There were a number of names for this hairstyle when it was popularized in the 1950s (some far less flattering), but the so-called “ducktail” hairstyle consisted of hair that was greased and combed back around the side of one’s head so that it created a sort of ridge on the back of the head. To many people, the back of the man’s head then resembled the tail of a duck, giving this hairstyle it’s name. The front of the hair was usually curled or messy and hung in the face or on the guy’s forehead. The ducktail required constant maintenence, usually requiring the guy to carry both a comb and some styling gel. Beatniks, or “greasers” became defined by this hairstyle, and Elvis Presley even sported one.
But why are they significant?
Why are ducktail hairstyles significant? Because of Hollywood giving us a cultural reference piece like Grease that became a cult-classic across several generations, that’s why. Even though only a handful of average red-blooded American kids actually sported the look, the image of that Danny’s hairstyle is now synonymous with the 50’s for children of the 70’s like myself. The ducktail hairstyle for guys was also the first hairstyle that guys actually would admit that they maintained. The days of male hair maintenance had begun.
These days, lots of guys have hair that they like to keep maintained. So whether you have a mullet or a flat-top, or even if you’re still sporting the ducktail, AirCut’s got your styler.