The evolution of the Pinoy haircut: From the 1920s to 2000s

Aussy | 23 January 2018

When it comes to the evolution of the Pinoy haircut, don’t you think it’s time we understand what goes on with the “Barber’s Cut” if we’re going to keep asking for it?

The typical Filipino man grows up with a signature Pinoy haircut, but scant to no knowledge of any of the other hairstyles we’re going to discuss here. We’ll try not to diss the classic “Barber’s Cut,” but we will remind any cavemen out there that we are in the year 2018. If you didn’t grow up with #hairgoals for teen idols like Justin Timberlake, David Beckham, or even the F4 trend (and most recently, The Biebs), this primer on the evolution of the Pinoy haircut might come in handy for your next trip to the barbershop.

History of Pinoy Haircuts and Hairstyles

Pre-1920s Pinoy Haircut: The Curtain Haircut, or The Kachupoy

kachupoy hair philippines
The deep middle parted style, or “kachupoy,” was all the rage in the Philippines in the 90s. Credit: Raquel Brust

What is it?: During its time, it was a slick middle part that even the La Solidaridad boys sported through the revolution. It blew up again in the 90s after Leonardo DiCaprio stole our hearts as Jack, and local teen heartthrobs like Patrick Garcia recreated the ‘do for Saturday afternoon rom-com series — but this time they laid off on the pomade and gave the look some volume with a casual brush-up style.

professional hairstyles for men
This look combines the ruggedness of a long hairstyle and the polished, sophisticated vibe of a brushed back. Credit: iStock

The Modern Take: While it wore long on matinee idols of the past, keep the length of your hair short if you want to wear this classic men’s hairstyle today.

best haircuts for men on the go: fade haircut
Fade haircut

Editor’s Tip: Try doing it if you have a fade, which is a popular hairstyle that starts out long at the front and top, then gets shorter as it tapers from the sides to the back. Slick on some TONI&GUY Mattifying Putty for Men to hold the look throughout the day!

TONI&GUY Mattifying Putty for Men

1950s Pinoy Hair Trend: Pompadour

pinoy haircut pompadour side part
You can pair the pompadour with a side part for a professional contemporary look. Credit: Raquel Brust

What is it?: Elvis’ signature look made the pompadour an iconic hairstyle. That is, a slicked back style with an extremely short faded buzz on the sides and a heavy, lengthy ‘pomp,’ or front bed of hair. Your grandparents will probably also remember actor-best friends FPJ and Erap with this coif.

man with brown hair with razor fade pompadour hairstyle
Pompadour hairstyle with razor fade. Credit: @baldmonkey_barbershop.

The Modern Take: Elvis popularized the “rockabilly” style of this ‘do, but you can opt for a sexier approach a la David Beckham.

Watch: Top style blogger David Guison pulls off a slicked back pompadour.


1970s Pinoy Haircut: The Beatles Bowl Cut

pinoy haircut bowl haircut beatles style
The modern bowl cut takes after some influence of the Beatles’ mop top. Credit:

What is it?: Everyone who grew up in the Philippines either had this or a little 7-year-old cousin who did. This famous Pinoy haircut takes its name from the idea that you can get it after placing a bowl on one’s head and chopping away. The bowl cut is a variation of the mushroom cut, and can trace its roots to the mop top of 1960s to 70s Beatles fame, which even pre-Selena Biebs wore for a couple of years circa 2010.

model with long fringe and short hair
Fringe with trimmed sides. Credit:

The Modern Take: Yes, you can make this look good! In fact, when you get it with an undercut and you sweep the strands to the front of your head, you can make a fashionable street statement.

1980s Pinoy Hair Trend: Long Hair, Don’t Care!

pinoy haircut long hairstyles for men braids
The 80s were all about volume, texture, and waves. Credit: Raquel Brust

What is it?: Think Aga Muhlach, and the rest of the guys from that movie your tita talks about, Bagets. When the 80s come to mind, you’ll probably think of spandex, short basketball shorts, high socks, and neon. But for hair, actually, rock music was a huge influence. Hence, the mullet: a long-in-the-back, short-in-the-front look that artists like David Bowie wore on their crowns.

modern mullet hairstyle
The mullet hairstyle is fondly called the “business in the front, party in the back” look. You can see why! Credit:

The Modern Take: The mullet is a hair trend that persists to this day, and it’s oddly still pretty cool. Grow your hair out just a little bit then head to your barber if you feel like giving this a try. He’ll know what to do.

mullet hairstyle
It’s a bit of a high maintenance hairstyle—you can’t just wash and go so make sure you’re up to it! Credit: Shutterstock

Editor’s Tip: Keep those long locks healthy and strong with Dove Men + Care Strengthening Shampoo. It fortifies the hair for natural growth that’s uninterrupted by breakage and hair fall.

Dove Men + Care Strengthening Shampoo

1990s Pinoy Hair Trends: Short, Flat, Spiky, Barber’s, Buzz, and Crew Cut

pinoy haircut crew cut professional hairstyles for men
The crew cut doesn’t require any styling. Just wash, go, and look good at work! Credit: iStock

What is it?: Raise your hand if you’re a Millennial and you know exactly all these Pinoy haircuts and hair trends! Pull out any grade school class picture and you’ll find at least one classmate for each of these ‘dos. Heavily influenced by pop stars and boy bands (like Eminem’s jailbreak buzz cut and Justin Timberlake’s *NSYNC-era frosted spiky tips), these looks almost completely purged themselves of the 80s’ free-flowing vibe.

Short & tight buzzcut. Credit:

The Modern Take: Alright, let’s get to the “Barber’s Cut,” for the sake of it. The Barber’s Cut is a standard Pinoy haircut that the village barbero uses a “2×3” method to create: 2 fingers off of the sides, three fingers off of the back. Of course, while each barber’s fingers are different, this is a measurement that makes sense throughout the Philippines, whichever barrio or metropolis you may be in! The result is a fade that can then be styled into other looks, no matter the face type.

best haircuts for men on the go - crew cut
Crew cut. Credit: iStock

Editor’s Tip: When you have your hair this short, white flakes and dry scalps can prove to be an eyesore to others — let alone be frustrating to you! Grab a bottle of Clear Deep Cleanse Anti-Dandruff Shampoo for Men to keep your scalp healthy and fresh with its activated charcoal and menthol.

2000s and beyond: The Man Bun and Undercut

quiff mohawk hairstyle
Quiff + mohawk

What is it?: Throughout the past two decades of the millennium, we’ve seen the return of some hair trends. The Man Bun borrows from the 80s’ long hair sensibility while taking cues from the fact that the future is female, and scrunching it all up. The Undercut, for its part, is figuring in fades and undercut variations of its own, filling a hairstyle spectrum from polished to edgy depending on the style.

hairstyles for men with long hair to try: man bun
The man bun trend will never completely go away. Credit: iStock

The Modern Take: Just to be daring, why not try one of these non-punk mohawks? Okay, okay — of course they’re still kind of punk-ish, but it’s all in the execution whether or not you can pull off something like this at work!


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