When it comes to hairstyles, the line between good and bad is as nebulous and ever-changing as the demarcation point between LeBron James’s hair and his scalp. We don’t consider ourselves experts when it comes to good taste in hair, or even good taste in general, but some things are universal. Scroll down to behold some of the sports world’s more courageous hair stylings.
18. Jacob deGrom
Whether or not you like deGrom’s hair really depends on how many Pantene Pro-V commercials you watched in the ’90s. And many of you were probably barely alive in the ’90s…
17. Iman Shumpert
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The flat top was so good…our placement of the Cavs guard on this list is more of a punishment for him not sticking to a classic.
16. Bas Savage
A Google image search of Mr. Savage’s hair will result in an impressive array of color schemes for the TOT striker’s otherwise generic hairstyle.
15. Odell Beckham, Jr.
We’re willing to admit that NY Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. may actually have a great hairstyle and that we just don’t know excellence when we see it. We’re willing to take that risk and include him on this list.
14. Noah Syndergaard
It’s hard to tell if Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard, who started for the Metropolitans on Opening Day 2017, was going more for a Marvel-movie Chris Hemsworth or a mid-’80s Daryl Hall. In either case, there’s a potentially very large audience for his lustrous locks, that unfortunately does not include us.
13. Barry Melrose
Mr. Melrose’s unwavering loyalty to the slicked-back, mulleted ’90s villain look is to be admired. Loyalty is important, especially in an NHL analyst.
12. Arturo Vidal
Some would say that a mohawk is a mohawk is a mohawk, and that it’s impossible for variations on the original to stand out. Those people would be wrong. TheLead’s in-house aviation expert has checked, and Arturo Vidal’s aerodynamic mohawk and racing stripes do indeed seem to lower his wind resistance as he cruises the pitch for Bayern Munich.
11. Kelly Olynyk
Our theory is that Olynyk, who is Canadian, is trying really hard to rep the contemporary phenomenon of “hockey hair” in the NBA. Perhaps his look would get some mileage in Ontario or the Twin Cities, but only time will tell if this cake eater’s efforts will be acknowledged in any meaningful way.
10. Anderson Varejao
Varejao’s curls have experienced several incarnations over the years. These days, the Warriors center seems to be content with the time-tested method of wearing a headband but otherwise leaving his freak flag to the mercy of the elements.
9. David Bakhtiari
At this point we’re starting to feel like dads from the 1950s telling our sons to ditch their nonexistent music careers and get haircuts. In the case of David Bakhtiari, he should consider his career with the Green Bay Packers, and should also consider getting a haircut.
8. Domata Peko
The thing about the hair of Broncos nose tackler Domata Peko isn’t that it’s bad, it’s just that it’s of another time. Peko’s hair would’ve been great for hunting wooly mammoth during the twilight years of the Ice Age. Side note: he would’ve been a great pick for Jason Momoa’s dad in the upcoming Aquaman movie.
Taking a cue from Dennis Rodman, Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba treats his scalp like a canvas, dazzling Premier League viewers with a dizzying array of colors and designs.
6. Elfrid Payton
Elfrid Payton’s hair makes him look like a character from Street Fighter, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The Orlando Magic could use some hadoukens or sonic booms.
5. Chris Andersen
NBA center Andersen’s mohawk continues to evolve, and he now sports something that probably counts Brock Lesnar and the show Vikings among its influences.
4. Jeremy Lin
Jeremy Lin continues to blaze bold new trails with the Brooklyn Nets in his quest for Hair Excellence. Epic in scope and courageous in execution, his hair journey will surely amaze and perplex us in the 2017-2018 season and beyond.
3. Mark Davis
Some would say that the bowl cut never got a fair shake. Others would say that it never really deserved one. Though we count ourselves in the latter camp, Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis is clearly in the former.
2. Sage Northcutt
They call UFC welterweight Sage Northcutt the Super Saiyan, and when it comes to his hair, they’re absolutely right. He’s at least an SS Level 2 in this pic. Man, are those tips frosted.
1. Radja Nainggolan
Maybe it’s just the neck tat, but we’re thinking that mohawk belonging to Roma midfielder Radja Nainggolan may actually edge Arturo Vidal’s. It’s frostier, it’s spikier, and it’s overall meaner looking. Soccer has a new mohawk champion.
Well, there you have it. Who did we miss?