Over the next week, we’re going to be squaring 32 of the all-time greatest boy band hair cuts—individual members of boy bands that is, with some groups having multiple eligible members (and one or two members having multiple eligible haircuts)—off against one another, with the goal of crowning the greatest boy band haircut of all time. From Davy Jones of The Monkees’ Proto-Bieber ‘do to Justin Timberlake’s stringy Ramen-noodle look from his ‘N Sync days to Harry Styles of One Direction’s soon-to-be-iconic swoop, haircuts from all eras of boy bands are in play.
Our first two rounds saw a great number of lower-seeded upsets, launching today’s biggest stars over classic and cult coiffure role models alike—so much for our strange fascination with Chris Kirkpatrick’s skunk nest. A total of two number one seeds fell to the bracket game floor in the first round, just like the strands of their once-fabled hairstyles did many years ago, while One Direction’s Harry Styles prevailed over UK mate Nathan Sykes of The Wanted in round two, ending the ongoing debate over who is more awesome—for now.
Next up: The Elite Eight of the Dye Jobs Region, pitting a K-Pop follicular chameleon against an iconic boy band ‘do of yesteryear, as well as our Dreads, Braids and Fades Region, a trans-Atlantic duel between two of our less-is-more hair competitors. Examine the matchups below, and then vote in the polls underneath to decide who you want to advance to the next round. It’s the first-ever Great Boy Band Hair-Off—forget all the camaraderie and chemistry that usually defines the boy band experience. This March, there can be only one.
Previous Regions: Pretty/Girly and Too Much Hair
The Band: Big Bang (“Lollipop,” “Tell Me Goodbye“)
The Era: Late ’00s / ’10s
The Hair: While everyone else in the boy band world went yellow, Big Bang’s G-Dragon went blond, blue, red, or whatever other color necessary to make waves in the K-Pop world. Standing out in that scene is no small order, you know.
The Band: 98 Degrees (“Because of You,” “Give Me Just One Night (Una Nocha)“)
The Era: Late ’90s / Early ’00s
The Hair: Nick didn’t go the full-fledged dye route that Justin adopted, instead preferring to go with just the frosted tips–a look just as iconic of the late ’90s in its own way. Mark McGrath of Sugar Ray certainly understands, anyway.
The Band: B2K (“Bump, Bump, Bump,” “Uh Huh“)
The Era: Early ’00s
The Hair: Thin braids so tightly wound, it’s as if they served to keep all the musical mastery he was privy to deep inside his beautiful head.