When you think of iconic hairstyles, who comes to mind? Dolly Parton, with her “higher the hair, the closer to God” mantra? Bowie and his ever evolving ’dos, different each era? Amy Winehouse with her towering beehive? Good answers all, but I propose to you that you’re wrong. Step forward, the perennially cheerful singer, the Charlatans frontman, DJ, producer, author and lockdown listening party savior, Tim Burgess and his bowl cut. A haircut so iconic, in fact, that it has recently been turned into an NFT, whatever that actually means. Please don’t explain what this means to me. We’d both get annoyed.
The bowl cut is a British staple that echoes through the ages, since it was first sported by medieval monks and made famous by Henry V in the 15th century (depicted on-screen by another Tim beloved by the indie kids, this time Chalamet.) Couldn’t afford the hairdresser? No problemo—your mum would sit you down, possibly with an elder sibling holding your shoulders to avoid the inevitable squirming as an unqualified adult loomed over you with a blunt pair of scissors used for everything else in the house. The mixing bowl—only usually used on Sundays for mixing the batter for Yorkshire puddings, and maybe the occasional birthday cake—would be unceremoniously dumped over your head and used as a guide as to where to cut. The result would be wonky and socially isolating on the playground, but grown ups would say how cute you looked while also trying to stifle hysterical laughter. What your mother saved in money, you lost in self-esteem.
What your mother saved in money, you lost in self-esteem
However baffling it may seem, the bowl cut has occasionally been fashionable and we are seeing a resurgence again, as the 1990s make their inevitable, and some may argue, unfortunate comeback. No one has been as devoted to this hairstyle as Mr. Burgess—and who are we to argue with the consistency and dedication of a man who Paul Weller described as “a fella who understands the importance of hair.” High praise indeed from the Modfather himself, a man who has strong credentials when it comes to identifying what is and what is not cool. Think of it as the follicular equivalent of Steve Jobs’ boring wardrobe: comforting, familiar and reassuring. You see the blond mop of Tim Burgess and know exactly who is underneath it. It’s so recognisable that a massive signage of it was installed for a while in Manchester to publicize his Tim Peaks coffee venture. Of course, everyone knew who that silhouette belonged to.