A crew cut is a type of haircut in which the hair on the top of the head is cut relatively short, graduated in length from the longest hair at the front hairline to the shortest at the back of the crown. The hair on the sides and back of the head is usually tapered short, semi-short or medium.
A very short crew cut is sometimes referred to as a butch or buzz cut. A long crew cut can be referred to in the US as an ivy league crew cut or ivy league. A long crew cut might be graduated in length on the top of the head from 1.5 inches (38 mm) at the front hairline to 0.5 inches (13 mm) at the back of the crown. A short crew cut might have a similar proportional graduated difference in the length of the hair on the top of the head. If a short crew cut is 0.75 inches (19 mm) at the front hairline, the length of the hair at the back of the crown might be 0.25 inches (6 mm). A crew cut where the hair on the top of the head is graduated in length from the front hairline to a chosen point on the mid to back part of the crown as a flat plane, of level, upward sloping or downward sloping inclination is known as a flat top crew cut or flattop. Crew cuts, flattop crew cuts, and butch cuts are all traditionally groomed with hair control wax, commonly referred to as butch wax.
The term was most likely coined to describe the haircut worn by members of Yale Crew teams in the 1890s. The name drew a contrast with football players of the time, who wore long hair to compensate for their flimsy leather helmets. According to a history by helmet manufacturer Riddell, the championship Yale football team switched to crew cuts in 1895, which became the style for football as well as crew and "remained in fashion for nearly 70 years".
- Thorpe S.C. (1967) Practice and Science of Standard Barbering. Milady Publishing Corporation
- Trusty L. Sherman (1971) The Art and Science of Barbering. Wolfer Printing Co.
- Trusty 1971, p.108
- Trusty 1971, p.107
- Thorpe 1967, p.132
- Trusty 1971, p.107-108
- Trusty 1971, p.113
- Trusty 1971, p.97
- Trusty 1971, p.102
- Thorpe 1967, p.133-134
- Trusty 1971, pp.110-111
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