exploringsingapore is exclusive ExplorerSG mini series where we reveal some of the lesser-known places, facts and history of Singapore.
In the late 1960s, an anti-long hair campaign was launched by the government of Singapore to in a bid to slow down the influence of the hippie culture which was deemed to be detrimental to the stability of the society.
Back then, the definition of long hair was determined to have hair reaching below the collar, covering the ears and forehead, and touching the eye lashes.
A slew of measures were progressively rolled out to deter men from having long hair. This includes:
– Serving men with long hair last at government offices
– Fining or terminating male civil servants who had long hair.
– Discouraging companies from hiring men with long hair
– Forcing tourists entering Singapore to have their hair cut short or be denied entry.
The campaign came to a stop in the late 1980s with the gradual acceptance of long-haired men at workplaces and government offices.
It is worth nothing that similar trends were found in other cities like Kuala Lumpur, Seoul, and Melbourne. However, the ban on long hair mostly applied to male students while Singapore had enforced it on all males, young and old.
(Image credits: National Archives of Singapore)