Throughout the decades, teenagers have attempted to prove their coolness by wearing questionable accessories, hairstyles and items of clothing. Hindsight Fashion is a section about those trends that, in Hindsight, we probably wish we hadn’t worn.
This week’s Hindsight Fashion is: The Middle-Part Mushroom.
The Middle-Part Mushroom (or Ass-Head as my husband likes to call it) was a men’s hairstyle that became popular in the mid-nineties. It was a variation on the traditional Mushroom Cut, or Bowl Cut, wherein the wearer parted the hair down the middle. Most commonly, the lower layer of the hair was shaved down to take out some of the volume on top. This was called an Undercut. Strangely, the Undercut has made a huge comeback of late, with hipsters left and right shaving the bottom halves of their heads. But we’re not here to talk about what’s cool. We’re here to talk about what’s not cool.
The Middle-Part Mushroom very quickly became the go-to haircut for boys, men and in between throughout the nineties. I can literally say that in Grade 8, every boy, most of my male teachers, and one of my female gym teachers had this hair cut.
My best memory of the Middle-Part Mushroom was of a boy in my Grade 8 class named Eric. Looking back, I realize that Eric was what most people would call a “late bloomer”. He was 13 but still had creamy smooth skin and the baby fine hair of an angel. Eric sported a glorious example of the Middle-Part Mushroom. And for whatever reason, all us Grade 8 girls thought he was pretty special.
The Middle-Part Mushroom was really an in-betweenie hair style. It wasn’t long enough to be considered “long” (most often, the longest pieces of the cut rested just above the ears). It wasn’t short enough to be considered “short”. It was just this weird length that neither categorized the wearer as a badass, nor a conservative. It was a hair cut for the man who wanted to say “Hello, world. Here I am. I’m not really a big risk taker. But I do like to look mildly rebellious”. Middle-Part Mushroom it was.
At some point as the Millennium approached, Dudes everywhere decided to chop off their long locks. It was as though everyone had overdosed on the Grunge period and all its aftermath and needed a cleaner, more preppy break. Or perhaps the male population just simultaneously decided that sporting a haircut named after any type of fungus is generally a bad idea. A statement to which I cannot say I disagree.