I always believed that most American hairstyles for younger men were influenced by television and movie stars or by popular American basketball, baseball and football players. But I couldn’t figure out where many of the newer American hairstyles that my clients were requesting were coming from. Then one day I was flipping the channels on TV and stopped at a professional soccer game from Europe.
As I watched the game I couldn’t help but notice the various unique hairstyles worn by these international soccer players. I finally realized for the first time how much American hairstyles were influenced by these international soccer players. I realized that if I wanted to meet the needs of my clients, I had better learn more about these hairstyling trends.
It seemed to me like the place to begin my research would be with David Beckham who helped popularize the modern soccer game in the United States. It was obvious that his popularity was so great it went far beyond his play on the field. He was an icon for clothing styles, hairstyles and other trends popular in the media.
David Beckham is more than one of England’s best soccer player. He is a celebrity, treated as near-royalty, hounded by the press who dwell on his every move. During his career as a member of the Manchester United, and also playing for the England in the World Cup, Beckham has been both villain and hero. Handsome, with a quick eye to where the cameras are placed, he has both benefited and suffered from a life lived in the public arena.
He is also the pretty boy, the national and international heart throb, and as much was written about his hairstyle and his choice of clothes as his soccer abilities. When Beckham began dating Victoria Adams, also known as Posh Spice from the pop group Spice Girls, in 1997, he and Adams became daily fodder for the tabloid press. Much of the media’s attention was initially encouraged by the couple, who tossed tidbits of personal information to the tabloids and could be seen out and about wearing matching designer outfits.
No conversation about football fashion would be complete without at least a mention of the most well-branded soccer player in the world. Beckham was perhaps the first man to have ever been seen in both a sarong, with cornrows and then strikes out again with this bald-on-the-sides look. He definitely was one of the early international fashion setters when it comes to international as well as American hairstyles.
The 2014 World Cup was to be remembered for players’ wacky haircuts as much as its brilliant games. The Associated Press had the following account of international soccer players and their hairstyles during that world competition…
“July 02, 2014 CUIABA, Brazil – It was an odd place to find three international footballers on the eve of a crucial World Cup game, inside a small hair salon located on the forecourt of a gas station on the outskirts of a remote Brazilian city.
But there they were, Nigeria stars Emmanuel Emenike, Kenneth Omeruo and Ahmed Musa, eager for a new style and color touch-ups for the big match against Bosnia-Herzegovina. “They are very vain,” said Dirce Cardoso, owner of the Salao de Beleza Aeroporto in southern Cuiaba. “They wanted to be pampered.”
So Cardoso obliged. She canceled her other appointments, closed the salon and gave the footballers the full VIP treatment. Two of them got a Mohican and two of them had their hair dyed black. Total cost: $71 — and Cardoso was even treated to a ticket for the match.
It seems like we have a new addition to the footballer’s pre-match routine — healthy meal, massage, a few media interviews … and a new haircut.
This World Cup has been a tournament full of goals, surprise results and breath-taking skills, but also some of the wackiest, most outrageous hairstyles you’ll find in sports. Rat tails, mohicans, dreadlocks, braids, bleached blond, outlandish side-partings, the “Afro” — you name a hairstyle, and at least one player is certain to have had it. And it’s been the talk of Twitter during games.
Footballers appear to be pre-occupied with their hair like never before. Ever-changing hairstyles used to be domain of David Beckham, who experimented with the shaved head, the cornrows, the Fauxhawk and bleach-blond look, among others, in the blink of an eye. Now everyone is at it, and the styles are getting bolder and bolder.
Take Portugal superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, for example. The world player of the year had a different hairstyle for each of his three games at the World Cup — for the second, against the United States, he had a zig-zag-style engraving in the right side of his head.
A combination of boredom, vanity, football being increasingly fashionable and maybe even the influence of sponsors means that players are becoming more daring with their styles. “I love that they all have their unique styles,” Cardoso said. “They all are very modern. I wouldn’t choose one over the other.” This year, everything looks kind of strange. But it’s normal. It’s about being young and different. It’s beautiful.”
So now it is easy for me to see the major influence that these international players have on American hairstyles. They have been so aggressive and bold in their appearance that it has made it’s way across the water to American hairstyles and attitudes.
This also explains why some of my younger customers come to the shop with a different photo every month of how they want their to look. There has been a very strong influence on American hairstyles like never before. It is actually starting to grow on me!