The Edgar Lives on: A Deep Dive into the Cultural Roots of the Popular Haircut
Thanks to social media, especially TikTok, the hairstyle has gone from being a meme source to a fashion trend.
As reported by The Dallas Morning News, Edgar haircut “has struck a chord with Gen Z Latinos and late millennials.”
“There’s not a day that doesn’t go by that I don’t do an ‘Edgar haircut,'” an award-winning aspiring barber from Kyle, Texas, told NBC News. In fact, the barber does at least seven Edgar haircuts a day. Clients who typically order the Edgar are young people, ranging from 5th graders to high school seniors.
What is the story behind Edgar haircut?
Like almost everything in popular culture, the Edgar has its roots in indigenous traditions.
Men of the Jumano tribe, dominant in Texas, New Mexico, and Mexico between 1500 and 1700, wore a similar haircut.
Nowadays, indigenous tribes such as the Yanomami in the Amazon rainforest maintain this headdress.
The men of both tribes decorated their straight hair with paint and left a long section for bird feathers.
The Jumanos, who once dominated the El Paso, Austin, and Rio Grande regions, had to adapt to colonization. Because of their strategic location, this tribe served as a mediator between the Spanish and other tribes.
Finally, the Apaches absorbed the Jumanos in the late 1700s. By 1750, the Jumanos had disappeared entirely from the historical record.
However, their haircut survived in what we now call the Edgar.
A style that has survived for centuries
Although there are no precise records on the origin of the style and its peculiar name, some believe it was the famous baseball player Edgar Martinez who made it fashionable.
The story goes that, on one occasion, a Martinez fan walked into a barbershop and asked the barber to shave the player’s face on the back of his head.
With the advent of social media, people started associating the cut with the term “takuache” in Mexico and other Latino communities.
For Alexandro Gradilla, associate professor of Chicano studies at California State University, the initial rejection of the haircut is a matter of discrimination.
“You don’t see what you would call white-passing Latinos with an Edgar haircut. It is always very dark-skinned Latinos who have the Edgar haircut,” Gradilla told NBC News.
However, while Edgar haircut was a source of derision in Texas for years, it is now a symbol of pride for many Internet users.