In most cases the Maori shows the true Polynesian hair, black and waved, not the lank straight hair of the American Indian. The frizzled hair sometimes seen is due to the Melanesian admixture. The Maori did not bleach his hair to a reddish hue by the use of lime as did the natives of some northern groups. Baldness was uncommon and excited derision. Men usually extracted hair on the face, as it obscured the close-set lines of tattoo.
For working or fighting, Maori men wore only a breechcloth at the waist. For formal occasions, men wore various kinds of cloaks and capes. They also wore ornaments around their necks and feathers or greenstone earrings in their ears. Men typically wore their hair in a top knot. They usually dye their bodies with a red dye made from ocher, which is a kind of iron.