10 (Alleged) Reasons Why the Original Skinheads Cropped Their Hair by Pug-In-Boots


stay S.H.A.R.P!: September 2009

1. ‘They wanted to look working-class: some factory workers and dock workers at the time had shaved heads.’ Probably – looking working-class was also the motivation for wearing boots and braces.

2. ‘As they loved ska and reggae, they were imitating afro-Caribbeans.’ Possibly. One thing skinheads definitely copied from Caribbean immigrants was the fake side parting shaved into their hair. Cropping your jeans and sta-prest short was copied from reggae star Desmond Dekker, who wore a suit with the pants cut short when he toured the U.K. His hardcore fans started copying the short-trousers look.

3. ‘They were factory workers – long hair got in the way.’ No, most of them were school kids.

4. ‘They were dockers, Jamaican and white.’ Nope, see above.

5. ‘They were always getting into fights – long hair got in the way.’ Maybe.

6. ‘It was a reaction against long hippie hair.’ Nope, mod haircuts were getting shorter before hippies even hit the U.K.

7. ‘It was a reaction against the latest elaborate, expensive haircuts of the ‘peacock mods’.’ Maybe.

8. ‘It was something mods had started from copying French fashions: it was known at the time as the ‘French crew-cut’.’ There is some truth to this – in the mid-sixties some mods used to watch the latest French films and sketch the clothes to try to get imitations tailor-made.

9. ‘They wanted to look ‘hard as nails’.’ Yep.

10. ‘They were copying the look of American ‘Ivy League’ college students.’ That’s not punk rock!

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