I Can’t Believe This Look Is Still Trending 2,000 Years Later

Happy Ides of March! I don’t know how you celebrate this day — made famous by Shakespeare’s theatrical take on Julius Caesar’s life — but I celebrate by pondering my two most burning Caesar-related questions. If ever I were to meet the ghost of this Roman emperor, I would ask: 1. I know they have nothing to do with you, but do you like caesar salads? and 2. How do you really feel about what the 90s did to your eponymous haircut?

Throughout all the years I’ve pondered these very questions on this very day, though, I never thought to see if Julius Caesar — the most famous Caesar next to “salad” and “Little” — was in fact the Caesar responsible for the caesar haircut. Turns out, he may not be.

Some consider Roman emperor Tiberius the father of the hairstyle. Since he also fathered the notoriously horny Caligula, this haircut may have a wild legacy. According to other sources, Julius Caesar is the father of the haircut, which he sported because he was self-conscious about balding. (Why didn’t Shakespeare write about THIS?!) Either way, this haircut was hot when the Roman empire was hot and then got super trendy once again in the 1990s.

Unfortunately, I am unable to provide you with the kind of journalism that brings Julius Caesar’s thoughts on the hairstyle to this very page, but I am able to present you with the next best thing: A series of humble odes to a few of those who have, over the years, rocked caesars with aplomb and grace. Read on to see whose flirtations with brushing their hair forward remains burned into some sort of cultural memory. Or maybe just my own memory.

Ed Note: some of these feature caesars that are a little more faded, due to the restrictions of Getty and intermittent Instagram service.

Julius Caesar

Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images.

So famous, for so many things:
Like politics and prose
And inspiring kings.

But your most enduring mark
Upon our humble era
Is the fashionable spark
Of your evenly cut hair-ah!

Marlon Brando as Mark Antony in Julius Caesar

Photo by MGM/Getty Images.

Here is a man
With a streetcar full of desire
Doing what he can…

To make this style look good.
(With his very square jaw
Only he could.)
The shock, the awe!

George Clooney

Photo by Jeff Katz/NBCU Photo Bank.

The doctor of TV fame
Now closely associated
With the haircut bearing Caesar’s name.

“Too American to play James Bond” —
Might make him gloomy.
Caesar > Than when he went blonde
Thanks for everything, Clooney.


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How to sing a song
To the man who sang
The song of thong?

Silver, Platinum or Gold
Slightly faded or close wave.
On him, the caesar never grows old,
What gifts he gave.

Ricky Martin

Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc.

OK not really a caesar
But look at those bangs!
What a crowd-pleaser.

How long must this go on?
These poems about hair?
Hey, remember “Shake Your Bon-Bon?”
Put your hands in the air.


Photo by KMazur/WireImage.

With paws on her chest
She was so very clearly
Ruff Ryders best.

Her short waves
And crisp color —
Style for days!
There is no other.

Julius Caesar (the scientific recreation)

Photo by Remko de Waal/AFP/Getty Images.

Holy cow.

Science really just put this haircut in a whole new light —
Those bangs look more impressive when they’re made of stone.
This is him at the end right?
If only I had known.

It would seem that the haircut is making a resurgence, Mike Sposito said, “I think it hasn’t been as big as it was in the 90s, but it’s got a strong presence today. I think it’s a result of what guys have been doing. Like dudes are simple, they were slicking it back for the last 5-10 years so what do they do next? Push it forward.” Omne vetus novum est iterum.

Feature image by Bob Berg/Getty Images.

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