A Brief History Of The Post Boy Band Hair Transformation


Thu, June, 11 by


For the past week, the internet has been losing its sh*t (and rightfully so) about ex-One Direction member Zayn Malik’s changing hair colour. Over the weekend, Malik posted a photo on Instagram of him and his fiancée Perrie Edwards where his hair was bright, almost neon, green. Needless to say, it was a shocker and memes popped up almost immediately comparing him to Shrek, a highlighter, and various fruits and veggies just to name a few.

But that’s not all: Just yesterday, Zayn posted another photo, this time of him sporting white hair. In a follow-up tweet, he revealed: “Had it purple yesterday ha trying em all out ha” Most people attempt to break the internet, but we think Zayn may have broken many people’s Photoshop with that statement. Just look at all the people who tried to imagine the spectrum of hair colours he can have!

Whether you’re a fan of his new ‘do or not, it is a very common thing for ex-boy banders to want to make a bold new statement, to distance themselves from their picture-perfect boy band past. It’s a common stereotype that women change their hairstyles after breakups, but it’s not that different from boy banders who are newly solo.

These boys, er, men want to establish a new image, a more matured look that’s less pristine and more wild or serious. This is their chance to strike out on their own, on their own terms and put out music that’s more representative of their own style as opposed to the styles of four or more guys, not to mention controlling record execs. If Zayn wants to dye his hair green and start a punk band, we are more than willing to embrace it if that’s what he wants to do. Justin Timberlake shaved off his ramen hair and succeeded, and there are plenty more examples in boy band history.

We broke down some of history’s most notable ex-boy band members and their drastic post-boy band hair styles.

Justin Timberlake
The ex-*NSYNC member really pioneered the post-boy band transformation in the early 2000s. When Timberlake went solo in 2002, he made sure his ramen hairstyle was no where to be found. Instead, he cut it all short for a simple and much more mature look, one that many have since copied.


Nick Jonas
Totally a student of the Justin Timberlake school of post-boy band transformations, from curly-haired Jonas Brother to solo stud.


Zayn Malik
In fact, Zayn’s kinda doing the same thing, but with more fun with colours. This look probably wouldn’t have worked in One Direction, but we’re definitely intrigued to see what Malik does next, with his style and music.


Nick Carter
Nick Carter also comes from a tragic boy band hair past. While Justin Timberlake rocked the ramen, the Backstreet Boy was the prince of mushroom cuts. Remember when we were totally in love with that look? Nick also went solo in 2002, but he didn’t chop all his hair off. Nick opted for a shorter hairstyle that he has pretty much been rocking ever since.


Nathan Sykes
The Wanted’s Nathan Sykes entered the boy band game in the Bieber era, as evident by his swooping hairstyle, but in recent months, Sykes has suited up Timberlake-style and is now sporting a more slick hairstyle that we’re absolutely swooning over.


Ashley Parker Angel
Of all the post boy band transformations, O-Town’s Ashley Parker Angel is the only one who went against the grain and grew out his hair as opposed to cutting it short. Following the band’s breakup in 2003, Angel released his solo album in 2006 and went from spiky blond locks to a longer, shaggier look.