When a proper haircut costs too much or is not available, it’s pretty easy to put a bowl over someone’s head and cut off what sticks out from under it. But rarely does it look good. Still, it’s such an obvious idea that it goes way back, long before it became Moe’s signature look as he performed with the Three Stooges.
The origins of the bowl cut extend far beyond Moe Howard. The style was common among European men in the 12th through 15th centuries as well as Russian serfs in the 18th century. The appeal was simple: It was a style that could be achieved with no skill, no brushing, and at virtually no cost. It also straddled the line between the longer styles that went in and out of vogue in the Middle Ages and the shorter cuts favored by soldiers and religious leaders. Men of greater means often accessorized the cut with elaborate hats.
So the bowl cut had its up and downs, so to speak, which you can read about at Mental Floss. It includes the story of how Moe first came to wear the bowl cut.
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