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The Beatle haircut, also known as the mop-top (or moptop) —because of its resemblance to a mop—or Arthur amongst fans, is a mid-length hairstyle named after and popularised by the Beatles. It is a straight cut - collar-length at the back and over the ears at the sides, with a straight fringe (bangs).
As a schoolboy in the mid '50s, Jürgen Vollmer had left his hair hanging down over his forehead one day after he had gone swimming, not bothering to style it. John Lennon is quoted in The Beatles Anthology as follows: Jürgen had a flattened-down hairstyle with a fringe in the back, which we rather took to. In late 1961 Vollmer moved to Paris. McCartney said in a 1979 radio interview: "We saw a guy in Hamburg whose hair we liked. John and I were hitchhiking to Paris. We asked him to cut our hair like he cut his." McCartney also wrote in a letter to Vollmer in 1989: George explained in a 60s interview that it was John and I having our hair cut in Paris which prompted him to do the same…. We were the first to take the plunge.
Because of the immense popularity of the Beatles, the haircut was widely imitated worldwide between 1964 and 1966. Their hair-style led toy manufacturers to begin producing real-hair and plastic, "Beatle Wigs". Lowell Toy Manufacturing Corp. of New York was licensed to make "the only AUTHENTIC Beatle Wig". There have been many attempts at counterfeiting, but in its original packaging this wig has become highly collectible.
At a press conference at the Plaza Hotel in New York, shortly after the Beatles' arrival in the United States, Harrison was asked by a reporter, "What do you call your hairstyle?" He replied "Arthur". The scene was recreated in the movie A Hard Day's Night with the reporter asking Harrison, "What would you call that, uh, hairstyle you're wearing?"
Mikhail Safonov wrote in 2003 that in the Brezhnev-dominated Soviet Union, mimicking the Beatles hairstyle was seen as extremely rebellious. Young people were called...