My longest-lasting relationship is thinking about Justin Bieber’s hair.
In 2009, when the Canadian pop star first came on the scene with his blow-dried swooped bangs, suddenly every white boy in my middle school had an excuse to avoid getting haircuts and “rock” their own version of Bieber bangs.
Throughout the years, Bieber has explored more hairstyles than one can easily track. But don’t worry, nearly every men’s magazine of the 2010s covered his hair journeys: There was the Ellen DeGeneres cut, the crisis bleach, the come-to-Jesus grow-out.
And now, as of this week, the pandemic dirtbag.
Clearly, this pandemic has gone on too long, because for the first time in 10 years, I think Bieber — with his Pontius Pilate hair — is hot again. There’s something about the ’90s mom vibes, with his big faux-fur coat and silver chain, that’s made me a full-blown Belieber again.
Fortunately, Bieber isn’t the only one embracing grown-out hair. The pandemic is closing barbershops and forcing us to work from home, and it’s granted grown men an opportunity to experiment with longer hair for the first time in decades, if not ever.
Roberto Vázquez, 23, of Yucatán, México, started growing out his flow before social distancing went into effect. In mid-January, he forwent his traditional trim at the barbershop. “Last time I got a proper haircut was probably around last October,” he says.
He’s a big fan of his longer look — even if his girlfriend is ready for something new. “My girlfriend and I have agreed that I’ll cut it somewhere around next April, as the summer draws near. She’s never seen me with short hair,” he says. In the meantime, though, Vázquez is learning that long hair comes with high maintenance. “I’ve never taken care of my hair as thoroughly as I do now that I’m trying to keep it nice-looking,” he says.
It might seem counterintuitive, but the key to growing out one’s hair is, well, getting it cut. “Your hair won’t grow out in some uniform, camera-ready style. It needs to be trimmed and texturized in order to look good,” writes Adam Hurly for GQ.
People growing out their hair will also want to invest in some hydrating products. Yes, you’d best believe Bieber’s dirtbag hair is in fact highly curated and coiffed. While shampoo isn’t a daily necessity — even you short-haired dudes need to stop rinsing and repeating every goddamn day — you’ll still want a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner on hand to use one to two times a week.
You know how every millennial is obsessed with taking care of plants? Well, that’s dumb. Stand out and make taking care of your new long hair your personality. That’s what Antonio from Croatia, who posts about his hair journey on Reddit, is doing. “Since most men have short hair, it gives me a sense of greater individuality,” he tells me. “It’s, like, a task I enjoy now.”
Investing in longer hair may not help save you from the turmoil of living in a pandemic, but it might make you look hot again. If there was one thing I never expected to come out of 2020, it’s 23-year-old and 12-year-old me stanning the same pop prince.