Sideburns: a man’s pride

Generally loved or hated, sideburns are undoubtedly a distinctive element of the male appearance. Object of the courses and appeals of fashion, they have taken on the most disparate shapes in the various historical periods among which it is worth remembering:

  • the favorites, like those of Alessandro Manzoni, long from the temples to the chin and possibly connected to the beard;
  • the mutton-chopped sideburns, long, thick and joined to the mustache, which in the second half of the nineteenth century were quite popular since they were worn by the Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria; imitating this sideburns style was considered a sign of admiration for him and loyalty to the Austro-Hungarian government;
  • the straight sideburns, cut a few millimeters below the lobe and just above the height of the tragus. They represent the most classic style and are suitable for both longer and shorter hairs;
  • the pointed sideburns, which gradually taper to form a thin tip and are the extension / completion of a short haircut;
  • the ’60s sideburns, like Elvis Presley’s, long and thick with an asymmetrical and irregular base;
  • the ‘70s sideburns, formed by a strip of hair that reaches up to the jaw, but without going beyond it.

A rather unusual custom, albeit not very widespread, was to wear curled sideburns as the men of some Orthodox Jewish religious communities still do today. This tradition would have originated from a particular interpretation of the biblical texts on the prohibition of shaving the corners of one’s head, hence the custom of not cutting the hair on the sides of the head beyond the bone that connects the skull to the jaw.

To curl the sideburns, irons very similar to those for curling hair were used such as the one we keep in our shop, formed by a wooden handle and a cylindrical metal part that was heated by inserting it in hot coals, on the stove or by placing it on alcohol-powered machines. Once the desired temperature was reached, the hot iron was used to shape sideburns’ hairs.

The irons used to curl the sideburns at Antica Barbieria Colla


Today this tool is no longer used, but if you love sideburns our barbers will be able to advise you on the most suitable style for you.