Bowie the Mad Aristocrat

In 1964, aged 17, David Bowie formed the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Long-Haired Men. The point of principal was that men should be allowed to wear long hair and not suffer abuse for it. All well and good and commendable, but Bowie undermined his argument in a significant and important way: his long hair was a disaster.

Disastrous 'do

We're not meant to point out bad ideas anymore — lest it be construed as hate speech and becomes the thoughtcrime du jour — but I think we can all agree that Bowie's attempt at looking like a highborn from the Middle Ages (above) was an unmitigated catastrophe.
Mark One haircut
I suppose we could call this Bowie's Mark One haircut. It morphed soon after into a respectable Caesar-style mod haircut as Bowie took to the stage and realised that the haircut is probably the most important weapon in a singer's armoury. He was working his way to the right one and needed a radical rethink. Ziggy Stardust's 'screwed down hairdo' was the successful result of that rethink. The Ziggy was pretty unique, but the best was yet to come.

I've been conducting extensive research to determine when exactly Bowie got his haircut absolutely right. Using complex mathematical equations and careful historical analysis, the results were conclusive. Between the years 1976 to 1977, the time of the Thin White Duke and his starring role in Nicolas Roeg's The Man Who Fell to Earth, Bowie's hair was nigh on unimpeachable.

As we can see, the hair combed away from the forehead suited Bowie much better. It was an elegant choice and fitting for a Duke.

Who was the Thin White Duke? Bowie described the character as 'an emotionless Aryan superman' and 'mad aristocrat' who would wander ethereally around Berlin in a black trench coat smoking Gitanes. Perhaps we'll never know exactly. What we do know is that deep down it was all about the hair.

After the successful resurrection of 'The Lord Lucan' last year, we are pleased to announce 'The Bowie 1976' as our hairstyle of the year.

Recreating the Bowie 1976
How to achieve a Bowie 1976? The construction seems relatively simple. We have hair of the same length all over, not too long. This is then combed straight back, or allowed to part towards the centre, so we have the effect of hair from the top brushing the nape of the neck. From photographic evidence it appears that the hair isn't glued into place with a gel or fixative, and it doesn't have the shine you would associate with brilliantine. I think we're looking at a wax pomade. The Duke, at a guess, would plump for something like Morgan's Pomade.

Morgan's have been making men's grooming products in England since 1873. Perhaps their most famous product is the pomade that 'restores faded hair'. But they provide all flavours of styling pomades, plus shaving and grooming kit. The packaging is rather Deco and nice. I'm rather taken with the design for the After Shave Balm in the blue bottle at the front of the photo below. I must try some of that.

I think Morgan's Slick/Extra Firm Hold Styling Pomade is the one we're looking for. With its fragrance of 'bergamot, jasmine, sandal and patchouli' and charming jar, we achieve a slick look with good control and some shine. The hair might flop a little through the day, but that's okay, we can put a comb through it and quickly restore our Bowie 1976. What are you waiting for? Have at it, lads.


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