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Getting a WWII German Haircut
By Jonathan Bocek

Your kit is an investment.  You search for the best uniforms, the best equipment, and you even take the time to make period rations with correct labels.  Large amounts of your hard earned money is allocated to this hobby, but have you overlooked something? 

Ah, yes the hair!  Your hair is a major part of your appearance.  So having the correct German haircut would be a really good enhancement to one's Heer impression.  The following will hopefully eliminate the usual confusion of how to ask the barber to cut your hair, so soon you will be out in the field looking like a Landser.  The most common & easiest description of an authentic German military style haircut is said to be:

"Shaved from the neck and tapered up to the top above the ears all the way around. The hair was usually very long on top, combed (& slicked) straight back from the forehead.  If parted, the part is very high on the head."

Of course, going to the Barbershop with just the above description alone could get you various types of results.  To ensure you get the style your looking for, it is recommended you supply some pictures so as to familiarize your barber with what exactly your looking for.  Recently found in a 1940 dated barber's manual, the above images illustrate the most common German military haircut style.  The description for this cut reads as follows:


In this hair cut, the clipper is used on the sides and back of the head, starting at the left temple, continuing around the head, and finishing at the right temple.

There is no absolute rule as to where the clipper taper should end for this may vary with the individual wish.

There is little finger work required on this style of hair cut; however, it helps to even up the rough spots and to shorten the hair on the top of the head.

You should note that the hair is shaved to at least one inch (if not more) above the ear, then it begins to taper.  This is something that makes the German cuts very distinctive.  Of course one can see various types of hair styles in original photos & film footage, but the above style was still the most commonly seen haircut in the Wehrmacht.  Of course, there were slight variations to this style but the overall appearance seemed to remain the same.


For printable file: Click Here         

When it comes time for you to get a haircut, print out the above document or this article & take it with you.  Let the barber look it over & then they will know what to do.  You will be pleased with the results and your impression will be even better.  

Don't forget to buy a can of pomade for slicking back the top hair.  This was a very popular thing with the Germans.  I recommend "Crew pomade" but if you prefer to be super authentic, purchase "Royal Crown pomade." Royal Crown is a brand that has been around since the 1930s & is still made using the original formula (can be found at your local Walmart). Another period option is to use plain old petroleum jelly (Vaseline).



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