WW2 Haircuts

Discussion in 'General' started by von Poop, Aug 3, 2011.

  1. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Getting the proper hairdo was a serious matter in Nazi Germany.

    Nice one

  2. At Home Dad (Returning)

    At Home Dad (Returning) Well-Known Member

    only proportionally, probably just like the Brits;)

    Damned annoying, aren't we?B)
  3. Tab

    Tab Senior Member

    During the war the hair was kept very short to stop infestations by fleas,and mites and other creepy crawlies. You could spend months in the front lines in appalling conditions and you could get lousy very quickly
  4. Hellofawaytodie

    Hellofawaytodie No-Combat Experience

    Is this thread still going?
    If so, i have found a picture of probably the best example of what i'm trying to get at. To me, this is one of the most common and encouraged cuts that can be worn. I took the photo off my phone from a Dvd, so it's really bad quality..

    Waffen SS Liebstandarte "Adolf Hitler"
    France 1940
  5. Rav4

    Rav4 Senior Member

    Not army but Air Force - my uncle

    The Brillcream boy's:)
  6. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    During the war the hair was kept very short to stop infestations by fleas,and mites and other creepy crawlies. You could spend months in the front lines in appalling conditions and you could get lousy very quickly

    This policy continued until the era of Irish terrorism when servicemen could easilty be identified by their diciplinary haircuts.I think it was relaxed for those servicemen so affected.

    As regards haircare during the war there was no such thing as shampoos or protective shampoos,availability of such haircare was limited to the use of soaps such as carbolic.

    Digressing here but one of the problems of people living in close conditions was the outbreak of skin diseases.I remember from my wartime childhood that scabies and impetigo was a common skin ailment and the local authorities were geared up to eliminate the problem through treatment centres.

    Just being reading the experience of a RAF aircrew member who had just passed his OTU course and had to report sick because of a skin ailment.He was found to have scabies and was held back for his next posting until he was successfully treated.

    These common ailments of that era are seldom met by medical practices of today.My son, after a visit to Russia came back with a skin ailment which suddenly broke out.I immediately recognised it as impetigo and he went to his GP for treatment.The GP had not seen a case like it and brought his medical partners in to see it who apparently had no previous experience in dealing with it.After treatment,the ailment soon cleared up.Source of infection ......my son suspected a hotel in Moscow or one in the Caucasus,the Moscow one was a western franchised hotel.
  7. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

  8. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    diciplinary haircuts.
    I like that term :D
    My father remembers well being singled out post-hostilities by a particularly vindictive CSM. Before he was due to leave barracks for a night out the was ordered to get a haircut. There followed 2 more in the same day, until he almost changed his mind about going out.
  9. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Good account Ron.

    The reference back with your impetigo treatment has just remembered me of a schoolboy friend who I saw home on sick leave from the Army,while I was in the RAF, wearing an immaculate white shirt and red tie.I pulled his leg at the time and he told me that it was the "sick dress" for those under medical treatment.

    Can't recollect a similar attire for RAF sick.

    Diane.I remember RAF Yatesbury well in my 6 months there on an Air Radar course.The station was miles from anywhere,it was a little more relaxed as there was more emphaise on training than anything else.However,you could not wear mufti and if you wanted to go out,you had to run the gauntlet of the RAF Police at the guardroom who took a great delight in placing those on training before a full length mirror for intimidation.From the experience at the guardroom,we tended to venture out only at weekends when the numbers were quiet large for inspection at the guardroom.
  10. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    Last night I was trawling the TV for something decent to watch and came across yet another showing of "Full Metal Jecket".

    Seeing the rookie Marines in their shaven heads reminded me of the haircuts we used to receive at British Training Camps and I searched the forum to see if we had discussed this before.

    Of course we had !

    Hence this thread being bumped.

  11. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

    My mother was sitting holding her sides in hysterical laughter, poor old dad, who spent a lifetime blaming the desert for his lack of hair had bought a book of raffle tickets in the Twyford Scouts raffle - the year prior he had won a turkey - huge beastie it was too. This year he had won a box when opened contained six bottles of hair dressing - he looked on helplessly and muttered it can't be that funny.

    Saturday morning night duty in the battalion int cell over had a scoff, a shower,changed into plain clothing saw Spiros the barber opening up shop so I popped in, the guard mount rehearsal unusually attended not by just one drill sergeant - both of them and sergeant major Wilkie - as I left the shop I heard the crunch of ammo boots - too late line abreast they came, pace sticks swinging - good morning sergeant, I came to attention and wished him good morning, 'turn around - haircut' - never argue with a sergeant major, Spiros waved his arms as I got back into the seat - it was all Greek to me and Spiros, I waited until the faces peering in went off with the sound of heels 'driven in'.
  12. ceolredmonger

    ceolredmonger Member

    My Dad wore brylcreme and suchlike until he finally gave in to the modern world about 1985. He always said it was one of those luxuries that raised moral during the war - especially in Burma (despite some Indian concoctions which went ransid). He also argued that due to it he could carry water in his beret!

    I would be interested in views about this little praised wartime necessity.

  13. Combover

    Combover Guest

    How's that?

    I took a photo of a Black Watch soldier into the barbers and asked for the same. I think she did a good job!

    Attached Files:

  14. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Old Hickory Recon

    In Old Hickory Recon, Mr. Marion retold this story of a haircut he received while the 30th ID crossed Belgium in September, 1944. A few days before, the troop had captured a German payroll, consisting of Belgian Francs, which they kept and doled out to the men as needed. The money help to fund R&R trips to Paris and other destination by the men of the recon troop later that autumn and early winter.

  15. Swiper

    Swiper Resident Sospan

    Now I have no photos of this, but plenty of documentary evidence. While waiting on the ships to take them to Normandy the Fusiliers of 158 Brigade were offered a 'Liberty Cut'. In short their heads were effectively shaved, as they were told in the event of a serious headwound this would allow medical staff to quickly assess their condition and get to work straight away.

    Again no figures on uptake, or suitable photos, but from the documents and accounts I've found, its clear it was certainly common - in 158 Brigade at the very least - in late June-July 1944.
  16. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

    Warned off for an exercise in the Sudan, signallers learning morse - voice not good apparently. The day for setting off on this new adventure loomed - poor old Spiros and the regimental hair surgeons had the battalion shaved to the wood. When an emergency tour battalion was requested by the major general commanding asking for volunteers the letters OBE crossed the COs thought process - try as I might I never did find Glassmullin, Belfast on the map of the Sudan - hot and sandy it was not the 'choggie shop' sold combs. Yes we got the speech on return to London on the square at Chelsea - 'let me tell you all, this award (OBE) is for your efforts - 'silly b'std' was heard with silent agreement from many.
    dbf likes this.
  17. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  18. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Not sure if anyone has a memory of seeing this particular Getty/Keystone picture before: http://cache3.asset-cache.net/gc/3313217-circa-1944-while-loading-proceeded-members-of-gettyimages.jpg?v=1&c=IWSAsset&k=2&d=RyDwbx%2FJZFZQUVJmeEmBcDZgkLVVPm9rJJlnVdQVmd3SYpSPtrP%2Fi4HiCaIXmbGd


    From: http://www.gettyimages.it/detail/fotografie-di-cronaca/while-loading-proceeded-members-of-the-british-fotografie-di-cronaca/3313217

    The caption says... "While loading proceeded, members of the British army in Normandy get their 'Normandy Haircut', the latest fashion in coiffure. Thirty percent of those on board had their locks completely shorn."

    Not sure of this captions veracity? Or if this was really "the latest fashion in coiffure" ? :wink:
    Swiper and Owen like this.
  19. Swiper

    Swiper Resident Sospan

    Yup definitely Liberty Cuts, another eccentricity of the campaign and based on (reasonable) logic. Very popular in some units, seemingly emerging in mid-June.

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