Men’s hair in the 70s was new and cool, with a variety of cuts and styles for every guy. Most 70s hairstyles were defined by Hollywood celebrities, movie stars, and musicians as well as the strong influence of the disco lifestyle. While some 60s hairstyles carried over, 70s hair incorporated more length, layers, and texture for a natural look. This was also the era in which men’s grooming and styling became a trend, with hair products being marketed just to men for the first time. From the afro to the mullet, perm, and feathered hair, the 1970s inspired many charming short and long hairstyles for guys. The decade was even responsible for cool facial hair styles such as the mustache and mutton chops. To help you understand the hair trends of the decade, we’ve compiled a list of the most popular 70s hairstyles for men.
70s Hairstyles For Men
Arguably the defining men’s hairstyle of the decade, the afro is still used as a symbol for the 70s in pop culture today. From a political symbol to a flaunt at the disco, the afro was everywhere. Styled by using a wide-toothed comb, one must brush and pick-up their hair upward against gravity and shape it into a ball to get that puffy look resembling a bouffant hairstyle. Casual yet fashionable, the 70s afro continues to be a trendy hairstyle for black men.
Speaking of the hippies of the 60s, their influence on personal style carried over just fine into the next decade with long hairstyles. Natural long hair may not have been used as a political symbol as much, but there was no mistaking its popularity. Natural and flowing, 70s long hairstyles came in many forms as the style leveraged a man’s hair type. Whether you had curly, wavy, straight thick hair, these longer styles were left to flow for maximum volume and movement.
The mullet didn’t peak until the 80s, but the 70s were the beginnings of one of the most notorious hairstyles of all time. The classic mullet hairstyle can be described as long hair all over with even longer hair in the back. Also known as “business in the front, party in the back”, the modern mullet is making a comeback and is generally paired with a fade on the sides for a seamless transition.
Worn by Rastafarians and popularized by 70s reggae musicians like Bob Marley, dreadlocks attracted those who love Mother Earth and her natural “herbs”. Out of all the 70s men’s haircuts, this one takes the most time to perfect. Despite the common misconception, you do have to wash your hair to get dreads. Luckily, once you’ve achieved the style, most dread styles are low-maintenance and easy to care for.
After the sleek greaser hair of the 50s and 60s, it was time to give men’s hair some much-needed definition with the feather cut. Men in the 70s found feathered hair perfect for adding subtle layers to their short and medium length hairstyle.
In a decade that began with Robert Plant and ended with David Lee Roth, it was filled with men trying to copy their rock hair. It was a long, fluffed up, and layered tool for headbanging and you better believe that’s what it was used for. With it being so long, rock hair never came in a one size fits all box. With music, let alone rock, being so personal, you could have fun with how exactly you jammed out with your long hair.
Disco hairstyles were all the rage in the 70s. When you stepped on the dance floor, your hair was expected to be as good as your moves. Guys could choose from the afro, perm, slick back, feathered cut, or mullet, but your style needed to be on-point. Consider John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever; he had a simple slicked back base, but it was puffed out, styled and held together with a styling product. In other words, it was stylish and handsome for the times, and that was the key to disco hair.
While the greaser hairstyles of the 50s may have been seen as a relic of yesteryear, you can thank the Fonz from Happy Days for bringing greaser styles back. To be fair, there was plenty of room for greaser hair in the 70s and the retro hairstyle has inspired a generation of modern men styling the slick back. Clean and cool, the slicked back haircut is now paired with a fade or undercut on the sides and back for a fresh look.
Shaggy didn’t just apply to carpets in the 70s. Plenty of guys were walking around with shaggy haircuts since the style was on-trend and cool at the time. To get a shag hairstyle, you’ll want to grow medium length hair, tease it with your fingers, shake your head and keep the style messy and naturally tousled.
If you were born with straight and otherwise boring hair and were a young man in the 70s, it would have been hard not to be dejected by the luscious puffs of the men walking around with afros. But not to fear, with a good barber and some chemical concocting, you could flex your man perm in no time. Achieved with the help of perm salt, it’ll turn your hair into the curly heaven you’ve always wanted.
In what should be an article all on its own, the mustache made the 70s what it was. Not many other decades could be defined by facial hair but men in the 70s owned their mustaches with pride. From handlebars to short well-groomed styles, the mustache was for every man who wanted a masculine look.
In a decade that featured long, curly and big hairstyles, there was always room for men with short hair. Maybe you liked to groove at the disco but preferred short haircuts that were easy to get and simple to style. Even if short hair was never the most glamorous, short men’s hairstyles have stood the test of time and will always be a classic masculine look.
Common on the West Coast, surfer hair was worn by guys who liked to nose ride, hang ten and ride the ocean’s waves. With a little help from the hippies’ long and natural hair, the only product going into surfer’s generally ungroomed hair was the salt in the water they were surfing. This gives hair a very distinctive look that can be hard to achieve with artificial additives.
While sometimes tough to manage, curly hair offers a unique look and texture that can elevate a hairstyle. Envious of cool curly hairstyles, men have tried to replicate the style with man perms and afros. If you were born with curly hair and grew up in the 70s, you were living it up as guys tried to copy your natural style.
Shoulder Length Hair
As skateboarding became mainstream in the 70s and attracted members of the counterculture, they often donned shoulder-length hair while they kick-flipped. These medium-length hairstyles separated skaters from the longer hair hippies of the 60s, but let the mainstream kids know they weren’t with them either. As soon as it became wildly stylish, skaters had to pick another hairdo.