Here’s a delightful tidbit from the 2018 midterm elections you probably missed: Two Montana Senate candidates boasted the exact same flattop haircut.
That would be Sen. John Tester (D) and Matt Rosendale (R), located in Chouteau and Dawson counties — 347 miles apart. One guy’s an “anti-big-business prairie pragmatist.” The other pledged to be a reliable vote for Trump’s agenda. They both get haircuts that make their heads look like big rectangles. (For what it’s worth, Tester won the race.)
Ah, the flattop. Once the cut of legends, now the butt of jokes. The quintessential 1950s military style has faded from peak popularity, but it’s a classic buzz that actually goes back at least a century. The term was coined in 1940, and you can find a flattop in 1914 with German general Paul von Hindenburg, but it really came into the public sphere in the postwar era, when the clean-cut, militaristic look was fashioned by football stars like Johnny Unitas. In the 1960s, a strong backlash to flattop-clad authoritarians beget hippie fashion and long hair. Since then, the white-guy flattop has never been as big as it was in the 1950s. I honestly thought it had died out.
So: Whither the flattop? And who are the modern men rocking it today?
The cut isn’t going anywhere. A lot of guys have stuck by it, and they’re damn serious about their haircuts. Barbers, it turns out, love it too: Accomplishing that perfect fade is a real flex.
I respect the flattop now. Read this and maybe you will too.
No other haircut says more about the person who wears it than the flattop. It says I’m not fussy, but I still want to look stylish. It says I’m a minimalist, but I want to stand apart from the crowd. It says I favor the classics, but I’m not afraid to try new things. Today’s flattops don’t just have to be for the barracks or squad car. With influences from the rockabilly and punk scenes, styles can be longer, floppier and edgier yet still appropriate for the office.
Having a full head of hair certainly helps but can be a sly alternative if you’re looking to camouflage a thinning crown.
Ask any barber and they’ll tell you the flattop is the one haircut that excites them the most. Barbers can flex their precision and skill while breaking up the monotony of side part after side part.
Adam Nolin, Washington State
When it comes to flattops, you either like ’em or hate ’em. A lot of people, when they think flattop, they think of military or police. I see nothing wrong with that, but I like them because they’re a classic cut, and in my opinion, they never go out of style. I’m currently growing my hair out so i can do a flattop with fenders. When I was in the military I got a couple bad flattops, so I became determined to be able to cut the best possible flattop; now I really enjoy doing them.
You can chase the perfect flattop for an hour or more if you don’t watch it, but there’s no real secret to the perfect flattop: Just use your mirrors, have patience and know when to stop.
The Admin of @FlatTopHaircut on Instagram
Traditionally, flattops have been popular within military and law enforcement, so that’s where some get their first flattop — and why it promotes confidence and masculinity.
A lot of guys say it’s an addictive haircut, and that’s why you’ll see a lot of guys keep the same style for years — or even a lifetime. Which is funny, because a flattop is actually a complicated haircut. It requires frequent haircuts, usually every two to three weeks, to keep it looking sharp, but other than that, it requires no upkeep. Some put in pomade to keep it standing straight up. That’s it, though.
It’s perhaps the most difficult for barbers to cut because of the precision it takes to get it cut in such a perfect square shape, and many won’t do them because they can’t.
The purpose of this Instagram account is to promote the flattop haircut and dispel the belief that “nobody gets it anymore.” To the contrary, men get this haircut every day, all over the world, as evidenced by the 10,000 pics and nearly 30,000 followers. Many of the followers are professional barbers, but there are also plenty of enthusiasts who simply appreciate the precision, masculinity and retro qualities of this quintessentially American haircut.
Besides the USA, it seems to be most popular in Russia, Australia and Brazil.
Anonymous Redditor from Military Subreddit r/Army
Flattop haircuts are lame, and please do not quote me.