Look at Adam Johnson and James Milner, two young soccer players with terrible, boring hair, but both are balling these days. Think about Frank Lampard’s boring hairstyle – he hasn’t changed it in ages – and he scores a ton of goals for Chelsea.
Adam Johnson, that's sweat not gel in his hair.
Is there a connection between boring hair and success on the soccer field?
The cause and effect is this: the more boring your hair the better you play, and if you’re going bald, better yet. Just look at Wayne Rooney, Andres Iniesta and Arjen Robben, all top soccer players who are all losing their locks but had the best years of their careers this past year. Well, minus the World Cup for Wayne. And yeah, I know Rooney is now thinking of getting hair implants....
But here are some more examples of boring hair and great soccer players: how about Steven Gerrard, Gareth Barry, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Gerrard Mueller…even Fernando Torres has gone to a boring look to try to get back in form, cutting off his hair and going short.
And you could even throw in Frank Ribery. All these players are world-class footballers and just happen to be on the top 50 list of highest paid players, too, but their hair is styled to play football not for style magazines.
If you try to mess about with your hair then you're asking for trouble and might find yourself with plenty of time to brush, dye, or blow-dry your hair in front of the mirror all you want.
Take Arsenal keeper Manuel Almunia, who was messing about with his hair on a regular basis. He seemed change his hair color every week, dyeing his hair from green to blue to yellow and look what happened to him. Benched by Arsene Wenger.
Gareth Bale is probably the perfect example. Here’s a player that’s off to a flying start at Tottenham Hotspurs, however, Harry Redknapp said that Bale used to be overly concerned with how his hair looked and it nearly cost him.
"Have I had to talk to Bale about mental toughness? A bit, yeah. I just said, 'Stop messing about with your barnet'. I said, 'C'mon Gareth, stop messing about with your hair'. He was always at it."
Look at David Bentley, a young soccer player that was often compared to David Beckham. And although he still does some extraordinary things on the pitch, he might get more press for what new hairstyle he’s sporting. Bently is a player who was in the English national team, a potential star, and is now just someone who they say has never reached his potential. At one point he did shave his head, and I think that was when he received his England call ups.
Of course there are exceptions to the boring hair good soccer player rule, Cristiano Ronaldo and David Beckham for example. Cristiano Ronaldo’s hair is perfectly sculpted prior to every game and practice, with enough gel in his hair to start a citywide fire if a match was lit near his head.
Cristiano Ronaldo with his hair all gelled up.
Stuart Holden, the American who now plays for Bolton, here's someone who is on the cusp. He’s playing very well these days, after recovering from a broken leg, but his hair is on the verge of being too time consuming to manage. Or, is he on the verge of taking his game to the next level and doing whatever he wants with his hair? Becoming someone who can be in GQ and still keep his place at Bolton Wanderers.
Take Paul Scholes, the ginger haired Manchester United midfielder and living legend. There is no questioning his play and he has had the same boring hair since he started playing in the English Premier League nearly fifteen years ago.
However, what about the Italian and Argentine soccer players, many of who pride themselves on their long, wavy hair? Headbands and hair ties are the norm. Carlos Tevez comes to mind. They too are a few exceptions. But if Tevez start struggling look for him to perhaps shave his head.
Does it have to do more with age? For example, look at the new up and coming Brazilian star, Neymar, he uses a fair amount of hair gel and tends to highlight his hair from time to time. Will he become a star or do too many fades? Will he mess with his hair too much?
So, it looks like you either have to be an amazing player, full of confidence, like Cristiano Ronaldo, or run the risk of not making it in the game or fading out of the game too early, if you mess about with your hair all the time.
Soccer coaches, get your players to stop messing about your hair. Players, stop worrying about if your hair is perfectly styled, unless you've got the soccer skills to back it up. It's kind of like it used to be with white soccer cleats, you could only wear them if you were willing to back them up with your skills when the game started.
Maybe the band Pavement said it best: Cut Your Hair.