Did men ever shave their heads in the late 1800s?

I have a question about hairstyles in the late 19th century. Was it fashionable at some point for men to shave their heads? I had a dream last night about odd quasi-Victorian “steampunk-style” guys wearing 19th century clothing and top hats. Several of them had shaved their heads, but retained various different beard-styles. So these odd images set me to wonderin’ if this would be at all accurate. I’m thinking probably not, but I might be wrong…
Yup, I have some strange dreams.

I don’t think so (at least, not in England).

In Georgian times, some men shaved their heads and wore wigs. That came to and end with the advent of the 19th century.


You have to remember that men weren’t wearing wigs all the time. Wigs were considered the equivalent of wearing a suit and tie. You would put it on for special occasions like a ceremony. And you would wear one for a portrait, which is why we see so many of them. But very few men wore a wig in their normal daily life.

Before the 20th century, body parasites were very common and in some places, practically universal. In the powdered-wig era, men shaved their heads and then wore wigs, which enabled them to rid themselves of head lice. This had substantially diminished through the 19th century.

Are you sure of this? I had gotten the idea that for higher classes, it was rather the other way around. You wouldn’t be seen “en cheveux” (without a wig), except in very informal setting.

Perhaps earlier in the days when longhaired men were in fashion. By the American Revolution, the look of long hair was still stylish. But many men grew their hair long & had it styled by their servants. Or barbers. The styles would involve powder for more formal events. (They were also universally cleanshaven–not necessarily by their own hands.)

George Washington never wore a wig. But there have always been guys without Good Hair–remember John Adams on HBO coming home angry, ripping the wig off his clipped-close head with the bald spot?

The late 1800’s were a century later–when wigs had gone out of style outside of British courtrooms. I do remember the mortification of solders in the Great War–shaven to prevent typhus. (The use of “lousy” to mean generally crummy came from that war–when delousing was a regular, demeaning part of life in the Trenches.)