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It seems that back in the 70s, everyone had an afro.  It didn’t matter if you were male or female, black or white, Jew or gentile, porn actor or serious actor.  Being born in the 80s, I can only imagine what it must have been like back then when the whole world voluntarily had my hairstyle.  Unless this blog really takes off and Jew-fros come back into style, I will never know what that felt like.

But, yeah, that won’t likely happen.  So I’ll have to pretend that my hair is cool…or just watch an old episode of Welcome Back, Kotter so I can see the glory days of the Jew-fro firsthand.  The star of that show, Gabe Kaplan, had a Jew-fro for the ages.  The jet black curls.  The perfectly round shape and good volume.  And that matching mustache.  It practically personified the 70s.

Sitcom star or porn star? They all looked the same back then.

Of course, Mr. Kotter didn’t have the only Jew-fro on the show.  You also had Juan Epstein, the Puerto Rican Jew with a Puerto Rican Jew-fro.  And there was Arnold Horshak, who was possibly Jewish as well.  And John Travolta and some black guy who had afros of their own.  But Gabe Kaplan with his Jew-fro was the real star of the show…and the star of the 70s.

For many of us Jewish boys, a faux-hawk is a thing of dreams.  Our thick, curly hair simply doesn’t lend itself to sticking straight up.  Not without a couple of coats of varnish anyway.  About a year ago, though, I set out to solve this problem and ended up creating a faux-hawk for the Semitically-follicled; the Fro-Hawk, if you will.

Okay, I didn’t intentionally create it.  It was the result of a very uncomfortable haircut at a barber shop that I had no business going to in the first place. It’s a long and weird story, but you can read more about it on my other blog.

Anyway, if you would like to intentionally get this hairstyle, here’s what you do.  Ask your barber to shave down the sides of your Jew-fro, but leave a fair amount of curls at the top.  When you get home, take two brushes or combs and simultaneously sweep the hair above your ears up towards the top of your head.  You can put some gel or spray on if you want, but if your hair is anything like mine, the curls will just interlock and stay put.

If you’re so brave as to try the fro-hawk, let me know!  Send your pictures of your fro-hawk, or even any regular old Jew-fro, to me at jewhyphenfro@gmail.com.

Art Garfunkel is best known as the not-so-better half of musical duo Simon and Garfunkel.  Indeed, Paul Simon is regarded by everyone as the more talented member of the group.  And the more successful one.  And the one who’s gotten the better girls: while he was married to Carrie “Princess Leia” Fisher, Garfunkel was settling for Penny Marshall.

Although Garfunkel may constantly be in Simon’s shadow, there’s no doubt about who outshines who in the hair department.  Simon’s hair was either close-cropped or grown out into a goofy Prince Valiant style.  On the other hand, Garfunkel always presented himself with an impressive ginger-hued Jew-fro:

In fact, he still has the same orange afro to this day: Read the rest of this entry »