyles is a bit more modern and loose.

josh o'connor The Durrells in Corfu 1930s mens hairstyles

 

25. The Johnny Depp 1930s Mens Hairstyles

Another slightly more modern take on 1930s mens hairstyles than
it should be belongs to Johnny Depp in Public Enemies.
His messy pompadour seems to be off by some two decades,
perhaps finding a better home in the 50s.

johnny depp public enemies 1930s mens hairstyles

 

26. The Leonardo DiCaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio portrayed Howard Hughes in The
Aviator
to great success and he cut a fantastic figure
dress and styled in a 1930s fashion. However, he didn’t seem
able to ditch his 90s heartthrob haircut and fully adhere to
1930s mens hairstyles.

leonardo dicaprio aviator 1930s mens hairstyles

 

27. The Russell Crowe

Russell Crowe’s haircut in Cinderella Man is a little
too long to be among genuine 1930s mens hairstyles. However, we
could pass it as a poor man’s version of the decade’s most
fashionable cuts, which is exactly what his character was all
about.

russell crowe in cinderella man 1930s mens hairstyles

 

28. The Indiana Jones

Although Indy’s haircut is spot on and extremely accurate as
far as 1930s mens hairstyles go, the beard is out of place. A
prominent figure like Indiana Jones would have never worn
facial hair in the 30s.

Dr. Henry Indiana Jones, Jr. in Raiders of the Lost Ark 1930s mens hairstyles

 

29. The Tom Hanks

This is actor Tom Hanks in the movie The Green Mile,
an adaptation after the novel of the same name by Stephen King,
set in the 1930s. As we have previously seen on this list, his
curly hair is styled perfectly for that decade.

Tom Hanks in The Green Mile 1930s men hairstyle

 

30. The Matt Damon

Although it is understandable that Matt Damon is going for a
bit of a young boy look in The Legend of Bagger Vance,
almost no men would have worn bangs in that decade. All 1930s
mens hairstyles were slicked back with tons of pomade.

The Legend of Bagger Vance from Matt Damon 1930s mens hairstyles

 

31. The Will Smith

Here’s Will Smith in the same movie, The Legend of Bagger
Vance
, with a slightly overgrown and natural afro that
might have been just as out of place in the 30s as Matt Damon’s
bangs. But he does, indeed, look very good.

Will Smith in The Legend of Bagger Vance 1930s mens hairstyles

 

32. The Tom Hardy

One man who got it extremely right is actor Tom Hardy who
portrayed Forrest Bondurant in Lawless. His undercut
comes very close to a taper fade, and he has longer hair on top
with a side part and a lot of oil to keep it in place.

Lawless, Forrest Bondurant lawless 1930s mens hairstyles

,

 

33. TLet’s cross over to the British side of the pond now and see
what men made of the 1930s over there. This is the fantastic
aesthetic of Brideshead Revisited. We’ll start with
the 1981 adaptation and Anthony Andrews as Lord Sebastian
Flyte. Although a perfect casting choice, his blonde bangs
might be a little out of place in the 30s.

Lord Sebastian Flyte (Anthony Andrews) in the 1981 adaptation of Brideshead Revisited 1930s mens hairstyles

 

34. The Ben Wishaw

Here’s the second Sebastian in the 2008 adaptation of
Brideshead Revisited. Although he has the famous 1930s
side part, he’s missing the hair pomade and the slick back.
We’re happy to see he’s holding Aloysius, though.

Brideshead Revisited (2008) - Ben Whishaw as Sebastian 1930s mens hairstyles

 

35. The Jeremy Irons

The other main man in Brideshead is Charles Ryder
portrayed first by Jeremy Irons. He is a great example of 1930s
mens hairstyle for young college boys, just like we’ve seen
James Roosevelt in an original photo from the decade a few
paragraphs above.

jeremy irons brideshead revisited 1930s mens hairstyles charles ryder

 

36. The Matthew Goode

The second Charles Ryder was portrayed by actor Matthew Goode
in the 2008 adaptation of Brideshead Revisited. He is
an even better reimagining of 1930s mens hairstyles with
slicked back, oiled up hair and a slight taper fade on the
sides.

matthew goode charles ryder brideshead revisited 1930s mens hairstyles

 

37. The Jesse Eisenberg

When actor Jesse Eisenberg starred in Woody Allen’s Café
Society
, he really brought back the 1930s for us. His
hairstyle is as close to perfection as is humanly possible,
with a set of finger waves that is highly reminiscent of the
20s as well.

Jesse Eisenberg cafe society 1930s mens hairstyles

 

38. The Steve Carrell

This is a still of actor Steve Carrell in the same 1930s-based
Café Society. He too is wearing a very accurate
hairstyle for the decade with a side part and his hair slicked
back with a copious amount of oil.

steve carrell cafe society 1930s mens hairstyles

 

39. The Kenneth Branagh

If the mustache alone didn’t give him away, this is actor
Kenneth Branagh as Hercule Poirot in 2018’s Murder on the
Orient Express
. Although he did receive a bit of flack
from fans and critics alike for it, his hairstyle is perfect
for that decade.

Kenneth Branagh in Murder on the Orient Express (2017) 1930s mens hairstyles

 

40. The Josh Gad

Actor Josh Gad was part of the roster for the same Murder
on the Orient Express
. No spoilers. His take on 1930s mens
hairstyle is up to par as well and, we’re glad to say that
Gad’s mustache makes the cut too.

josh gad murder on the orient express 1930s mens hairstyles

 

41. The Sergei Polunin

This internationally famous ballet dancer was chosen to play
the Prince on Orient Express. Here he is with a
wonderfully oiled up slick back. His chestnut hair highlights
his fantastically blue eyes and balances his beautifully carved
features.

sergei polunin murder on the orient express 1930s mens hairstyles

 

42. The Johnny Depp

Here’s Johnny Depp the second time around on our list of 1930s
mens hairstyles. This time, he has nailed the look of the
decade with a simple slick back with plenty of pomade and a
pencil mustache.

johnny depp orient express 1930s mens hairstyles

 

43. The Bradley Cooper

This is actor Bradley Cooper in Serena, a movie set in
the 1930s and in which he starred alongside Jennifer Lawrence.
He is wearing a messy and slightly modern version of 1930s mens
hairstyles.

Bradley Cooper in Serena 1930s mens hairstyles

 

44. The Ralph Fiennes

We have seen many contemporary Hollywood actors star in movies
set in the 30s and, consequently, trying to replicate the look
and hairstyles. However, the top spot goes to Ralph Fiennes. In
the movie The English Patient, he looked like he might
have lived through the 30s.

the english patient Ralph Fiennes 1930s mens hairstyles

 

45. The Adrien Brody

Peter Jackson’s King Kong takes the 30s with a grain
of salt. And so do his characters and the way they are dressed
and styled. After all, this is a movie about a giant gorilla
who fights dinosaurs and then goes rampant in New York.

adrien brody king kong 1930s mens hairstyles

 

46. The Robert De Niro

If we awarded first place for best 1930s mens hairstyles
lookalike to Ralph Fiennes, actor Robert De Niro comes in at a
close second. This is him in Once Upon a Time in
America
and his look is spot on.

Once Upon a Time in America (1984) Robert De Niro 1930s mens hairstyles

 

47. The Colin Firth

We’re back to England once again to watch Colin Firth’s
portrayal of King George in The King’s Speech. His
royal style, however, saw less hair pomade or oil and more
layers and chestnut hair coloring.

Colin Firth in The Kings Speech 1930s mens hairstyles

 

48. The Stuart Townsend

As far as 1930s mens hairstyles go, Stuart Townsend’s one in
Head in the Clouds wasn’t the closest resemblance to
the real deal. Still, it was a good movie to watch and he
looked as handsome as ever.

stuart townsend head in the clouds 1930s mens hairstyles

 

49. The Dan Stevens

Portraying a small country lawyer who suddenly finds out he has
inherited a large estate and the aristocratic title of Earl of
Grantham, Dan Stevens cuts a very dapper and extremely handsome
figure as Matthew Crawley in the smashingly successful TV
series Downton Abbey.

downton abbey dan stevens 1930s mens hairstyles

 

50. The Hugh Bonneville

The man Dan Stevens stands to inherit his fortune and title
from is the current Earl, Robert Grantham, portrayed by Hugh
Bonneville. His 1930s haircut is perfect for a mature man with
a side part and a taper fade.

hugh bonneville robert grantham 1930s mens hairstyles

 

Conclusion

The 1930s were an era of glamour and elegance for men who
sought to copy the actors of Hollywood’s Golden Age as much as
they could. Therefore, 1930s mens hairstyles became a fertile
ground which, almost 80 years later gave us the taper fade, the
disconnected haircut, and the undercut. Let us know in the
comment section below which one of these was your favorite!

 

 

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