The Quiff

The Quiff

The quiff is one of the most iconic styles of all time. We chart its evolution from post-war rebellion hair to contemporary coiffure

the roots

The Teddy Boy subculture of the 1950s saw young men rebel against the functional military crew cuts of WWII. Choosing instead to combine elements from decadent 18th century pompadour style with the utilitarian flat top to create the quiff - a voluminous style that became the universal symbol of rock and roll and rebellion. Elvis Presley and James Dean dominated the rockabilly, greased-up style using Brylcreem or gel to give a slicked back finish.

style icons

Since its inception into mainstream culture the quiff has been a regular hairstyle that has featured in film and on TV, from Brad Pitt’s expertly structured ‘do in his portrayal of Johnny Suede, to American cartoon Johnny Bravo.  Jim Carrey’s comedic Ace Ventura also sports a quiff in various guises, including a neat side parting, devil horns and often complete with a duck’s tail. Meanwhile, David Gandy continues to champion the quiff at every fashion show front row he's on.

modern muses

Today’s modern man wears his quiff with plenty of volume at the top, graduating into a neat short back and sides. Look to singer Bruno Mars and producer Mark Ronson for classic, well-groomed quiff inspiration. While Arctic Monkeys frontman Alex Turner and TV presenter  Olly Murs tend to favour subtle, movable texture.

get the look

For SS16, the Chester Barrie, E. Tautz and Henry Holland LCM presentations saw models’ hair fashioned into traditional quiffs. To recreate, work label.m Power Paste, £13.25 through longer lengths to create natural texture and to add a healthy sheen before using Deconstructor, £11.95 to give root lift. Finish with Grooming Cream, £10.50 - a leave in styling proudcut that builds thickness without sticky residue.

  • Words : Rebecca Parker

  • Banner Photography: Toni&Guy Magazine Archives, Photographed by Andrew Woffinden

  • Banner Photrography Hair: Bill Watson