That could be a part of the mix, but if we owe anyone for the classic men’s hair movement it would be the UK, where it’s been underway for a few years. In addition, I’d say for white North American guys it’s a perfect storm of:
- Eye catching period haircuts from cinema/TV (e.g. Inglorious Bastards, Mad Men) and visible male style trend setters, like David Beckham.
- The rise of the hipster sensibility that values retro, dapper style, and “buy local” (which fits so well with many of the barbershops that specialize in these looks).
- The previous popular (and still very much so in many parts), low maintenance haircuts like the Cesar, faux hawk, shaved head, single length buzz, have run their course (thankfully, for the most part). Guys (and their gals) are ready for a change.
- They just look so fucking great.
The greatest African American contribution, IMHO, is the model it provides for a cohesive male culture and community that is centered in the barbershop. That sort of thing was lost elsewhere when haircuts started to be mass produced in cheap franchise haircut stores (may they rest in peace).
Long live the classic men’s haircuts and neighborhood barbershops.