Male athletes do not usually get much attention for the hair game that they sport unless people are mocking it, of course. Usually, when a conversation happens related to the hair of an athlete, it is more often than not about how a player stands out in one way or the other. Football is a little different though because the game is played without a helmet or hat. This ensures that a player’s hair is out in the open, for display throughout the 90 minutes of game time.
Further, since the game is played all over the world, it means that there is some player or the other, whose hair texture or the lack thereof, that fans can relate to and try to emulate. Some soccer players like Ronaldo and David Beckham who have been known to be superstars on the pitch have also contrarily had haircut disasters of the football world. However, even these hairstyles have been copied by doting fans that idolize these players
Do Football Hairstyles Have Meaning?
For footballers, hairstyles are not superficial, for them, it symbolizes their approach in the game. For example, for Sweden’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic who wears the man bun, which has now become a signature to his look; such a hairstyle is symbolic of the manner in which he approaches the game, which is with a ninja-like attitude.
A changed hairstyle can also be a sign of maturity, according to some. Lionel Messi’s hairstyle evolution, for example, is a display of his personal growth, as he has developed to now lead both his club and the national side. The change from the longer hairdo, to one that is shorter and more well-groomed, is a signifier of maturity and his leadership role. However, for some players like Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, a hairstyle is more attached to his image as a trendsetter. Ronaldo even goes to the extent of having a hairstylist for his wax statue at the Madrid Museum of Wax, to ensure that the hair on the statue is up to date with his latest hairstyle.
The Beckham Effect
If one were to think of someone for the title of ‘original influencer of football hairstyles’, the name David Beckham would pop up in everyone’s mind. Now, there are other players who are also trying to achieve such a title. Beckham has had a plethora of hairstyles that include the famous Mohawk, man buns and mullets. He has even had a few bad decisions like the cornrows that he wore when he met Nelson Mandela, bad timing indeed.
His hairstyles are famous not only in the world of football but even among other celebrities. This can be confirmed by celebrity hairstylist Jillian Halouska who has styled famous musicians such as John Mayer as well as actors such as Nick Offerman and Jared Leto. She confirms that he is still a touchstone for style reference, even though the hairstyles that he wears now are slightly less outrageous. This is due to the fact that Beckham’s haircuts and personality always exude confidence on and off the pitch.
The Ubiquity of The ‘Undercut’
Football players try to display their self-expression and creativity through their hair, due to the decreased opportunity to do so on the pitch. However, some hairstyles have become too common, and one such hairstyle is the ‘undercut’. This hairstyle is common amongst football players due to the fact that it suits all hair textures and is a comfortable option on the pitch.