Iran government issues style guide for men’s hair
Ponytails are out but side-partings and Elvis quiffs are in. Not the latest fashion advice from a celebrity magazine, but a list of acceptable male hairstyles issued by the Iranian government.
By Anita Singh
Published: 8:09PM BST 05 Jul 2010
In an attempt to rid the country of “decadent Western cuts”, Iran’s culture ministry has produced a catalogue of haircuts that meet government approval.
The list of banned styles includes ponytails, mullets and elaborate spikes. However,quiffs appear to be acceptable, as are fashioning one’s hair in the style of Simon Cowell or cultivating a 1980s-style floppy fringe.
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Most of the models are clean-shaven although one picture features a man with a goatee beard, previously frowned upon by Iran’s conservative clerics. Using hair gel is also within the law, albeit in modest quantities.
The “journal of Iranian hairstyles approved by the ministry of [culture and Islamic] guidance” was previewed at a government-approved hairdressing show in Tehran.
The pictures were reminiscent of those gracing barber shop windows across Britain.
“The proposed styles are inspired by Iranians’ complexion, culture and religion, and Islamic law,” said Jaleh Khodayar, who is in charge of a Modesty and Veil Festival later this month at which the guide will be promoted.
“We are happy that the Islamic republic of Iran’s government has backed us in designing these hairstyles.”
Several barber shops have reportedly been shut down and penalised in recent years for offering Western-style haircuts.
Iranian police carry out regular morality checks, arresting women in short coats and flimsy headscarves as well as men sporting spiky hair and tight, low-slung jeans. Ties are also viewed with suspicion as a symbol of Western decadence.
Conservative clerics have called for firmer action against un-Islamic dressers and criticised President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad last month for expressing opposition to a tough police crackdown on immodest attire.
Earlier this year, an Iranian cleric claimed women who wear revealing clothes cause natural disasters. Hojjat ol-eslam Kazem Sediqi, a prayer leader in Tehran, said: “Many women who do not dress modestly lead young men astray and spread adultery in society, which increases earthquakes.”