Men’s hair in the 70s was heavily influenced by musicians, movie stars, celebrities, and the hippie lifestyle in full swing. Similar to the shaggy long haircuts of the 60s, most 70s hairstyles required length, layers, and a natural textured finish. No longer just for women, the 70s saw men grooming and styling hair in masses. From long to short, Afro to dreadlocks, and mullet to feathered hair, there were so many cool men’s hair cuts and styles throughout the decade, some of which carried over from the 60s. For inspiration and ideas, let’s take a look at the best and most popular 70s hairstyles for men!
70s Hairstyles For Men
The Afro Hairstyle
African American communities began to sport this haircut in the 60s, but the afro became a firm favorite in the 1970s as it was more mainstream and commercial by this time. Aside from being perfect for kinky, textured hairstyles, afros were political statements and symbols of black pride. Men still wear them to this day to flaunt their magnificent curly manes, but it does involve using chemical products. Once treated, the hair has a natural feel and doesn’t need much maintenance.
Medium Shoulder Length Hair
Long hair from the 60s transformed into mid-length hair in the 70s. A shoulder-length style was still rebellious and against the establishment, yet it was more manageable as it didn’t require as much upkeep. The Beatles represented the medium-length look the best in the 1970s. Unless your hair grows naturally downwards, you’ll need a barber to coax it into shape if you want a cooler hairdo that flatters round faces.
Long hairstyles evolved into natural styles by the beginning of the 1970s when men decided to ditch the pomade and let it hang loose rather than gel or style their hair. This meant it flowed and was suitable for all types of hair. Whether your style is straight or curly, you can replicate this look by leaving your hair for edgy, rockstar appeal.
Different variations of mullets exist throughout the decades, but the original was the classic mullet. Still short in the front and long at the back, the 70s mullet hairstyle was shaggy on the top, giving it more volume and a bold appeal like David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust. If you feel as if you can’t pull off a flame orange mullet, the modern style is shorter and more compact on top and at the back. Plus, it comes with a fade to heighten the contrast between the different cuts.
Reggae culture, and its prominent artists such as Bob Marley, brought dreadlocks to the masses in the 1970s. Dreads take time to manufacture, and you’ll need plenty of patience, but they do have several benefits. They’re great for short and long hair, and dreadlocks are effortless as there’s no need to brush or wash your hair. You let matted hair tangle before twisting into place.
Layered to look like birds’ feathers, a feather cut was a unisex style for men and women. Of the guys who rocked it the best in the 70s, John Travolta was known for his medium-length layers and center parting. Guys still love the feather style because you can let it hang naturally, sweep it to the side to create a parting, or gel it back if it’s shorter. Men searching for a versatile look that’s handsome should look no further.
Artists and musicians switched their rock hairstyles many times during the 70s. The Beatles went from the shaggy mop-top to a mullet, Elvis grew out his hair and sideburns, and Rod Stewart combined a mixture of everything. A feature that brought them all together was the length; 70s rock hair was long and flowing. This ensured the styles weren’t like the fresh, clean-cut hairdos of the 60s. Instead, they were unruly and defiant.
Disco hair started by matching tight perms and longer hair with funky outfits. The guys from ABBA were the kings of disco music and style in the 70s. However, Travolta reshaped the culture in the movie “Saturday Night Fever” with his gelled slicked back hair that was also coiffed and full of volume. For this, you’ll need a thick brush and lots of hairspray.
Greasers wore their hair short and pushed it back to give it a smooth, textured appearance that was oily. It was a professional style for men who preferred a clean-cut and classy image rather than the bolder 70s styles. Greaser hair is making a comeback by keeping the back and sides shorter and the top longer for volume and contrast. Use a water-based styling product if you don’t like the original oily look.
A shaggy haircut wasn’t as simple as growing out your hair in the 70s. The best shag cuts were layered with a fringe, and the layers were extended the further down the head. Men loved the effortless appeal, as well as the flexibility – you could wear it sleek or fill out the top layers. It’s still a quality look for modern men who don’t have time for wax and a comb.
The Brady Bunch made perms so famous in the 70s that everyone from Tom Hanks to Al Pachino and Dustin Hoffman tried it, with varying degrees of success. It’s easier to get the look right today because of the many options, with the best perms involving a side fade and full, bouncy hair on top.
The Jheri Curl was one of the most popular black men’s hairstyles of the decade. Named after its inventor, Jheri Redding, celebrities such as Michael Jackson and Rick James relaxed their tight curls and afros into looser, more natural curls that stayed in position permanently. A Jheri curl was an excellent alternative for black hair, delivering a longer style without the upkeep. Stylish, glossy and permed, black men rocked this curly hairstyle from the late 70s and into the 80s.
Although it isn’t a hairstyle, Mark Spitz and Tom Selleck made mustaches manly by winning seven gold medals and hunting down bad guys. A proper mustache involves shaving off all facial hair to leave the ‘tache on your top lip. It’s coming back into fashion because it suits almost any hairstyle.
Not all hairstyles of the decade were long with some of the best men’s hair trends of the 70s being short. Clean short haircuts like the buzz cut, crew cut and side part were popular among men who wanted a low-maintenance hairstyle. Moreover, Rude Boys and Skinheads made sure short hair had its place by opting for a close-cut, shaved haircut similar to bands such as The Specials. Ultimately, most short men’s hairstyles were worn by business professionals like Wall Street types.
Whereas 50s surfer hair was long, 70s surfer hair was short to medium-length. The key was the messy style and dyed color that made it look sun-kissed. All you need to do is leave it shaggy on top and add blonde highlights.
Curly was trendy because it combined with a variety of 70s styles to add a stylish and refreshing feel. To this day, you can show off your curls with a shaggy cut, a tight perm, or a loose Jheri curl.
Best Hair Products For 70s Men’s Hairstyles
Styling the best 1970s men’s hairstyles requires the right products to achieve the perfect finish. Because many 70s haircuts were long and layered, guys needed to use plenty of hairspray to maintain their style. However, some men preferred classic short hairstyles, and these haircut styles simply needed some hair grease or cream. Oil-based pomades were popular for greaser hairstyles while other guys enjoyed the nostalgia of using the classic men’s hair product, Brylcreem.
To help you style your 70s hairstyle, here are the best hair products for men to use!