A Crew cut is a type of haircut in which the hair on the top of the head is cut relatively short, graduated in length from the longest hair at the front hairline to the shortest at the back of the crown. The hair on the sides and back of the head is usually tapered short, semi-short or medium. A very short crew cut is sometimes referred to as a butch cut or buzz cut. A long crew cut is referred to as an ivy league crew cut or ivy league. A typical ivy league might be graduated in length on the top of the head from one and a half inches at the front hairline to one half inch at the back of the crown. A typical short crew cut might have a similar proportional graduated difference in the length of the hair on the top of the head. If a short crew cut is three quarters of an inch at the front hairline, the length of the hair at the back of the crown might be one quarter of an inch. A crew cut where the hair on the top of the head is graduated in length from the front hairline to a chosen point on the mid to back part of the crown as a flat plane, of level, upward sloping or downward sloping inclination is known as a flat top crew cut or flattop. Crew cuts, flattop crew cuts, and butch cuts are all traditionally groomed with hair control wax, commonly referred to as butch wax. See also flattop. The term was most likely coined to describe the haircut worn by members of the Yale rowing crew in the 1890s. The name drew a contrast with football players of the time, who wore long hair to compensate for the flimsy leather helmets. According to a history by helmet manufacturer Riddell the championship Yale football team switched to crew cuts in 1895, which became the style for football as well as crew and "remained in fashion for nearly 70 years".
By the mid-1960s, the crew cut was generally seen as a mark of conservative political opinions, as opposed to the longer hair styles favored by those of more liberal views.
A similar style, under the name buzz cut, returned to fashion in the late 1990s.