Hair trends shift quickly, but the pandemic has only sped up the pace. As people avoid barbershops and salons, we’ve seen bleached hair, buzzcuts, emo bangs and the eBoy center part slowly emerge, replacing each other as the haircut of the moment.
Because hair continues to, you know, grow, we’ve once again produced a new signature style — one that requires us to look at the very foundation of our country (and our roots).
Two hundred years later, the George Washington cut is once again revolutionizing hair.
Slicked back down the middle, billowing on the sides and engulfing the ears, this colonial-style cut — a cousin of frat-bro wings and helmet hair — evokes 18th-century upper-class conservative lawmakers. Their powdered wigs were the boring blue suit of their era.
Today, though, the George Washington cut is what (unfortunately) happens when you grow out your pandemic hair. In mid-September, I trekked to the barber for my first haircut in nine months. My dense curls needed shaping to really give me the full Leonardo DiCaprio ’90s heartthrob butt cut: long in the front and tapered in the back. This style is fashionable again thanks to K-pop boy bands and TikTok alt-boys.
Now that a month has passed, my bedhead is less Jonathan Taylor Thomas in Home Improvement and more Thomas Jefferson at the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Every day I wake up with my hair slowly creeping over my ears, and I catch myself staring in the mirror and saying words like “fortnight” and “pottage.”
I’m certainly not alone. Justin Bieber is rocking a hairstyle that answers the question: What if George Washington were a streetwear scumbro?
A simple trip back to the barber would help, of course. When growing out your hair, you still need a trim or two to keep it in shape. Otherwise, it’s going to perpetually look misshapen and harried.
But don’t get too worried. There’s a way to make the Daddy Washington cut look chic. Teens at the pool have always known that drenched shaggy hair is low-key a vibe.
“You have the people who don’t really like the water, or people who just like to swim laps and call it a day — which are all great, don’t get me wrong,” says Emmett, a 23-year-old George Washington-hair appreciator. “But the grand winner will always be acting like a kid in the pool flipping their hair to look like George Washington.”
So be proud of your Revolutionary War look. The Delaware River is our in-between hair era, and you’re Washington crossing it. If you can make it through looking like a Hamilton character for a few more weeks, then your soon-to-be longer locks might just go down in history as one of your best cuts.