Strap on your seatbelts, we’re going back to the ’90s!

It all started on Monday, when Ruby Rose Instagrammed a picture of Justin Bieber with a new hair cut — except there was nothing new about it. The glossy middle-part he was donning was a style that defined the ’90s. It arguably all started about two-and-a-half decades ago, when one man underestimated the power of a distinctive snip: Nick Carter.

Once known as the baby of the Backstreet Boys, Carter is now the fatherly figure bestowing his approval on a new generation of middle-parters.

“Do I approve?? Haha. Rock it right little man,” Carter wrote on Twitter, adding a #lookinggood hash tag for good measure.

He then got into a back-and-forth feud (not really, but we’d like to pretend it was that serious) with Canadian actor Devon Sawa, who claimed the original ’do as his. So we thought we’d save you all the trouble of wracking your brains to figure out which ’90s heartthrob did the centre-split most justice by rating 10 of them below.


1. Johnathon Taylor Thomas

Age: 33

Most famous for: Being the goody-two shoes brother Randy Taylor on Home Improvement. Oh, and voicing some character called Simba in the Lion King.

Middle-part rating: 9/10

Conclusion: This thing was magnificent. Voluminous and bouncy, like a real-life lion’s mane. We genuinely wouldn’t be surprised if he used his hair to store his belongings. It helps that everything JTT did back then was considered next-level adorable.


2. Josepth Gordon-Levitt

Age: 34

Most famous for: He would probably like it best if we just said Inception and moved on, but we’ll always remember him as Tommy Soloman, the bratty little kid of 3rd Rock from the Sun.

Middle-part rating: 7/10

Conclusion: You have to appreciate how distinctive this thing was. There was something wise and ahead of its time about it, like Levitt was an world-weary soul stuck in a young kid’s body. Yes, it had its lifeless days when it got too long, but Levitt rocked it with a confidence we could only envy.


3. Nick Carter

Age: 35

Most famous for: Going to the moon. Okay, fine, he didn’t go to the moon. But he was in a boy band who sometimes dressed in futuristic metallic gear that made it look like they were going to the moon.

Middle-part rating: 10/10

Conclusion: We couldn’t bring ourselves to dock Carter any points for flyaways, seeing as he’s the man who started it all. We still remember how much media coverage that haircut got when he debuted it. It was like we were entering a whole new era of humanity. Basically: whether he wore it in a rounded bob or a looser cut, Carter always seemed to pull it off. Some might even call it... larger than life. Kudos, Nick.


4. Hanson (Isaac, Taylor and Zac)

Ages: 34, 32, 29

Most famous for: Being siblings, getting mmmBop stuck in your head, and being more conservative than the Jonas Brothers.

Middle-part rating: 8/10

Conclusion: We’re pretty sure everyone’s favourite member of Hanson was Taylor, and we’re willing to bet it had to do with the fact that he had the nicest hair out of all of them. While they all dabbled in the centre split, Taylor’s wavy ’do seemed effortless, whether he wore it down — past his shoulders — or tied it back. He always looked like he was about to paint something really abstract and emotional in his basement and then give it to you on your birthday. Bonus points for still having long-ish hair today.


5. Matthew Lawrence

Age: 35

Most famous for: Saying “woah!” a lot and being in Boy Meets World. Also, for starring in a movie called Cheats.

Middle-part rating: 7/10

Conclusion: Lawrence loses points for lack of longevity. His middle-part phase didn’t last as long as we would have liked it to, but he did have a thick, healthy ’do while it lasted. A worthy contender.


6. Leonardo DiCaprio

Age: 40

Most famous for: Dying in Titanic even though there was enough room on the door for both him and Rose to survive.

Middle-part rating: 10/10

Conclusion: It seems to us that maybe it was DiCaprio who started this trend, with little recognition for being the fearless trailblazer that he is. But we digress. DiCaprio was his most beautiful self during his Titanic and Romeo + Juliet years. His hair was so wispy and dreamy that it made up for the fact that he couldn’t act to save his life — then.


7. Devon Sawa

Age: 36

Most famous for: Being Canadian, starring in Little Giants and Wild America, and surviving for quite a while in the Final Destination franchise.

Middle-part rating: 10/10

Conclusion: There’s a reason that Sawa got into a Twitter feud with Carter over who Bieber was copying. Dawa’s middle-part was magnificent. Every hair seemed to be cut with utmost care and precision. Honestly, that thing was magical.


8. Rider Strong

Age: 35

Most famous for: How heart-wrenchingly broody he was as Shawn on Boy Meets World.

Middle-part rating: 7/10

Conclusion: Listen. We still haven’t stopped swooning over sweet, tortured Shawn pulling at our heart strings, so you’ll excuse us if we can’t say much here. His hair was excellent and only added to his mystique.


9. John Stamos

Age: 51

Most famous for: Being Uncle Jesse on Full House and making “have mercy” sound like a pick-up line. Enough said.

Middle part rating: 7/10

Conclusion: Don’t hate us for docking Stamos points! We’re well-aware his hair was his trademark. As it wasn’t always in a middle part, it’s only fair he gets a lower score. All we can say is, his ’do was so shiny and smooth, a marble would’ve rolled right off it. As Uncle Jesse would say, “Nobody touches the hair”.


10. Erik Von Detten

Age: 32

Most famous for: Being really cute and starring in Disney films.

Middle part rating: 8/10

Conclusion: We have to give it to Von Detten for bringing a bit of a bad boy edge to the clean-cut hairdo. There was something very surfer boy about the way he styled his hair — a little greasy and unpredictable. A definite ‘yay’ from us.