Darrell Jones’ fiancée assists him in curling his hair several times a week in Los Angeles. She produces little ringlets in his hair by running a flat iron over small portions that have been coated with heat protectant and pinning them to his head to set them. For a short period, he seems to be preparing to become the talk of the town in the 1930s. After the tendrils have cooled, Jones, 21, sprays them with hair spray and runs his fingers through his hair to set them.
On the other side of the nation in Wilmington, North Carolina, Tristan Harrell, 17, produces an almost identical appearance with a slightly modified method. Before blow drying his tresses forward, Harrell begins with damp hair and utilises sea salt spray instead of heat protectant (despite the fact that his mother, a salon professional, asks him to apply heat protectant). On any given day, he will use a brush and blow dryer to make flipped-up curls or a little flat iron instead, depending on his mood. He, too, uses hair spray to get the scruffy effect. He spends around 10 to 15 minutes on the workout.
Joshua Rich VII, a 19-year-old from Easton, Pennsylvania, has the same hairdo as his older brother but is more fortunate when it comes to upkeep. He just towel-dries his hair and let the remaining moisture to evaporate, sometimes adding a little sea salt spray for extra hold and a little shine.
“There isn’t much to do,” he said emphatically. “My hair looks a little wacky, particularly if I simply dry it with a towel and let it air dry,” I say.
Each of these young guys has a haircut that has grown popular among members of Generation Z: delicate, fluffy waves or curls that dust the tops of their brows and eyelashes.
Additionally, on TikTok, where the style is most popular among a younger generation, each model has a viral video on how to get the look in question. (Jones’ video presently has the most views, with around 12 million views.)
According to Harrell, “I noticed it on TikTok; there’s multiple people appearing on my ‘For You’ page who had the same hairdo,” he stated in an interview, referring to the landing page on which TikTok’s tailored video suggestions are shown. In fact, he says, “I had a significant increase in confidence when I began to experiment with different hairstyles.” “I felt good about the way my hair was functioning,” he says.
It’s no wonder that the style, which is often referred to as “TikTok hair” or “TikTok boy hair,” has gained widespread popularity. Some of the app’s biggest stars, such as Bryce Hall, Noah Beck, and Josh Richards, all of whom have massive online followings in the tens of millions, have sported the tousled and textured look. (Hall currently sports a mullet, which is becoming more trendy.)
And although the aesthetic may seem to be innovative, we’ve been here before in a number of respects. Recent times in which no male was exempt from the temptation to experiment with a certain hairstyle include the early 2000s, which saw the resurrection of the pompadour, which seemed to be worn by every lead singer of every indie band at one point or another.
Naturally, Justin Bieber’s signature hairdo (read: italicised bowl cut) served as the model for middle-school guys worldwide from 2009 to 2011, and it’s still going strong now. The man bun developed as the new “it” look (about 2015) as Bieber’s bangs became shorter and the gap between his eyebrows grew wider. It was a hairdo that everyone coveted but few could pull off well, maybe not coincidentally.
However, the history of male hair care and trends goes back much deeper, thousands of years. The truth is that this particular sort of hairstyle has cycled through history several times, emerging from the ashes every few hundred years or so like a phoenix of style and sophistication.
In the opinion of Katherine Schwab, a professor of art history and visual culture in the department of visual and performing arts at Fairfield University, the ancient Greeks and Romans had hairstyles that were almost similar to one another. She explained that the current hairstyle in question adheres to two important cardinal rules of hair for men during those ancient times: first, that the hair is brushed forward from the crown toward the forehead (following the direction in which the hair naturally grows), and second, and perhaps most importantly, that the tresses are visibly textured (as opposed to being smooth).