The last 13 months are going to be remembered basically exclusively as a tragedy. But there were some silver linings: watching Stanley Tucci mix a Negroni, say, or the surreal hijinks inside the NBA bubble. And the hair! It turned out to be a phenomenal year for unkempt-but-kempt grooming. During the months when it was difficult or illegal to get to a barber, some of our most cherished stars managed to grow out their scraggly mustaches and goatees, to forego the hair dye and let the gray shine, to let their locks all the way to their shoulders.
The pandemic isn’t over, but a big and ever-more-rapidly growing portion of the population is getting vaccinated and returning some semblance of normal life. So as we approach re-entry, and the likely Mass Haircut to come, here’s a toast to all our looks of the socially distant era—and a little prayer that some of them stay with us after we throw away our masks.
The King took advantage of his down time to add even more length to his robust chinstrap. He must have touched it up a bit at some point between calling himself “Tom Hanks off Castaway” and Zooming into a high school graduation (above), though: you don’t get that clean shape without at least a little trimmer action
An answer to what happens when Bravo royalty gets stuck at home with a kid: a lot of grizzled goodness. Never hurts to bring a little extra wildness to the reality TV landscape.
Wentz, already the reigning champion of hair growth, made a left turn with some bleach deep into quarantine and started flaunting an Andre Agassi-level dye job to match his well-publicized fervor for tennis. This length was four years in the making, and bleach’s tendency to wreak havoc on hair makes this the keratin equivalent of cliff diving. High risk, high reward.
Like the diligent reporter he is, Noah carefully tracked his growing hair as he zoom-hosted the Daily Show from his living room. The result, as GQ told you in our December Men of the Year isssue, is pretty glorious, helping to mark the dawn of a new, more experimental era for his show—and, of course, for Noah himself.
Another tabloid highlight of this year: Schwarzenegger’s bike rides, which gave us the chance to glimpse that bright gray beard. A little Clooney, a little Letterman, a little Terminator retired to The Villages.
This year Jude Law’s beard finally caught up with his penchant for hempy coats and drapey pants, rounding out a sublime sort of “apocalyptic hippie” look that takes everything we’ve been feeling this year and elevates it to something edgy and cool. He looks like he’s auditioning for The Lighthouse while dripping Kapital, and it doesn’t get much better than that.
Michael B. Jordan
We got to know Jordan as one of the cleanest faces on the red carpet, so seeing him let it all hang out with a mustache so thick it’s practically jumping off his face is major. He even managed to reach enough length to venture into braids. Most of it’s been shorn off by now, but we hope to see that length outside of a pandemic one day.