When we depict Spartans in movies like 300 or The 300 Spartans or Spartans: There Were 300 of Them, their hairstyles fit neatly into the narrow preconceived range of masculinity that Hollywood is comfortable portraying in movies aimed mostly at young men. The majority of these ancient Greek warriors have short, clipped hair that any harsh father figure would approve of.
amanaimagesRF/amana images/Getty Images
"You're not my son unless I can clearly see the skull indentations left over from your football injuries."
The historical truth, however, is closer to what would make that father figure lose his temper and threaten to send you to military school: adult Spartan males kept their hair long and flowing. There are even records of foreigners asking the Spartans why they loved long hair so much. Their answer was that long hair was a "natural and inexpensive form of ornament": in other words, a way to look pretty on the cheap.
Denis Zbukarev/iStock/Getty Images
If Leonidas was around today, he'd have a Pinterest account.