A Look Back on 100 Years of Men’s Grooming and Style

Curious about the evolution of men's grooming and style over the past century? Trends have come a long way, yet you'd be amazed by how much of today's style and personal care routines are rooted in history. Let’s take a look at how much has actually changed in the last 100 years.

In this article, we step into a time machine to explore grooming trends and style evolution from the sleek, minimalist elegance of the 1920s to the bold trends of the 21st century. From the dapper suits and clean-cut look of the '30s to the rebellious leather jackets and slicked-back hairstyles of the '50s, our timeline showcases not just aesthetic changes but also the profound transformation of masculinity and personal identity over 100 years.

The 1920s: The Birth of the Dapper Gentleman

In the Roaring Twenties, the world saw men taking their first steps into the realm of serious grooming and fashion. The signature look featured impeccably tailored suits, polished shoes, and neatly trimmed hair—a trendsetting era for men's hair styling. Besides beginning to pay attention to their hair, men started using pomades to achieve slicked-back styles reminiscent of the silent film stars of the day.

Bulldog Original Pomade

The 1930s-1940s: The Rise of the Silver Screen Icons

Actors like Clark Gable and Cary Grant dictated 40's men's style with their bold looks and groomed moustaches. Men were inspired to replicate the screen-star look, leading to widespread use of razors for a clean-shaven appearance. Hair tonics and creams were widely used, offering a slight sheen that cameras loved.

Not everything was influenced by Hollywood, though. The late ‘30s and ‘40s highlighted practicality in dress and grooming due to the Great Depression and World War II. Men's style evolved to reflect strength and dependability, featuring broader shoulders and narrower waists in suits. Despite challenges, grooming remained impeccable, showcasing men's resilience and adaptability in maintaining sharp looks and suave haircuts.

Bulldog Original Styling Cream

The 1950s: The Advent of Teen Culture

James Dean and Elvis Presley didn't just make a mark in their era; they carved it with rebellious spirit and iconic styles that sparked a cultural revolution. Beyond trends, they defined a new attitude. Leather jackets and jeans weren't just clothes - they became symbols of defiance and freedom.

Amid this rebellion, grooming wasn't an afterthought. Men's beards were either sharp or nonexistent, embracing the clean look of the greaser era. This fusion of fashion, grooming, and attitude gave rise to a timeless identity that’s made its way to our pop culture today.

The 1960s-1970s: A Tidal Shift

With the arrival of the 1960s came the iconic Beatles and a reinvigorated love for longer hair among men. This period marked a surge in the availability of men's hair products tailored to maintain the popular free-flowing hairstyles of the time.

Transitioning into the 1970s, this trend continued to evolve, witnessing a rise in the acceptance and even celebration of moustaches and beards in men's grooming. In this era, men delved into various styles of facial hair experimentation, ranging from the distinguished handlebar moustache to the full, lush beard, showcasing a diverse range of grooming preferences.

The 1980s: Enter the Metrosexual

The rise of materialism and consumer culture in the '80s led to self-care becoming a top priority for men. This decade marked an increase in skincare products specifically designed for male skin. The metrosexual man emerged, with a more polished and groomed appearance. 

Popular hairstyles included the mullet and slicked-back hair using mousse and gel. Sharp suits were back, and men's skincare became more prominent, with tanning and a healthy skin glow indicative of an active lifestyle.


Bulldog Energising Moisturiser

The 1990s: The Casual Cool

Men's '90s style embraced a more laid-back appearance - from the grunge revolution to the dawn of hip-hop fashion, grooming was swept by a shift towards a relaxed, natural aesthetic.

Haircare trends in the 1990s also saw the introduction of products like salt spray, which offered men a way to achieve that effortlessly tousled look synonymous with beach vibes. In fact, it became a staple for those wanting texture and volume without the sleekness of traditional products, fitting perfectly within the casual cool aesthetic of the decade.

Plus, facial hair varied greatly. Full beards, goatees (for those who could pull it off) and five o'clock shadows were just some of the popular beard trends of the '90s.

Bulldog Original Styling Salt Spray

The 2000s-Present: The Age of Personalisation

Today, men's grooming is an eclectic mix of past influences, personalised to fit individual tastes. Beard styles range widely, and there is a large spectrum of styling products catering to every conceivable preference and hair type. Men now have access to specialised skincare, reflecting an increased focus on health and wellness.

Entering the 21st century, grooming has become all about self-expression and confidence, marking a distinct shift towards inclusivity and diversity. Technology has revolutionised men's skincare routines, with innovative products that target specific skin concerns like ageing, sensitivity, and excessive sebum production, among others.

Bulldog Sensitive Moisturiser

The Meaning of Men’s Style and Grooming Today

Men's grooming and style have come a long way from the stiff collars and bristly moustaches of the early 20th century. Through each decade, shifts in society and pop culture have been reflected in how men choose to present themselves to the world. It's clear that the fusion of grooming, fashion, and self-care has surpassed its limited focus on vanity, and instead became a statement of personality, community, and individual expression.

Whether you’re a thoroughly modern man, or inspired by the styles of the past, we’ve got the perfect products for your grooming and hair styling here.