Italy: that's one place you can freely travel to. For now, anyway. So go. Entomb fresh pasta in a shower of parmesan. Cash in all those lockdown hours spent on Duolingo. Instagram a photo of the clear azure Venetian waters, then remark how great it is without tourists and ignore the fact that you're, actually, part of the big dirty canal problem. Visit the Palazzo Labia, too: a baroque monument that sounds a lot like a depressingly-named lads-on-tour Amsterdam stop, but is, in fact, one of the last of its kind in this sinking town, with its gilded halls and towering ceilings and unnervingly ethereal frescos. Stare into them. What do you see? Seraphim? Pegasus? Cherubs? Justin Bieber and Harry Styles?
Yes, you do. For in recent months, you can see each pop wunderkind not in the faces of these flying babies, but in the hair. It's a perfect fit for Styles, the owner of the sort of soft Disney tousled curls that compel people to write fan fiction. These are Seventies free love cherubim curls, a perfect lid to Woodstock shirts made of antique floral fabrics. But for Bieber, this is relatively new territory.
In his recent-ish appearance in Drake and DJ Khaled's new video for 'Popstar', the 26-year-old is in Versace, dripping in diamonds and confusing the cumbersome task of drinking two different drinks at once to be a marker of success. That's not the new bit. What is new however is Bieber's hair: a mop that's sandy blonde rather than a neon shade of noughties Paris Hilton, with soft curls framing the face. "It's actually not so dissimilar to his early days, there's just no flick over fringe," says Betty Lingwood, barber at Ruffians' in-store Liberty branch. "And it's actually a form of something we all know and mock: the bowl cut. But it looks great here because of the clever styling. A lot of pulling this off is down to how you style it at home, once you’ve left the comfort of the barber chair."
What's more, there is no one true way to look like the infantile messengers of a one true God. Like, Styles, you can go longer, achieving that middle-length hair for a looser take on biblical lids. Or, like Bieber, you can go full rosy-cheeked cherubim. "Ask your barber for a messy round shape, tapered through the back. Loads of texture, and cut in a way that the hair is prompted to sit forward. Ensure everything is cut softly, no hard lines. Think ‘feathery'" says Lingwood.
Also think about your own skills. Barbers are trained (and paid) to make guys look like creatures of the divine. You're not. "At-home maintenance is the complex part," says Lingwood. "Start with damp towel dried hair, avoid using any combs or brushes from this point unless you want a fluffy schoolboy look. Then, add a texturising spray – sea salt spray such the Ruffians Marine Salt Spray is your friend here. Evenly cover the hair, ensuring the roots get some attention. Take a diffuser (that huge old school thing that attaches to the end of your hairdryer, your mum probably had one in the Eighties) and on medium heat and speed, wave it over the hair until about 80 per cent dry. Let the other 20 per cent dry naturally. Once dry get your hands in the roots and ruffle, loosen everything up a little." And that's it. Which, understandably, is quite a lot.
What's more, Bieber's hair isn't for everyone. This shorter variation works better with sandy-coloured hair, as a darker mop can hang over the face and look, well, like a mop says Lingwood. So, again, find your sweet spot between that and Styles.
Or simply admire from afar, peaceful and serene as you bear witness to cherubs worth the entire GDP of San Marino soar high over the Apple Music Charts. Good boys might go to Heaven, but so can poorly-behaved pop stars. Or, at the very least, they'll make it to the ceilings of a crumbling palace in Venice.
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