How many haircuts do you know that are more than 2000 years old? Not that many. But the Caesar haircut is one of the few. It takes its name from the famous emperor of Rome Julius Caesar himself even though to us it was made popular by George Clooney. A type of emperor of his own. So let’s take a closer look at this fascinating hairstyle that men have been wearing for more than 2000 years. What is its history, why did the ruler of Rome wear it, and how did it survive for so long? But, more importantly, how can you wear it in the modern world, how can you style it, and what do you need to tell your barber if you want it?
What Is the Caesar Haircut?
Before we offer tips on styling it and the rich and vast history of this haircut, the most important thing is to establish exactly what it is. Even though you might not know it is called the Caesar haircut, you’ve definitely seen it before. If not in person, than surely on George Clooney back in his E.R. days.
We can define a classic Caesar haircut as a short crop with the sides and back being of the same length. The thing that sets it apart from other hairstyles for men is the fact that it has a longer top and a set of heavy bangs. They need to fall on the forehead almost reaching the middle of it. The fringe must also be slightly messy as if the wearer has curly or wavy hair.
If you don’t have this type of hair naturally, you can always add a bit of texture using sea salt spray or even clay or pomade.
The best thing about a Caesar haircut is that it works on many types of faces and on all types of hair. But the criterion that truly makes this hairstyle amazing is that men can use it to cover their receding hairlines. In fact, it is said that this is exactly the reason why Julius Caesar himself preferred this hairstyle. If you have a thinning top, the short sides and the messy top that falls over your forehead as a set of small bangs will cover up the receding hairline.
The Caesar Haircut vs the French Crop
It’s super important to make a clear distinction between a Caesar haircut and a French crop because the two are very similar. Therefore, if you don’t understand the differences, you might end up getting a French crop from your barber when all you wanted was a Caesar haircut. Or the other way round!
The main differences between the two lie in the length when it comes to the sides and back. You can also spot a difference regarding the texture of the hair and the style of the bangs. The Caesar haircut will always require shorter bangs and a little more length on the sides and in the back. As per the French crop, its bangs will always be flat and worn straight down but having a lot more texture than the Caesar. Last but not least, the Caesar haircut is more natural looking whereas the French crop is more structured and worked on.
The History of the Caesar Haircut
The hairstyle has a very curious history. Of course, just the idea that it originated some 2000 years ago during the time of the Ancient Romans is enough to spark anyone’s interest. But that’s not all. The haircut was not worn by just anyone. It was apparently invented by or for the Emperor Julius Caesar himself who suffered from alopecia. In other words, the mighty ruler who had conquered nations was going bald.
Evidently, as the head of an empire, he couldn’t risk looking shabby. Therefore, he simply adopted this look in which he would pull the remainder of his hair toward the front in what looked like makeshift bangs. It resulted in what we call today the Caesar haircut. Most statues of the emperor depict him as wearing this hairstyle.
Here’s a fun fact for you. It seems that Caesar wore his famous crown of laurels for the exact same reason. To hide his receding hairline!
The Caesar haircut in modern times
But the weird history of the haircut continues. Somehow it was forgotten for the next 2000 years until the 90s came along. The 1990s that is. For some reason, this decade saw fit to unearth a hairstyle for men that had not been touched for almost two millennia.
One of the most famous people to sport it in the 90s was actor George Clooney. He was known back then for his role as a doctor on the TV show E.R. But others took to the Caesar as well. Examples include Ricky Martin, Sisqo, and even rapper Eminem and pop star Justin Timberlake.
The popularity of the Caesar haircut has died down a little since the 90s. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still spot it here and there. Let’s just hope we won’t have to wait another 2000 years until it becomes trendy again!
What Products to Use for the Caesar Haircut
Even if this hairstyle is suitable for all types of hair, you should still use some hair care and styling products that will help you reach the desired look. Of course, what those products are will depend greatly on your type of hair. However, in general, we can recommend the following.
· Hair gel
This is the main styling product that most men used back in the 90s to get the traditional look of the Caesar haircut. As we all know, the 90s were huge on hair gel. Therefore, if you’re keen on getting the classic look, this is the product to go for.
However, you should know that you have to find and invest in a very high end, high quality hair gel, as opposed to cheap products. The reason is that hair gel is not a healthy product for your hair or scalp. Most cheap brands have a lot of alcohol in their formula that will dry out both your strands and your scalp. This, in turn will lead to thin hair and, possibly, dandruff. Modern hair gels have water based formulas but they also cost a lot more than their 90s counterparts.
· Hair pomade
This is another hair styling product you can use and that has the exact wet hair effect as the gel. However, pomade is a little tricky as well. Historically speaking, pomade is one of the first hairstyling products for men ever invented. It dates back to the 50s when men used to create the famous pompadours and duck tails of the rock’n’roll era. You’ve probably seen that type of hairstyle on the larger than life Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, and James Dean.
However, the original pomade formula was made with grease or Vaseline. The problem is that there are a lot of brands on the market today that continue making it in the same way, for authenticities’ sake. Still, pomade based on grease or Vaseline is incredibly difficult to remove from your hair. You will need a special shampoo or even dish washing liquid to completely clean your hair.
Therefore, if your heart is set on using pomade to create a Caesar haircut, make sure you use a water based one as opposed to a grease based type.
· Hair mousse
Another product you can try if you want to get the classic Caesar haircut look is hair mousse. Men have quite abandoned this product today in favor of more modern choices such as clay or fiber. However, it could work because this is essentially a 90s haircut and mousse is a 90s hair styling product!
But we must offer the same word of warning as above. Mousse is not a product that you should be using on a daily basis. It contains a very high level of alcohol in it which will damage your hair and scalp in the long run.
Will the Caesar Haircut Work with My Face Shape?
One of the main things you need to take into account before getting the Caesar is your face shape. As much as you might love this historical hairstyle you should make sure it is a perfect match for you. If not, it could end up emphasizing your flaws rather than your best features.
The Caesar haircut works best with the following face shapes:
The structure of this face shape is what will provide a fantastic canvas for the Caesar. Seeing as your forehead is narrow, the bangs will fill it out, making it looking a little wider. This, in return will balance out the width of the cheeks, making your face look better proportioned.
If you have an oval face, you can consider yourself lucky. According to all-time standards, an oval face is the perfect idea of beauty in both men and women. Why all time? Because just like we think today in the modern world that oval faces are the most appealing, so did our Roman and Greek ancestors in ancient times. Having an oval face means that all your proportions are naturally well balanced. Therefore, you can wear any kind of haircut you want and make it look flawless! Including the Caesar, of course!
If you look at images and statues of Julius Caesar himself, one could argue that the emperor of Rome had a square face. We’re not exactly sure if he was aware of that or not. But what we can tell you is that his famous haircut goes extremely well with a square face. Seeing as the bangs are hard cut, they will emphasize just how angular your features are, denoting masculinity and power.
The Caesar haircut might work with these face shapes:
When you have a triangle face shape, the main thing you want to do is offset your jawline which is the one feature that stands out the most. Therefore, the set of bangs that comes with the Caesar might help your regain some balance. But be careful with the length of the bangs. An inch too short or too long and the balance could be lost!
Normally, an oblong face should not try a hairstyle that has too much volume on top because it will only elongate their face. They should also avoid very tight sides as they will narrow this face shape too much. However, seeing as the Caesar haircut has a set of bangs that could help you, try giving it a go!
Don’t get the Caesar haircut if you have one of these face shapes:
Seeing as a heart face has a very prominent forehead, the bulky fringe will only serve to bring more attention to this feature. Try a haircut that minimizes your forehead and balances your face more. A perfect example is the side part. This one is very neutral when it comes to your forehead but it can also add some volume to your cheeks, especially if you also pair it with a low fade.
- Round face
brushing all your hair forward to create the bangs as the Caesar haircut requires will make your round face even rounder. Which is the opposite of what you should be doing. If you have a round face, try to elongate your features by adding a little volume on top. A pompadour or a man bun would be perfect for that. You could also make your cheeks stand out more so that your face can look slimmer or more oval than round by going for a fade on the sides.
What about you?
Now that you know everything about the Caesar haircut, are you tempted to get one? Will it make you feel like the Emperor of Rome or more like a 90s boy bander? Write to us in the comment section below and let us know how you feel about his historical hairstyle!