The Ducktail was a haircut style popular during the 1950s. It was also called the Duck's Ass, Duck's Butt or simply D.A. (DA). The actual name was the Duck's Ass, but propriety called for the name Ducktail to be used in mixed company.
Other than the poodle skirt, no other symbol of the 1950s has captured the imagination and endured so well.
The combing technique:
The style required that the hair be combed back around the sides of the head. The end of a rattail comb was used to make a central part at the back of the head, resembling to many, the rear end of a duck. In addition, the hair on the top front of the head was deliberately disarrayed so that untidy strands hung down over the forehead.
The ducktail hair style contributed to the term "greasers." To accomplish this look, lots of hair grease was required to hold the hair in place. This was still the era of hair creams, so it only required an increase in the amount to make hair remain in the desired style. This was before the era of hair sprays, and, of course, real men did not use sprays anyway.
To insure that the hair was just so, the male frequently touched up the DA many times during the day by running his greasy comb through it.
Additional aspects of the Duck Tail style:
The rear collar of the shirt (or jacket) was turned upward. Cigarettes (a mandatory accessory) were carried in a rolled up shirt sleeve, thus putting them on obvious display and baring the arm. Low boots, tight jeans, and leather jackets completed the wardrobe.
Significance of the style:
The D.A. quickly identified a guy as a rebel, a non-conformist. Although once everyone in a group did an identical thing and such standardization was itself conformity, it remained "cool" compared to the mainstream. Although the ducktail was adopted lovingly by Hollywood to represent the wild youth of the Fifties, the fact is that only a small minority of males actually sported a D.A.