500 Years of Haircuts: One Youtuber Tries Out the Hair Styles That Were Fashionable Between 1500 and 2000

‘In Mankiewicz’s Julius Caesar, all the characters are wearing fringes,’ writes Roland Barthes in his well-known essay on Romans in film. ‘Some have them curly, some straggly, some tufted, some oily, all have them well combed.’ This fringe, Barthes argues, is ‘quite simply the label of Roman-ness’: when it comes onscreen, ‘no one can doubt that he is in Ancient Rome.’ Ever since cinema first told historical tales, hair has been among its most effective visual shorthands with which to establish an era.