Cillian Murphy's iconic Peaky Blinders haircut was rather different in real life

The Real Peaky Blinders delved into the early history of the formation of the Peaky Blinders gang in Birmingham on Monday night and revealed quite a surprising fact around the now-iconic haircut.

Since the BBC series debuted in 2013, the influence of its sharp suits and even sharper hairstyles have been seen in modern fashion as fans seek to channel the stylish dress of its TV stars, including Cillian Murphy as Peaky Blinders leader Tommy Shelby.

The show has recently returned for its sixth and final season, welcoming back old characters, while introducing plenty of new ones as the action moves to the early 1930s.

Although it is now accepted to be a myth that the gang used to hide razor blades in the brim of their ‘peaked’ caps for fights, leading to their famous name, a new reason was given to the ‘blinder’ part – and it has everything to do with their hair.

In the first part of a two-episode programme, historian Kate Lister met with barber Dale, who is used to fulfilling many requests for the popular cut of short on the sides and long on the top, as inspired by the show.

However, she revealed that the severity of the cut went even further in real life, in a way that might not have caught the public’s eye so thoroughly, as it was basically just a fringe.

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‘The original haircut was even more severe than it is in the TV show,’ Kate explained, as she showed off a picture of gang member George Williams, who was arrested for murder and later convicted of manslaughter, for which he served life in prison.

‘This is super fashionable,’ she revealed. ‘It’s basically all shaven and cut very close to the head apart from a fringe they keep very long. So this is quite a severe and extreme version of the haircut but they were all sporting variations on this.’

She also offered a reason for the famous Peaky Blinders name as she shared that the gang had worn ‘billycock’ hats – like high bowler hats – before moving to the flat-caps they are known for today.

Kate continued: ‘They would fashion the front so they were peaked, and they would have the hat pulled down over one eye – hence “peaky blinder” – and their very long fringe or quiff styled across their forehead to the other side.’

So there you are, the more you know!

The rest of the gang’s late 19th century get-up was also a bit different to what might have been expected, considering the show, with bright scarves, pearl buttons and bell-bottom trousers making up the standard gang uniform.

Fans have welcomed back the start of Peaky Blinders season six with open eyes, giving the opening episode the series’ highest launch figures to date, as well as waxing lyrical about the return of popular character Alfie Solomons, played very particularly by Tom Hardy.

The Real Peaky Blinders continues on Monday at 9pm on BBC Two. Peaky Blinders continues Sundays at 9pm on BBC One.

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