How to Get The Peaky Blinders Haircut: What To Ask For From Your Barber

The BBC drama that is The Peaky Blinders has created binge-worthy performances from the likes of Cillian Murphy and Tom Hardy, their clean-cut suits and desirable haircuts have had me, and many other viewers gripped from the very start of the shows release back on 12th September 2013. As you will more than likely already know the story of the series follows a Birmingham based gangster family called the Shelby’s just after Word War 1. Since 2013 the show has had viewers gripped with not only the intense and second-guessing story line, however also managed to capture a desirable iconic style which many of today’s men want to replicate for themselves.

Apparently, it took over a week to actually convince the cast to cut their hair for the now-iconic, period hairstyle which we all instantly desired. Freddie Thorne who is played by Iddo Goldberg back in series one states that he in fact went and got the clippers first out of the entire Peaky Blinders cast which encouraged the rest to follow. The style chosen by the hair designer was partially inspired by military haircuts and the cast did not agree with the bold cut that the hair designers were requesting from them. At first many of the cast wanted to keep their hats on to hide the trim that had been enforced on them however after a while they soon came to realise that this was not something to hide, in fact it was quickly becoming an extremely desirable cut and trend that they were setting. Undercut hairstyles and fade cuts of various kinds have been barbershop favourites and all we can put this down to is the start of Peaky Blinders, this is how much the show has had an impact on the today’s men styling.

 So, What Exactly Is The Peaky Blinders Haircut?

Thomas Shelby the main character in the series who is played by Cillian Murphy returns to Birmingham after battling in the trenches of France as a tunnel digger. Thomas’s hair is worn in a disconnected, blended style that is very short on the back and sides yet remains lengthy on top. This imitates a style worn by “sloggers” or hooligans from the late 1890’s.

With all styles having harshly shaved back and sides the style on top actually varies between the cast members giving all a unique sense of style. Some wear the Peaky Blinders haircut with a side parting, some with a quiff and some with slicked-back hair which can be found iconically on Arthur, Thomas’s older brother.

Something that many people may not know is that the Peaky Blinders haircut actually had a real purpose in the post war era. Troops used to shave their heads as a result of lice, that’s right, the haircut helped prevent the spread of lice between family members in the poverty-stricken populations. In addition to that when the designers designed the cut for the series they only wanted to show skin when the boys were wearing hats. This was so you only see the individual character when he removes his hat, it would also make it harder for witnesses to identify a gangster if he got caught getting up to no good.

What Do You Ask For?

Looking at the cast members should ideally give you an indication of which look will work best for you and your own hair type. If your hair is light, then you will be able to replicate the quiff however if your hair is heavy you have no chance and better off opting for the side parted style or slick back. Should you not be sure of what is possible with your hair type then you could look to simply ask your barber for his recommendation on what he / she thinks is achievable, after all I bet he / she will have watched the series themselves. Essentially what you’re going to be asking for is a disconnected undercut with no fade. Get yourselves prepared and brace to go really short on the back and sides, then choose if you want to style your hair away from your face with a more slick back appearance or closer to the head length and worn forwards.

Arthur Shelby who as mentioned above is Thomas’s brother and is definitely one of the more violent characters found in the series. To match his character ironically Arthur also has the most extreme undercut hairstyle. To replicate Arthur’s haircut you would need straight, fine hair with long length on top which he wears slicked back. Thomas Shelby wears his in a rather softer, crop, pushed forward over his face and swept to one side style. John who is the younger brother of the two above wears his hair parted straight into short with slick curtains.   

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