The sweep: Justin Bieber’s new hair steals the VMA red carpet

Justin Bieber's sweep at the VMAs

The last time Justin Bieber performed at the MTV Video Music awards back in 2010 he had yet to throw eggs at a neighbour’s house, urinate in a bucket in the kitchen of a restaurant while shouting, “Fuck Bill Clinton!” or get arrested for a DUI. These were more innocent times. A year after that performance his world famous and much copied Lego-esque brown fringe was shorn off, the tattoos were drawn on and, like Samson, his power had gone. Flash forward five years to last night’s VMAs and guess what? The fringe is back, only this time blonder, longer and more unruly.

Sweep pioneer: Victoria Beckham in 2007

With the same hue as Donald Trump’s carefree tresses, Justin’s “swoop” was the highlight of last night’s red carpet, a fancy alleyway that also included Miley Cyrus replicating Jodie Marsh’s misuse of a couple of old belts and a woman who showed up as a human pencil. As is the way these days, it didn’t take long for Justin’s “swoop” to, er, sweep through Tumblr, with side by side comparisons made with Victoria Beckham circa 2007; Brad Pitt: The Gwyneth Paltrow Years; Gwyneth Paltrow: The Brad Pitt Years; the extra sister in Tegan & Sara; Ellen Degeneres and, finally, a stylish alpaca.

Short sweep: Ellen DeGeneres in March 2015

The fact he then went and performed with a cap on, therefore denying the TV viewers a chance to see the “swoop” in motion is an award show travesty up there with Bad Blood winning Video of the Year over 7/11.

 A twist on the sweep: Tegan and Sara at the Oscars earlier this year

Bieber wasn’t the only hair experimentalist on display of course. There was the aforementioned woman (Z LaLa apparently) whose black hair was slicked up in to a point like a quill. The Weeknd’s head covering is basically an ever-expanding feat of engineering, like one of Edward Scissorhands’ hedge creations.

Original sweeper: Gwyneth Paltrow in 1997

Miley, meanwhile, sported what can only be described as the Faye Tozer from Steps, ie, some bleached blonde dreadlocks clamped onto her scalp that also brought to mind this particular X Factor casualty. Elsewhere Nicki “Miley, what’s good?” Minaj and Kylie Jenner seemed to arrive sporting the same weave, while the night’s big winner Taylor Swift opted for a side parting mullet. No matter how hard anyone tried, however, no one could rival The Swoop. Whatever you do, Biebs, just don’t cut it all off again.