So, Guylights. Thought we’d never see you again, TBH. We thought when we’d ever-so-subtly ghosted you back in ’02—and left you in that place where pointy pumps and armpit clutches go to die—that you’d stay there, comfortable with your buddies, Fedora and Kanji Tattoo. Maybe you’d sit around in rocking chairs on your porch, cracking open a cold one and reminiscing about the good ol’ days. “It was lit, fam,” you’d say, in your newfound millennialspeak, prompting a little toast. You’ll pour one out for a fallen comrade, Koi-Print Tee. He was just too precious for this world. Salud.
You Go, Guylights: The Great American Comeback
But here we are, and guess what? We’re rooting for you (pun unintended). We’ve spent one too many nights in front of network cable to not know that everyone loves a good comeback, even one with dye commitment issues.
“But I wasn’t just good—I was great,” You spittle out, your frosted tips squinting their eyes in emphasis. We know, Guylights, we know; you were so massive, you were on the cover of practically every magazine back then, the archetypal look of boybands and sex symbols everywhere. We all drooled over how you masterfully brought B-List stars immediately to our attention with just a few, incomplete streaks of bleach—because going all the way blonde was just too blonde, you know? Everyone knew you and asked for you when they could. Fake tans and puka shell necklaces owe their careers to you. You were even on the king of the world, dude. You were the It Look.
So what happened? You settled down, toned down, chilled out. Perhaps you met Miss Common Sense, who knows. Whatever it was, it wasn’t your fault—blame the dot-com crisis, the hipsters, your arch-nemesis Man Bun /shakesfist—but for some reason, you just faded back into history, overshadowed by the au naturel trend. Suddenly everyone wanted to go back to their roots, gun-shy and slightly embarrassed over their “wild days.” They grew up and quit the band, leaving you, Guylights, back in the dust. Fade to black (or dark brown, whichever the case was).
You were a good sport about it though; I’ll give you that. Sure, there were the angst-ridden existential crises—“I was so forgiving! I loved and flattered all hair types,” you’d wail in despair—but you accepted change. You were young, spiky, the life of the party… you knew what it was like to play it safe with commitment, after all. And while the Slick Backs and Pomps and Undercuts started making it big, fist-pumping to whatever DJ QuiffyQuiff had going ’round the circuit at the moment, you stood your ground and gave them their space. I had my time, you thought, and you would be right. But you also knew that if you kept your integrity, they’d learn to love color again. They’d remember how your frosted tips quite literally lit up a room—and many a school locker—without saying a word.
But you’ve grown up now; your previously unapologetic platinum has faded into muted ash browns and medium blondes, giving you that sexy, mellow patina common among men who’ve learned to know better. You’ve learned to work better with others, and have even released a great collab with Pomp and Quiff. Don’t think we didn’t know, Guylights. We’re paying attention. We notice how you’ve gracefully accepted defeat back in the day, and learned to play fair, and are more mature and inclusive this time around. Bravo, Guylights. Bra-vo.
So yes, you may answer that ringing landline from your living room, Guylights. Tell your friends, even. Because this is the big hair comeback moment you’ve been waiting for. 2001 is calling, and we’re totally on board.
Want to start a petition for fedoras? Sound off on other 2000s hairstyle trends you want revisited on @AllThingsHairUS.