Henry V is the poster boy for the bowlcut, leading a 50-year reign of bad hair terror throughout the 1400s. His distinctive cut was the go-to look for men of the court, lasting until the end of the Medieval era and most recently replicated by Timothée Chalamet in The King, much to everyone’s dismay.
The bowl cut has a lot in common with the tonsure – aka, the monk cut. Named from the Latin tondere, or to shear, this basically levels up the bowel cut with a shaved section on top; Ancient Egyptians and Greeks did it to honour the Sun God, while some orders of monks did it to mark the crown of thorns.
After the medieval era, bowl cuts got a little longer – Louis XII’s 16th century graduated style has more in common with an elegant woman’s 1960s pageboy than a blunt, round bowl worn high on the head.
It’s impossible to talk bowlcuts without referencing the Beatles moptop; the cut beloved by fans across the globe – so much so that teenage girls could even buy their own Beatles wig, presumably to stare and stroke rather than wear.