Growing Up Unvaccinated

am the ’70s child of a health nut. I wasn’t vaccinated. I was brought up on an incredibly healthy diet: no sugar till I was 1, breastfed for over a year, organic homegrown vegetables, raw milk, no MSG, no additives, no aspartame. My mother used homeopathy, aromatherapy, osteopathy; we took daily supplements of vitamin C, echinacea, cod liver oil.

I had an outdoor lifestyle; I grew up next to a farm in England’s Lake District, walked everywhere, did sports and danced twice a week, drank plenty of water. I wasn’t even allowed pop; even my fresh juice was watered down to protect my teeth, and I would’ve killed for white, shop-bought bread in my lunchbox once in a while and biscuits instead of fruit, like all the other kids.

We ate (organic local) meat maybe once or twice a week, and my mother and father cooked everything from scratch—I have yet to taste a Findus crispy pancake, and oven chips (“fries,” to Americans) were reserved for those nights when Mum and Dad had friends over and we got a “treat.”

As healthy as my lifestyle seemed, I contracted measles, mumps, rubella, a type of viral meningitis, scarlatina, whooping cough, yearly tonsillitis, and chickenpox. In my 20s I got precancerous HPV and spent six months of my life wondering how I was going to tell my two children under the age of 7 that Mummy might have cancer before it was safely removed.

So the anti-vaccine advocates’ fears of having the “natural immunity sterilized out of us” just doesn’t cut it for me. How could I, with my idyllic childhood and my amazing health food, get so freaking ill all the time?

My mother would have put most of my current “crunchy” friends to shame. She didn’t drink, she didn’t smoke, she didn’t do drugs, and we certainly weren’t allowed to watch whatever we wanted on telly or wear plastic shoes or any of that stuff. She lived alternative health. And you know what? I’m glad she gave us such a great diet. I’m glad that she cared about us in that way.

But it just didn’t stop me getting childhood illnesses.

I was so crunchy that I literally crumbled.

My two vaccinated children, on the other hand, have rarely been ill, have had antibiotics maybe twice in their lives, if that. Not like their mum. I got many illnesses requiring treatment with antibiotics. I developed penicillin-resistant quinsy at age 21—you know, that old-fashioned disease that supposedly killed Queen Elizabeth I and that was almost wiped out through use of antibiotics.*

My kids have had no childhood illnesses other than chickenpox, which they both contracted while still breastfeeding. They, too, grew up on a healthy diet, homegrown organics, etc. I was not quite as strict as my mother, but they are both healthier than I have ever been.

I find myself wondering about the claim that complications from childhood illnesses are extremely rare but that “vaccine injuries” are rampant. If this is the case, I struggle to understand why I know far more people who have experienced complications from preventable childhood illnesses than I have ever met with complications from vaccines. I have friends who became deaf from measles. I have a partially sighted friend who contracted rubella in the womb. My ex got pneumonia from chickenpox. A friend’s brother died from meningitis.

Anecdotal evidence is nothing to base decisions on. But when facts and evidence-based science aren’t good enough to sway someone’s opinion about vaccinations, then this is where I come from. After all, anecdotes are the anti-vaccine supporters’ way: “This is my personal experience.” Well, my personal experience prompts me to vaccinate my children and myself. I got the flu vaccine recently, and I got the whooping cough booster to protect my son in the womb. My natural immunity—from having whooping cough at age 5—would not have protected him once he was born.

I understand, to a point, where the anti-vaccine parents are coming from. Back in the ’90s, when I was a concerned, 19-year-old mother, frightened by the world I was bringing my child into, I was studying homeopathy, herbalism, and aromatherapy; I believed in angels, witchcraft, clairvoyants, crop circles, aliens at Nazca, giant ginger mariners spreading their knowledge to the Aztecs, the Incas, and the Egyptians, and that I was somehow personally blessed by the Holy Spirit with healing abilities. I was having my aura read at a hefty price and filtering the fluoride out of my water. I was choosing to have past life regressions instead of taking antidepressants. I was taking my daily advice from tarot cards. I grew all my own veg and made my own herbal remedies.

I was so freaking crunchy that I literally crumbled. It was only when I took control of those paranoid thoughts and fears about the world around me and became an objective critical thinker that I got well. It was when I stopped taking sugar pills for everything and started seeing medical professionals that I began to thrive physically and mentally.

If you think your child’s immune system is strong enough to fight off vaccine-preventable diseases, then it’s strong enough to fight off the tiny amounts of dead or weakened pathogens present in any of the vaccines.

But not everyone around you is that strong, not everyone has a choice, not everyone can fight those illnesses, and not everyone can be vaccinated. If you have a healthy child, then your healthy child can cope with vaccines and can care about those unhealthy children who can’t.

I would ask the anti-vaxxers to treat their children with compassion and a sense of responsibility for those around them. I would ask them not to teach their children to be self-serving and scared of the world in which they live and the people around them. (And teach them to love people with autism spectrum disorder or any other disability supposedly associated with vaccines—not to label them as damaged.)

Most importantly, I want the anti-vaxxers to see that knowingly exposing your child to illness is cruel. Even without complications, these diseases aren’t exactly pleasant. I don’t know about you, but I don’t enjoy watching children suffer even with a cold or a hurt knee. If you’ve never had these illnesses, you don’t know how awful they are. I do. Pain, discomfort, the inability to breathe or to eat or to swallow, fever and nightmares, itching all over your body so much that you can’t stand lying on bedsheets, losing so much weight you can’t walk properly, diarrhea that leaves you lying prostrate on the bathroom floor, the unpaid time off work for parents, the quarantine, missing school, missing parties, the worry, the sleepless nights, the sweat, the tears, the blood, the midnight visits to the emergency room, the time sitting in a doctor’s waiting room on your own because no one will sit near you because they’re rightfully scared of those spots all over your face.

Those of you who have avoided childhood illnesses without vaccines are lucky. You couldn’t do it without us pro-vaxxers. Once the vaccination rates begin dropping, the drop in herd immunity will leave your children unprotected. The more people you convert to your anti-vax stance, the quicker that luck will run out.

Kevin Nash to Donate Brain for CTE Research

Former WWE Superstar Kevin Nash will donate his brain and spinal cord to the CTE Center at Boston University and the Concussion Legacy Foundation after his death.

“Chris Nowinski started the program, and I’ve had several concussions throughout my life and had scans done and stuff and knew that somewhere down the line, I’ve already had short-term memory problems,” Nash said. “I decided to go ahead. The only way you can diagnose this is after you’re dead.”

The center, founded by former WWE Superstar Chris Nowinski and Dr. Robert Cantu, is at the forefront of research on repetitive head injuries. Its researchers have identified dozens of deceased former NFL players and former sports entertainers as having suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE.

CTE is a degenerative brain disease that has been linked to repeated head trauma. Boston University highlights “memory loss, confusion, impaired judgment, impulse-control problems, aggression, depression, and, eventually, progressive dementia” as CTE’s main symptoms.

Nowinski complimented Nash on his bravery, per Rothstein:

It’s so powerful when icons like Kevin Nash are willing to pledge their brain for research and talk about it publicly. Brain donation is really driving our growing knowledge of CTE and the long-term effects of brain trauma. And so I’m hoping that we solve this problem before Kevin’s time comes, but Kevin announcing this means that other families are aware that this research is important and that if they lose somebody, they may think of the concussion legacy foundation.

Nash, 56, spent nearly a quarter-century in professional wrestling, performing for every major promotion in the United States. He worked under his real name and as Diesel in WWE and was an integral part of the NWO faction in WCW. His and Scott Hall’s defection was seen by many as one of WCW’s first power moves in the “Monday Night Wars.”

Nash later performed in TNA, where he was among the promotion’s biggest stars during the height of its popularity. WWE inducted Nash into its Hall of Fame in 2015.

The Ten Types of Anime Fans

After running several lengthy and exhaustive surveys, the Anime Maru staff has compiled a list of the ten types of anime fans. This is the result of years upon years of hard earned research dedicated to a simple list categorizing a niche fandom. After all, why shouldn’t everything be categorized? Be sure to leave a comment about which type you are, because that will be insightful and totally original.

The Casual

The Casual doesn’t watch anime. Maybe it’s heard of Cowboy Bebop or a highly recommended show called ‘Boku no something or other’ but it doesn’t care. The Casual also thinks it’s nice that you have a hobby, but it’s just not for him.

The Otaku

The Otaku isn’t The Weeaboo because the Weeaboo watches bad shows. The Otaku is much better versed and watches critically acclaimed shows like Fate/Zero, Aldnoah.Zero, Psycho-Pass, or anything with Gen Urobuchi’s name on it. These shows are dark, so they must be mature, and since they are mature they must be good.

The Weeaboo

The Weeaboo  just discovered anime, and guess what? Every show is great! Sword Art Online, Attack On Titan, The Great Ape Escape, these shows can do no wrong. And if you don’t like it, that must be because it’s popular! And if it’s popular it must be good

The Seasonal

The Seasonal hasn’t seen anything from before it started watching anime, but it’s watched everything afterwards. There’s no distinction between genre, theme, or demographic, The Seasonal watches everything that’s airing. Hours upon hours are wasted only to start the process over again next week.

The Waifu

The Waifu is dedicated to one character. Its obsession knows no bounds. Typical behavior consists of saving terabytes of images depicting their waifu, creating a shrine to their waifu, and attempting to sew together a human ‘woman suit’ in the image of their waifu. Beware of stray body pillows and self insert fanfiction pairing.

The Fujoshi

The Fujoshi loves men. The Fujoshi has never touched a man. While they may be hard to spot at first, The Fujoshi will always gravitate towards the nearest source of gay porn. It hates yuri, and finds it too objectifying. But Yaoi is different, according the The Fujoshi it’s the purest form of love. But as we all know, The Fujoshi is wrong.

The Cancer

The Cancer only watches shows with cute girls. This gives The Cancer a significant overlap with The Waifu, but with one very fine distinction. The Cancer will change out its object of female obsession everytime it starts a new show. It will jump from one Slice of Life show to another until eventually they blend together into one disjointed mess of shit. There is no loyalty, only moe.

The Daywalker

The Daywalker is an abomination. Somehow it managed to avoid the glasses, neckbeard, and crippling obesity that come with being an anime fan. Despite looking like The Casual, The Daywalker possess a much larger catalogue of anime. They could be anywhere, at any time, just waiting to reveal their power level.


The Elitist

The Elitist has heard of it all. There’s no one with more impeccable taste than The Elitist. No one else has seen or enjoyed as many anime as it has. The Elitist is the alpha dog of the betas. It faces the scrutiny of the entire anime community, but deep down they know The Elitist is always right because anime is bad.

The End

The End has been through all the stages of an anime fan. It is the true accumulation of every shred of Japanese media in existence. Language barriers have been broken. There are no limits on length, obscurity, or even quality of the series it enjoys. The End consumes all without the slightest hesitation. The slightest glimpse of The End will send you into oblivion. Its touch wilts the body pillows it desecrates. All will love it and despair.


Apparently in 2005 Hardcore Holly almost lost his arm to MRSA

That bob holly story from the F4W newsletter is astonishing no idea how they’re still in business. Adds more weight to what punk Said.

Besides the wording of WWE’s statement and fact that Punk dealt with his issues with WWE intelligently (in the sense he didn’t talk about his situation until he had a legal settlement from the company), there’s something else that gives his allegations an air of truth: the same thing happened to Bob Holly when Dr. Ferdinand Rios was in Amann’s role.

In his book, The Hardcore Truth, Holly wrote about what happened to him the day Eddie Guerrero died. He had found a bump on his underarm that wouldn’t go away. “By the time I got to Minneapolis, I felt like I had the flu. Dr. Rios checked me out backstage and said I had a staph infection and it had spread to the forearm. He told Johnny Laurinaitis that I was really sick and needed to go to the hospital to get it taken care of. Johnny said that I was needed on the overseas tour, so the hospital would have to wait. I’m not one to complain but even I said to Johnny, ‘I’m as sick as hell, man.’ Johnny insisted I go overseas. I thought it was just another case of working hurt—you work through it and it goes away eventually. If I’d refused to go, they would have probably fired me. Maybe that’s how Eddie had felt.”

By the time they got to Germany, Holly’s forearm had swollen up to twice its normal size. Rios attempted to drain the infection, but it didn’t help; the infection had spread to the bone and Holly was hospitalized: he had MRSA. Surgery didn’t work, so they put him on Vancomycin, the “last resort” antibiotic. It worked. The doctors told him that arm would have been amputated from the shoulder down if it hadn’t, and quotes one of them as saying that “That man [Laurinaitis] is the reason you ended up in the hospital and nearly lost your arm.”

Holly even wrote that “Because they’d gone against Dr. Rios’s orders, the company was very liable and they knew that they had set themselves up for a huge lawsuit. I could tell because they were kissing my ass the whole time I was off, telling me not to worry about anything and that they’d get me anything I needed.” By the way, you know how Laurinaitis said Holly was needed on the tour? He was in a battle royal every night.



Nestle CEO: Water Is Not A Human Right, Should Be Privatized

Is water a free and basic human right, or should all the water on the planet belong to major corporations and be treated as a product? Should the poor who cannot afford to pay these said corporations suffer from starvation due to their lack of financial wealth? According to the former CEO and now Chairman of the largest food product manufacturer in the world, corporations should own every drop of water on the planet — and you’re not getting any unless you pay up.

The company notorious for sending out hordes of ‘internet warriors’ to defend the company and its actions online in comments and message boards (perhaps we’ll find some below) even takes a firm stance behind Monsanto’s GMOs and their ‘proven safety’. In fact, the former Nestle CEO actually says that his idea of water privatization is very similar to Monsanto’s GMOs. In a video interview, Nestle Chairman Peter Brabeck-Letmathe states that there has never been ‘one illness’ ever caused from the consumption of GMOs.

The way in which this sociopath clearly has zero regard for the human race outside of his own wealth and the development of Nestle, who has been caught funding attacks against GMO labeling, can be witnessed when watching and listening to his talk on the issue. This is a company that actually goes into struggling rural areas and extracts the groundwater for their bottled water products, completely destroying the water supply of the area without any compensation. In fact, they actually make rural areas in the United States foot the bill.

As reported on by Corporate Watch, Nestle and former CEO Peter Brabeck-Letmathe have a long history of disregarding public health and abusing the environment to take part in the profit of an astounding $35 billion in annual profit from water bottle sales alone. The report states:

So is water a human right, or should it be owned by big corporations? Well, if water is not here for all of us, then perhaps air should be owned by major corporations as well. And as for crops, Monsanto is already working hard to make sure their monopoly on our staple crops and beyond is well situated. It should really come as no surprise that this Nestle Chairman fights to keep Monsanto’s GMOs alive and well in the food supply, as his ideology lines right up with that of Monsanto.


Recipe Slow-Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

I didn’t think chicken tikka masala could really get much better, but then I remembered my fall-time best friend: the slow cooker. This is a curry dish that benefits from a nice, long simmer anyway, so why not let that happen while I’m off doing other things? That’s what I call smart cooking.

Spooned over some steamed rice, this easy slow-cooker tikka masala is about to make your busy fall days very happy indeed.

This slow-cooker meal is a near replica of the stovetop chicken tikka masala that I shared a while back. To make it better for the slow cooker — and easier for those of you who need to get this going before heading to work — I streamlined all the steps and made this a simple “dump-and-go” recipe.


If you have some extra time, I heartily recommend marinating the chicken in some yogurt and sautéing the onions and garlic with the spices before putting everything in the slow cooker. I tried it both ways and, while the extra steps give the dish a bit more depth and nuance, I promise you’ll still be happy having this for dinner if you skip them.

Serve this with a simple pot of basmati rice — if you start cooking the rice at the same time you add the cream at the end of cooking, the whole meal is ready at the same time.


Slow-Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

Serves 4 to 6

1 to 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-inch piece whole ginger, peeled and grated
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 to 2 tablespoons garam masala
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
3/4 cup heavy cream or coconut milk
Fresh cilantro, chopped
2 cups cooked rice, to serve

Cut the chicken thighs into bite-sized pieces and transfer them to a 3-quart or larger slow cooker. Stir in the onion, garlic, ginger, tomato paste, 1 tablespoon of garam masala, paprika, and kosher salt until the chicken is evenly covered with spices. Stir in the diced tomatoes with their juices.

→ If you have the time: Marinate the chicken in 1/2 cup yogurt for up to 6 hours. Shake to remove excess yogurt before transferring to the slow cooker.

→ If you have the time: Sauté the onions and garlic in a little olive oil over medium-high heat in a skillet until softened, then stir in the ginger, tomato paste, and spices until fragrant. Transfer to the slow cooker with the chicken and diced tomatoes. This will give your tikka masala more depth of flavor.

Cover the slow cooker and cook for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low. Fifteen minutes before the end of cooking, stir in the heavy cream. If you prefer a thicker sauce, leave the slow cooker uncovered for the last 15 minutes. Taste and add more garam masala or salt to taste.

Serve over rice with fresh cilantro sprinkled over the top of each serving. The tikka masala can be refrigerated for 3 to 4 days or frozen for 3 to 4 months.

Recipe Notes

  1.  Chicken breasts can be substituted for the thighs, although I find thighs hold up better over the long cooking and breasts tend to fall into shreds. Still delicious, though!
  2. For a little of that smoky tandoori flavor, try using smoked paprika and roasted tomatoes.
  3. Here’s my favorite method for cooking basmati rice in about 20 minutes: How To Cook Perfect Basmati Rice.


Toyota Camry (78.5%) and the Honda Accord (76%) both contain more domestic content than the Chevrolet Camaro (68%)

What could be more American than a Chevrolet Camaro? The answer might surprise you: A study by American University’s Kogod School of Business found that the Toyota Camry (78.5%) and the Honda Accord (76%) both contain more domestic content than the Chevrolet Camaro (68%), which barely edges out the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport (67.5%) and the Kia Sorento (67%).

The fact is, we live in a brave new world where “American” cars are built in Korea, “German” cars originate in Mexico and “Japanese” cars come from the good old US of A. But that’s not all—parts for cars assembled in America often come from abroad. That means the cars in a city crowded with GM, Ford and Chrysler products might be less American than one filled with Toyotas and Hondas..

With this in mind, we at CarsDirect thought we’d ask which major cities drove the most—and least— American cars.

Some findings weren’t unexpected:–

  • With a score of 80%, Phoenix was the only major city that exceeded the national average of 74%, which Chicago matched.
  • West Coast cities have traditionally embraced imports, so lower scores from Los Angeles (62.3%), San Jose (61%), and San Diego (45%) are in line with expectations.

But there were also some surprises:

  • The American content of cars in Texan cities—Houston (68%), San Antonio (62.1%) and Dallas (46%)—wasn’t just middling. All three drive less American cars than New York City (73%).
  • And it might be the home of the Liberty Bell, but Philadelphia isn’t exactly patriotic in its car-buying habits. The American content in its cars is just 49%.


How the list was assembled: We created a “top ten” list of cars for each of the largest cities in America by looking at traffic to individual vehicle make/model pages where shoppers choose options for cars. We then used data from Kogod to give each city points based on the cars appearing in its top ten list. Each city’s percentage is based on the score they received out of a possible 850 points. (No cars are any longer 100% American.) Please note that the scores are based on a list of vehicles most shopped for and does not necessarily represent the vehicles most sold in the U.S.

The Art of Vintage Manliness: The Vintage Haircut

This article will be updated as new tips & photos come in.

I spent a great deal of my mid-teens to late 20s trying to get a good vintage 1930’s/40’s men’s haircut, first à la Swing Kids, and later à la the kind of haircut the swing kids had before they grew it out. This took me quite a lot of trying to explain what I wanted and produced mostly mediocre results. The main reason was I didn’t know how to communicate exactly what I wanted, and during most of that time my stylists had hardly ever done a vintage men’s haircut.

Thankfully, men’s vintage-ish haircuts are coming back into mainstream fashion — whether through the influence of Mad Men, or the indie fashion of people like Arcade Fire front man Win Butler, or European soccer/football stars, or Justin Timberlake— and so it should be easier for stylists and barbers to know what you’re talking about when you say you want a men’s vintage cut.

sax-section-1934Luckily, most styles of the 1930s to 50s have these basics in common: a short back and sides (also known as “high and tight”) and a longer top, especially near the front of the head. However, one should know that there are still a lot of variables at play. Where the variations mostly come in is how high, how tight, how long on top, and how dramatic the fade you want between the sides and top.

This basic vintage cut is the same for most hair types; super curly, curly, wavy, straight…they will obviously look different, but you’re still telling your barber the same details.

Also, please note my use of the word “vintage” is speaking more about the general spirit of the hair cut. Clearly some of the pictures below are very modern twists on the vintage “short back and sides” style. (Which is what The Art of Vintage Manliness is all about: taking what you like the best in vintage manliness, and making it fit into your modern life.)

High & Tight

“Tight” is the short back and sides of your haircut, and how tight it is means how short it is. You want to have an idea of what you like so that you can show your barber (better yet, bring a picture, or a collage — we’ll talk about that later). To see how varied the shortness can be, check out the diagram below. (I recommend clicking on it in order to see it full size.)

“High” refers to how far up the side of the head you want the short part to go. Here’s a diagram:

WARNING: Be careful going into a barber and only saying “give me a high and tight,” as this is also terminology for a military-style haircut, which will probably take off a lot more than you’re expecting from on top. Again, the best bet is to bring in pictures to your barber/stylist.

The Fade

The “fade” is how your hair transitions from the short back and sides into the longer top part. This can be done gradually or abruptly:

Another aspect of the fade to consider is the line the fade makes across your profile:

Length on Top

The final big piece of information you will want to give your barber is the length you want on top. For the truly vintage look, you want the front to be longer than the back. However, the difference can be severe or only slight. (Also, you should note that the longer your hair, the harder it will be to manage.)

The Back of the Head

Finally, there’s the shape of the back of the head. My stylists recommended that, rather than try to explain what you want to happen there, one should bring in some pictures (he said that was probably the best all-around advice for someone trying to tell their stylist what they want).

Now, it’s actually hard to find pictures of the back of vintage men’s haircuts on the web. So I recommend that the next time you see a haircut you really like, ask the person if they would mind if you took a picture of it so you could show your barber. I’ve done this probably a dozen times, and every single one I’ve asked has allowed me to do it. (Even random people in airports.) Most are flattered and appear more than happy to do so. Here are some examples of the backs of vintage haircuts. (Please note that all the dimensions of the sides of your haircut will dictate a lot of what is possible with the back of your haircut.)


So those are the basic dimensions of the vintage haircut. However, a good stylist or barber knows there are some more subtle ways each of these dimensions can be altered for various effects. If the person cutting your hair offers a good reason for trying something different, it might be worth a try. Also, please note that hair comes in many different varieties — the exact haircut you want might not be possible with the hair you have. Again, that’s something to discuss with the person cutting your hair.

Other: Parts, Product, and Texture

There are a few tips that can add the final touches to your haircut.

The first is your part. Most vintage men traditionally parted their hair on the left side of the head. You don’t have to. You can part it on the right, down the middle, or between the middle and side. Your part can be well-defined, or simply implied, like a path in a jungle surrounded by bushes. You don’t even have to have a part — a lot of modern takes on vintage hair cut is that the hair is simply swept over from the point of the fade (the line made by the “high & tight” part).

Here’s a secret for getting an awesome part: Your barber can actually shave it in. By using the clippers, barbers in the old days reportedly would made a part bolder so that your hair could easily be managed and you wouldn’t have to worry about creating your part with a comb every morning. You just want to be careful if the person cutting your hair is new to this; if the part’s too wide, it’ll look strange.

Next is product. It is almost a must-have. Oftentimes vintage haircuts only look good with some form of product in the hair, whether that be a little mousse or gel to keep it somewhat in control, or whether you want to pomade it into an oiled-back slick. For product, you will want to test out your own — based on smell, hold, and general annoyance to wash out. I will give a quick plug for water-based pomades, of which there are many now on the market. They do a good job of holding the hair but also are easy to wash out. Some friends of mine use old school products like Murray’s pomade, which they pass over with a cigarette lighter in order to get it loosened up just right.

Also, a little secret: Before you ever apply hair product, rub it between your hands very quickly for a while to create a lot of friction. The heat will make the product more liquid-like so that it won’t clump your hair, and it will settle back into hardness when it has had a few moments to cool off. You can also run a hair dryer for a few seconds over the pomade in your hand before putting it into your hair.

Texture is often added by cutting the hair different lengths. For example, see the picture right. Of course, you don’t have to add texture. Many vintage men just had their hair cut simply straight, since it would mostly just be greased back by oil anyway. However, texture does allow the haircut to be a little more interesting when it’s not slicked back.

Stylists & Barbers

I’ve seen quite a few stylists and quite a few barbers around the world (literally) in my efforts to get a good men’s vintage haircut. Especially today, many cities have men’s barber shops that specialize in vintage cuts.

From my experience, barbers skilled in vintage cuts are good at getting the general effect and they won’t need a lot of explanation when you mention you want a vintage haircut. (And don’t be alarmed if they pull out the clippers and just buzz your head for fifteen minutes — some of those barbers use clippers almost exclusively.)

At a barbershop you may get the added bonus of being around a group of guys enjoying the old-timey barbershop experience, but the downside of that is you also might be surrounded by a bunch of guys trying way too hard to have that old-timey experience, which to some (like me) is annoying. However, if you find a barbershop you like with a barber you like in it, it can be a great experience.

classic-mens-haircutMany stylists at regular hair salons rarely have had practicing in doing vintage cuts, but as mentioned before, that is quickly changing. (When in doubt, I have often mentioned recent movies. “You know, like Inglorious Basterds.” “It’s a Band of Brothers haircut, but longer in the front.” “It’s like in The Artist.” Or I’ve used this handy dandy guide to the right a few times.)

And stylists, unlike many barbers, are trained to shape the haircut specifically for your face and head shape. They are also used to people being picky — and if you’re a guy getting a vintage haircut for the effect it will have on your swing dancing and vintage fashion, you are probably, at the very least, more specific about your hair needs than average.

Now it’s not a hard and fast rule, but I have had some vintage haircuts from barbers that looked amazingly vintage but were not quite right for my face/head, and some haircuts from stylists that that were only vaguely vintage but really looked great with my face/head. (And, a good rule of thumb is, if you go with a stylist, to choose stylists close to or inside your nearby big city, since they are more likely to be up on the ironically modern trend of doing vintage haircuts.)

The best outcome is if you find a barber that can recommend shapes that specifically fit your features, or a stylist with vintage haircut experience. If you like the haircut they give you, stick with them and tip them well. (And, of course, take pictures of the front, back, and sides for future reference. Keep them on your phone in case you find yourself getting a haircut form someone new.)

And of course, your location will have a role in the decision to choose a stylist or a barber. For instance, I figured I’d have better luck explaining to a nearby stylist how to do the vintage haircut I wanted than in being able to track down a vintage barbershop in Rockville, MD. A few stylists were pretty good at it and they did fine for a few years; however, I finally found the perfect stylists for me about a year ago.

Over the last few years, he has begun studying vintage haircuts partly based on the times I’ve come in and we’ve played around with them. He has begun to really enjoy men’s vintage hair fashion, and we get closer and closer to mastering exactly what I’m looking for. It has taken some time and experimenting, but he’s very patient and awesome about doing so.


A lot of what I tell my stylist is what I’ve shared with you today: If you know, let them know how high you want it, how tight, how dramatic a fade, what line you want that fade to have, and how long on top. Otherwise, ask advice on what they recommend. If you wish you can also mention parts and texturing and ask what kind of products they have to try out. And that should get you on your way to a great-looking men’s vintage haircut.

Finally, I came up with a collage that basically has my haircut’s directions taken from the photos I’ve shared with you. I made it in Microsoft Paint in just 20 minutes. I just handed this over, and see the results:

You can help!

If you are a person who has gotten a men’s vintage-style haircut, please consider posting pictures of it in the comments below, as a reference for other people looking to see what is possible, and also as a reference for people to take to their barbers or stylists.

For instance, Brad Pitt, among others, was nice enough to send in pictures of his recent haircut…