Men’s hair in Russia is… interesting. This girl skinhead haircut (which, full disclosure, was rocked both by the writer of this piece and his editor back in high school) is apparently all the rage in the land of the Slavs right now. And not just the younger set. Old folks are rocking it too.

The haircut is an interesting study in how one haircut can signify two totally different images in two totally different cultures. For example, if you have this haircut stateside, you probably think your parents don’t understand you. On the other hand, in Mother Russia, the “bangs only” look is far more likely to be seen on a guy who thinks a track suit is formal wear.

What’s more, this bangs only haircut (called chubchik in Russian) has a much deeper history in the East. Many moons ago, under the Czarist regime, when criminals were sent away they had their heads half shaved. They then had “convict” branded onto their skull with a hot iron. The current trend actually dates back to the 1950s. It was the preferred haircut of street toughs. Presumably they were trying to beat the jailer to the punch.



Chubchik also had some popularity among the Soviet and Russian Army’s “grandpas.” These were guys who were on their third or fourth year of conscription. The haircut would be completely hidden by the headgear, so this was a really low-key way of sticking it to the man with your hair.

No one really knows why it’s enjoying a popularity surge with the squatting-in-trackies set, but it is, as these photos from Weird Russia attest.