Let’s talk about Dutch Hair

From Doutzen Kroes to Romee Strijd and Lara Stone (what an awful nickname, by the way), there’s no discussion that the Dutch are a naturally good looking bunch, at least by Western standards. Tall, blond, athletic, what more could you want?

Well, I’d want a LITTLE bit more (or, when it comes to men, less) in the hair department. Hear me out.

Scenario 1: 9 am, Amsterdam

You’re on your bike, cycling to work during the rush hour, you’re stopping at a red light (you’re a foreigner, after all). Suddenly, you’re being overtaken by what can only be described as an army of clones. Tens and tens of women in bellbottom leggings with wet hair halfway up as if there’d been a fire at the hairdressers and the poor ladies were forced to escape mid-blowout.

hair clip

I have not seen this many hairclips since Edward Scissorhands in 1990. You’ve got so much going for you, girl, why the hairclip? Is it worth saving 0.02 cents on that electricity bill that your boyfriend will pay anyway (you’re a feminist, and as such, you decided to work 3 days a week and let Jeroen look after you financially) to look like a scarecrow?

Dutch hair scarecrow look

“The great thing about living in the Netherlands is that we Dutch girls can dress however we please”


The worst part of this is, I tried blending in, embracing the culture: I  cycled with wet hair, once. Guess what? I ended up with pneumonia that went untreated for weeks because, you know, “just take paracetamol.”


Scenario 2: 1 pm, Amsterdam Zuid

When I moved to Amsterdam,  I was surprised to discover that the late 80s/early 90’s fashion seemed to stick around not just among hipsters, but also the white-collar crowd. I simply cannot understand why otherwise handsome men (I can even forgive you the brown shoe brown belt combo) walk around with the ‘Mufasa’ hairstyle: hair parted in the middle, and the fringe shaped like the McDonald’s logo. WHY??

mufasa hairstyle


I have wondered why after going to the hairdressers, so many Dutch guys look as if they haven’t had a haircut in a good 6 months. What do they say to the hairdresser?

‘Make it look like I haven’t spent any money on my hair’, followed by:

‘Short in front, long in the back, like a Czech hockey player in the 90s’

‘SAY NO MORE’ – every Dutch hairdresser, ever.



If you’re (un)lucky to be working around the Amsterdam Zuid area, I have a fun game for you. Grab a colleague, a piece of paper and a pen. Each guy you see sporting the Mufasa hairstyle is worth 1 point. You get 2 bonus points if he’s wearing a blue suit and brown pointy shoes. The person that hits 10 points first, gets their lunch paid by the loser! (No Tikkies are allowed to be sent for half the bill).

Scenario 3: 6 pm, any terrace in Amsterdam

And finally, we get to the worst Dutch hair offender: the gel.

I have to admit that during my first weeks in the Netherlands, I did not understand why Albert Heijn would sell half-litre buckets worth of hair gel. Who would ever use THIS MUCH hair gel, I wondered. How silly of me…

Hair gel is one of the top 3 reasons why expats break up with their Dutch boyfriends. The other two are offering only one cookie and sending a Tikkie for that chip you had from his plate.

You wouldn’t believe how many of my friends have complained they cannot run their fingers through their boyfriends’ hair. And thank god they don’t, because they’d have to have their hand amputated once it’s stuck there. That stuff is no joke – in sickness and in health, through rain, hail and wind, you can be rest assured your Dutchie’s hair is not going anywhere.


At times I wonder, why would you bother to wash your hair, dry it and then make it look like you haven’t used any shampoo since the Charlemagne Empire. Why?!


If you’d been blessed with curls (apparently only Dutchmen have curls, which is a natural phenomenon) and add a handful of hair gel to your hair, you’re going to literally end up looking like a shrimp salad, at best, and Ronald Mcdonald, at worst.

I’m not lovin’ it.

Man applying hair gel

Wat ben ik een lekker ding zeg!



No women with wet hair were hurt during the writing of this guest blogpost by Maja Podlesna, @meanwhilein.places   majapodlesna.com.