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Over the years there have been many characters in the world of sport based on hairdos and big beards.

However, in the last decade the world of sport has seen an increase in big hair and beards and we have for long been questioning a few factors when it comes to this topic.

Some stars made their name thanks to their hair and others for their talents and very few for both.



Please don’t get us wrong in this article, every person is allowed to look the way they do, but sometimes looks don’t help or enhance performance on the field and this is the part we are interested in discussing.

Having a big love for sport and looking up to the stars that partake in it, we have over the years noticed a big difference between their looks and in their performance on the field of play, especially when beards and big hair were involved.

One trend that follows every year is when South African Super Rugby franchises head over the waters for their annual Australasian tour. Within a matter of days one notices almost the whole squad growing facial hair, and for years now I have been more convinced of the fact that it has played a bigger role in their bad performances than them actually missing home.


The reason I have this theory is because the rest of the time when these same players are at home they never have beards or facial hair and they play way better and secondly as a man myself I know how irritating facial hair can get once it gets “out of control”, and if it influences my daily performance then surely it must be the same for other men as well, including sportsmen?

Yes I could be wrong but I doubt it strongly!

My question is, have teams, players and coaches ever thought of this and considered trying to keep things “clean” for a tour perhaps to see the effects on performance and games?

It sounds ridiculous, but sometimes it’s the ridiculous things in life that makes the difference…

Another team where hairstyles seem to play a major role in is the Proteas. Everyone knows how big Faf du Plessis is on his overall look, which has in recent times rubbed off onto many of the other regulars in the team with little cause to worry, however one player that has seemed more interested in hair days rather than what he is good at, is the world’s number one bowler and Proteas ace, Dale Steyn.

Rewind the clock to earlier this year when the Proteas jetted off to the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup, the speedster sported a serious new style. The man looked really great, yet his performance with the ball was not so great in a tournament where he did not even come close to his normal standards.



Currently on tour in Bangladesh and the surfer from Phalaborwa has to wear a headband to keep his locks out of his face when charging in to deliver his best…it really seems to be a distraction and one has to wonder if a coach ever has a say in how their players look on the field of play.

Big hair or big beards, one has to agree that some professionals have made it their trademark and one can’t imagine them without it anymore.



A number of athletes have even adopted nicknames thanks to their big hair images resembling that of comic super heroes, ala Duane Vermeulen, now known also as Thor by his own admission…


As much as certain athletes don’t perform at their peak when sporting “arb” hairstyles or facial hair, there are a few that do perform at their peak with or without it…



Call me old and conservative, my personal feeling is that professional sportsmen and women are role models, especially to the youth of today and looking the part is just as much part of the deal today as it was 20 or 50 years ago. Looking respectable should be part and parcel to any person who wants to leave a lasting legacy for the younger generation and I feel that this should be part of representing whomever or whatever you play for at whatever level that may be.

Leave us your comments below as to who you would add to the list and would it be for the reason of distraction or not?

Jacques was the founder & webmaster of and was a sports lover of note. He liked writing opinion pieces that matter. In Honour of his legacy we will keep posting and keeping his dream alive. RIP 1977 - 2022

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