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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This variant of the comb over was patented in 1977.

A comb over or combover is a hairstyle worn by bald or balding men in which the hair on one side of the head is grown long and then combed over the bald area to minimize the display of baldness.

A variation of the combover (whereby baldness is concealed by long hair combed in three separate directions) has a U.S. Patent 4,022,227 by Donald J. Smith and his father, Frank J. Smith, of Orlando, Florida, who were awarded an Ig Nobel Prize in Engineering for their effort.

Such is the interest in this hairstyle that a one-hour documentaryComb Over - the Movie – has been made about it



In Japan, they call men with comb-overs "bar code men" (バーコード人), referring to the striations caused by the comb and how similar it is to the UPC on products. The "barcode style" is called "bākōdo na kamigata" (バーコードな髪型).[1]

Famous comb overs

  • In the UK, two people noted for comb overs were the former chairman of Call My Bluff, Robert Robinson (known as the "king of the comb over") [2][3] and World Cup winner Bobby Charlton[4][5].
  • Former University of Illinois basketball coach Lou Henson had his combover style termed the "Lou-do"[6] by ESPN announcer Dick Vitale. Earlier in his career, when Henson was a coach at New Mexico State, he sported a close-cropped hairstyle that did not conceal his baldness.
  • Donald Trump [7]
  • In Spain, the Basque nationalist politician Iñaqui Anasagasti is noted for his comb over, giving his name to comb overs ("hairstyle a la Anasagasti") [8][9].
  • In former Czechoslovakia, the Velvet Revolution-era Prime Minister Marián Čalfa was noted for his prominent comb over. To this day, a classic comb over as described above is jokingly referred to as "typ Čalfa".

In popular culture

The Scottish comedian Gregor Fisher lampooned the comb over style with his character The Baldy Man, which featured in a television advertisement before graduating to its own TV show.


  1. ^ From: Japan Akihiko Yonekawa ed Slang Dictionary (3rd edition) publishing house in Tokyo in 2006, 483 pages. see also: „Miscellaneous“ in the article on barcodes in the Japanese Wikipedia
  2. ^ Guardian books
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ Irish Examiner
  6. ^ Sports Illustrated
  7. ^ "Donald Trump: The Art of the Comb-over",0,3991343.htmlstory
  8. ^
  9. ^


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