Category Archives: Hair

James Harden: Most Fashionable Man-Child

James Harden is only twenty-one, just old enough to buy alcohol legally in the United States. Harden is proving his worth for the Thunder these playoffs, averaging eleven points a game and shooting almost forty-one percent from the field. Harden is providing a spark for his teammates off the bench, but NBA fans are more enamoured with his unique manscaping and style. The member of the Thunders’ Broingtons always stands outs among the usual NBA off-court uniform of dark, ill-fitting suits or head to toe Gucci ensembles. For the post-season, the Los Angeles native kept his full beard and shaved his hair into a mini mohawk. The hairstyle speaks to Harden’s quirky California personal style and boyish charm.

When the Oklahoma City Thunder came to Toronto earlier in the season, I chatted with the sophomore shooting guard about his infamous beard and personal style. The beard discussion was posted on The Basketball Jones but Harden and I got to talking fashion and sneakers, too.

Credit: Slam Magazine

Harden defines his style as very LA, which to him means “flannels, little t-shirts, [Nike] Dunks, varsity jackets, stuff like that”. While being a LA native, the west coast kid doesn’t think he has a specific personal style code. If he sees some nice clothes, he buys them – one of the luxuries of having an NBA salary. “I wear a lot of [Nike] Dunk’s, cartoon shirts, varsity jackets”. Harden’s love of cartoon shirts is something that’s caught my eye since he was in college. It’s not a look that’s very popular on the east coast but for Harden, the cartoon shirts started because it’s all about the shoes, “I get shirts to match my dunks. They got a store [in LA] called Hot Topic and they have a lot of cartoon shirts there..it’s just about being from LA”.

Credit: Getty Images/SI.com

Harden’s other style signature is the bow tie. It started at the NBA Draft with Harden’s statement making outfit.. He wore a cream colored vest, pants, a striped shirt, a tan sport coat, a diamond encrusted watch and a burgundy patterned bow tie. While it was a lot of look, Harden just wanted to wear something different, “I don’t think I thought about it…With the bow tie, I have a lot of them now….it’s different, unique [my style] just comes natural, not something I try to do.” Since the night he joined the Thunder, Harden’s racked up over ten bow ties and plans on getting a lot more as he buys more suits.

Credit: Twitter

Harden will be buying more suits mostly due to the NBA dress code. While most players are able to bring their own flare to their outfits despite Commissioner Stern’s rules, Harden admits most of his wardrobe goes unworn on game days. “I [usually] wear a lot of hats, t-shirts, that I can’t wear…The rules are put in place for a reason, but I still try to work around it”. The shooting guard may think his style is the best in the league, but he’d still jump at the chance to raid a few wardrobes. “[I’d like to see what] top guys like Kobe and Lebron got in their closet, they probably got tons of stuff in their closet, I just to see what their wardrobe looks like.”

Credit: Dime Magazine

Harden’s personal style extends to his shoes, too. He can’t pick a favorite pair but his choice Nike model will always be the Dunk. He’s looking at adding the Gucci inspired pair to his collection and also loves the Canal Street Air Force One’s because they’re “cool and bright”. Harden’s style advice for those who want to follow his lead is to experiment with colors and not focus on one style, “anything you see that’s unique and different, try to pick it up.” Harden’s hair is evidence that he practices what he preaches and allows him to bring his style on the court too. I wouldn’t suggest the mohawk and beard combo unless you’re around Harden’s age or can grow a significant beard like him.

Credit: Orisue

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Hit or Miss: Brian Wilson’s Man-scaping Story

The playoff beard is nothing new in hockey, but in the MLB, it’s still a new sensation. I really took notice of Giants’ closer Brian Wilson’s interesting man-scaping situation during the Giants vs. Braves National League Divisional Series. It’s an understatement to say his beard and haircut combination is unique, especially considering the usual grooming standard in professional baseball. But is it a little too much for Bud Selig and the MLB?

 

Brian Wilson at the MLB All-Star Red Carpet Show, all clean-shaven with serious hair. Photo credit: MLB/Getty Images.

 

To break down Wilson’s man-scaping, let’s start with his haircut. Wilson sports a modified mohawk. It’s not short and amateurish like we’ve seen on the Tampa Bay Rays, but rather it’s more mullet-esque in length and a little dirt bag in its styling. Contrary to popular belief – the mohawk is his natural light brown colour, no bleach or dye.

 

Brian Wilson and his bad ass but dyed beard. Photo credit: Yahoo MLB/Getty Images.

 

Wilson started growing the beard back in August and kept in its natural brunette state for the summer. When the playoff push in September hit, he dyed it pitch black (although he won’t openly admit it). It’s now a dark, thick beard that any grisly lumberjack or hockey player would be envious of come playoff season. Fans are turning the scruff into a cult figure by sporting faux beards and signs and even re-jigged the Milwaukee Bucks’ “FEAR THE DEER” cheer into, naturally, “FEAR THE BEARD”. Apparently the man-scaping isn’t serious business for the MLB regular season save leader:

“I’m just rocking a beard, keeping it fun,” Wilson said. “I had a beard in 2007, but I had to shave it because I got sent down. I just never grew it back. I just said it was bad luck. Not this year. I wouldn’t say the beard got us here, but I wore it here.” (From Janine McCauley’s CP piece).

Wilson’s original take on grooming isn’t the only thing that makes him stand out in the clubhouse as his overall sartorial sense is not standard. In Wilson’s appearance in the 2010 All-Star Game this year, he wore a pair of bright creamsicle orange cleats and again versus Florida Marlins the next game.

 

Brian Wilson and his creamsicle cleats at the 2010 All-Star Game. Photo credit: Yahoo/MLB/AP.

 

His shoes were obviously not regulation and thanks to Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez’s complaints, the National League fined Wilson for one thousand dollars for “wearing non-conforming shoes and was told that half of each shoe had to be black”. Damn. Wilson says the fine was for “being too awesome”, not for disobeying dresscode. He’s kept wearing the overt orange shoes ever since, colouring them in with black sharpie to adhere to the uniform rule in his own way. Oh, and he’s also a certified ninja – if you haven’t seen the Jim Rome interview with Wilson, it’s a must see.

The MLB needs more guys like Brian Wilson. Most baseball players come off as guarded or even dull during interviews and in such a long season, some variety isn’t just nice – it’s necessary. Fans and media members warm to players who show their own personality and can make them smile with more than just an amazing pitch. Ron Artest went from being seen as a bad, psycho teammate to being a player whose honesty about his psychological shortcomings and zest for life now endears him to all. Jared Allen’s once crazy haircut (he cut the mullet for his wedding), hunting cookbook and general mayhem earns him legions of fans because he is honest. Patrick Roy is as well known for his play between the pipes as he was for talking to them while in net.

 

Brian Wilson warming up in his trademark beard, mohawk and a dope pair of Giants' colours Air Max 90's. Photo credit: Yahoo/Getty Images.

 

Let Brian Wilson keep his black beard, long mohawk, bright orange shoes, slightly over the top save celebrations and of course, his fastball, because a player with his talent, wit and humour can only help a team on the field and in the clubhouse. While he’s quite handsome without the beard, as a Canadian girl I’m more than accustomed to the hockey boys’ obsession with the facial hair playoff good luck charm. Let’s go Giants and let Brian be the black-bearded ninja; because when he’s on the mound, he’s still the man to count on.

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Man-scaping: Kirilenko and Birdman De-Gel

In the NBA, there have been a flurry of hair fads and fades. Traditionally, the white players don’t belong to the interesting hair club for men.  Great players like John Stockton, Larry Bird and today’s token bench warmers like Brian Scalabrine and J.J. Redick, have always kept it safe when it comes to their hair. The influx of European players have brought trendy styles into the fold, but rarely anything too extreme. That’s where we come to two trail blazers in the white guys with out of control hair phenomenon – Andrei Kirilenko and Chris “Birdman” Andersen. Leave it to a Russian import and small town party animal to bring something new to the court.

Both players have shown different but not always flattering styles and an almost unhealthy addiction to hair gel. But recently, Birdman and AK47 took to the court with unaltered, soft natural hair! It was more shocking than a fully clothed Ron Artest or a neutral Craig Sager suit. But to get to the bottom of this, let’s take a look at some of highlights (and of course, lowlights) of these two front court taste makers.

Andrei Kirilenko arrived at the draft with very stereotypical Eastern European hair – short on the sides and a little spiky on top. He was a perfect poster boy for the Russian national team.His hair later grew out a bit and became a slightly larger version of the short on the sides, big on top look. However, gel helps make this hair very pronounced. He’s mostly stayed with this hair cut, sometimes gelled to the side, occasionally combed over and even fashioned into a faux-hawk that inspires envy even with teammates.

However, this season he seems to favour either the combed over AND gelled look that seems “Leave it to Beaver” or lately, completely gel-less and . I didn’t really notice this change until early February when he had clearly had a very unfortunate bowl cut.

Why Andrei why?! In motion, its tolerable but otherwise he looks like his mother got a borscht bowl out and stuck it on his head. Since February and his cut, AK47’s stats are eclipsing this season’s averages. In five games this month, he’s averaged 16.8 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists per game. Were all the hair products holding him down? It’s an interesting idea, but AK47 hasn’t given us a hint on the reasoning behind the hair change so unfortunately, we can all just speculate for now.

Chris Andersen took a slightly less conventional road to the NBA. From tiny town ball in the back roads of Texas, to balling overseas in China to being the first ever D-League call up with the Denver Nuggets; Andersen’s career has been anything but normal. The NBA’s first glimpse of the man they now call Birdman was very different from we know him today – shaved head and very lightly inked.

It didn’t take long for Birdman to make his mark with fans and players as his outlandish style sense and personality. The mink coats, the gigantic murdered-out truck, the constantly fresh tattoos – but it was his hair that seemed to endear him to fans the most. He’s spotted everything from side parted chin length hair, a head full of spikes, and his most popular, the seemingly gravity defying faux hawk complete with head band.

Since Mr. Andersen has such a vivacious on court persona, it was even more of a shock to see him without the trademark spikes. February 5th 2010 marked the game day that Birdman sported this new hairstyle – slightly mop top, similar to Kirilenko’s. At the Staples Center against the Lakers, ESPN broadcasters and NBA twitter-aholics alike took notice of the hairdo debut. Lisa Salters, reported that Birdman initially joked that the lack of hair gel was due to the economy – the once free spending Andersen was cutting back his unnecessary expenses. He later said he just forgot his gel at home, and he’s very picky about what he uses.

I’m sorry, but isn’t that what equipment managers or groupies for? How can the land of perpetual tans and celebrity stylists be free of hair gel? I think its all a cover up. His new hair doesn’t look like it has the length for the perfect Birdman faux-hawk. I think he cut it too short and needed an excuse. But, it seems like AK47’s new do, it’s benefitting his performance. Since the chop, Birdman is averaging 10 points and 8 rebounds, including a rare double-double on his new do début. The lack of gel and performance can’t just be accidental, can it?

We’ll see if the two blonds (who both play in the rather conservative markets of Denver and Salt Lake City) can keep up their performances and hairstyles post All-Star break. But who will we look to for interesting hair now? Who will hold down the gel for NBA players everywhere? For now, it seems Andris Biedrins and Danilo Gallinari are holding it down for now. God bless the European ballers.

High fives & booty taps,

Megan

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Man-scaping: Mike Comrie

“Stop it there without a care to what you’ve got to fear
Keep it all between your beer and your hockey hair
A lot of weird people traits and ticks
From the strangers to these dangerous faces you kiss
You know this town ain’t cool as it used to be
When the lion, tigers and bears’d stare at your jewelry
Truthfully I’m content with how the day moves
Stepped up the game, oops, still rock the same shoes

– Atmosphere, Hockey Hair

Hockey players aren’t usually known for their interesting hair styles or radical fashion sense. If anything, they’re known for receding hair lines and boring suits. So, I’m shocked to hear that Edmonton Oiler Mike Comrie has put blonde highlights on the left side of his hair. Is Comrie trying to impress his Gossip Girl girlfriend with a MTV inspired haircut?

On further inspection, Comrie shaved three large lines on the left side of his temple.

I have no issue with steps, stripes, lines….whatever you want to call them. They’re prevalent in many scenes: urbanwhite trashEuropean house music kids, as well as other sports, specifically basketball and soccer. Hell, even I’ve had them. However, Comrie’s stripes are NOT so pretty or flattering. They’re far too thick and obvious; very poor barber skills.  He already has a receding hairline so it just looks like he lost a chunk of hair. And perhaps he did, he likely he lost a bet and a teammate got shaver happy.

Another possibility could be that Mike Comrie is a Vikings fan, or in particular, a Jared Allen fan. I’m far from a Vikings supporter, but you gotta love a guy like Jared Allen. He’s a beast on the field and thanks to his mullet hairstyle, you just know he’s a party off of it. Maybe Mike just has a man-crush on  the aptly numbered 69.

Honestly, I get the Jared Allen love affair….from the front. He’s the kind of guy you don’t want to watch walking away after you’ve had some fun in the barn. But enough about me, let’s talk about Mr. Mike Comrie. Maybe he decided to pay tribute to Allen with the hairstyle. He may have watched the below video for inspiration.

Allen gets a razor line in his hair for every sack he makes during the regular season, like the Buckeyes’ sticker program but, decidedly more hick. Well, Comrie has 3 assists (all season!), is that why he shaved 3 lines? Or maybe he stuffed the Duff 3 times the night before? We may never know, as he wore a Oilers’ cap during the post game interviews last night.

But one thing is for certain when it comes to Comrie; the guy has an actress girlfriend, an NHL contract, and is the heir The Brick throne – he’s RICH, BITCH!  He can at least afford a good barber and stylist…even in the less than vogue Edmonton. Is Comrie a fashion hairstyle victim or just another casualty of locker room hijinks? You be the judge, I’ll be the style critic.

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