Rumours swirled this week that Styles has reached for the clippers, causing mass hysteria on Twitter among fans of him and his former mane. The news also generated over 2.5 billion (yes billion) searches on TikTok from people discussing and looking for a peek at the transformation.
The look may seem like a hard-sell, and it's one that is bound that provoke a reaction, yet, Styles is far from the first celebrity to shave his head in the past few months.
The buzz cut first started trending this summer when Dune actress Florence Pugh debuted a crop at the Met Gala in May.
Then Emma Corrin supported the cause when they revealed a shaved head at Wimbledon in July. Their chic styling made the look feel effortless.
In September, Kim Kardashian confirmed the look's high fashion status, as she debuted a buzz cut on the cover of CR Fashion Book. Although it looked to be a wig, the reality TV star turned Skims billionaire went viral.
Paired with razor thin eyebrows and Bayonette glasses, the crop had Kardashian looking every bit the style It girl.
With some of the world's most prolific A-listers letting go off their hair in the past few months, it's a compelling case for the look. Could it become 2024's unexpected breakout hairdo?
However, the cut has previously had less fashion-led connotations in modern times. From Britney Spears’ 2007 tabloid-fronting freshly shaved head, to the pandemic-enforced break-down buzz cut — the style actually has a long and storied political history.
The haircut was first popularised through the French Foreign Legion in the 1800s, when it was required for inductees to have their hair cut to about one-half millimetre in length. Then once again in the 1950s when the US military also enforced extremely short induction haircuts.
Of course, skinheads of the 1960s also played a huge role in perpetuating the style and using them as a symbol of working class pride.
However in the 1970s the cut became a symbol of the counter culture, with legends Annie Lennox and Grace Jones famously sporting one (the latter of whom revealed in her memoir that the shaved look helped her to achieve their first orgasm).
Even now, the haircut has remained loyal to its radical roots. During an interview with Radio Times, Pugh explained the reason behind her cut: “I wanted vanity out of the picture. Hollywood is very glamorous—especially for women—and it’s hard for an audience to see past that. Whenever I’ve not needed to be glam or have a full face of makeup, I fight to keep it that way. It helps the audience.”
“The only thing that people can look at then is your raw face,” she added. “Even at the beginning of my career, I was always fighting to control my image. It helps me when I’m wearing less makeup because then I’m less of a sparkly thing on screen. I feel like I’m allowed to do ugly faces, like it’s more acceptable.”
Whether Kardashian, Styles and co. are tapping into their punk era, or simply want a low maintenance look - we’re here for the buzz.
Just make sure to think about the impending winter cold before taking the plunge, or at the very least, invest in a good hat before stepping anywhere near a set of clippers.