As David Beckham prepared for his recent Amazon travel documentary, wife Posh asked him what he was going to do with his hair in all that humidity.
The countless exotic critters that could curtail hubby’s life — from Brazilian wandering spiders to poison dart frogs — seemed the least of her concern. Her greatest fear for Becks was the lack of access to a blowdryer.
Hair is never far from a footballer’s mind, particularly during a World Cup, and throughout his career Becks set the standard for hair maintenance. The way his coif remained upright throughout a rain-soaked World Cup encounter in 2006, when everyone else’s was plastered to their face, was a particular credit to his skills in this department.
To assess the 2014 World Cup hairstyles for our David Beckham Golden Tresses Memorial Award, my hairdresser Lochie from Tonique Hair in Darlinghurst, has kindly agreed to provide some expert commentary. I’ve also thrown in some completely uninformed commentary of my own.
We have eliminated Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar from the competition for their ridiculously try-hard efforts and their failure to settle on any one hairstyle for longer than 24 hours.
Juan Cuadrado — ColombiaEmbed from Getty Images
Lochie says: What can one say in relation to this style? It’s natural, it’s unique, it’s … well, just not for everyone. Left uncared for this would easily become dreads and no athlete in their right mind would let themselves have dreads.
Which brings us to…
Kyle Beckerman — USAEmbed from Getty Images
Kazblah says: Greenpeace suspects several endangered species of flora and fauna — and perhaps even one or two extinct ones — can be found in these locks.
Mario Balotelli — ItalyEmbed from Getty Images
Lochie says: OK boys, it’s time to be MEN! Let go of the youthful idea that creating a mohawk with your shampoo when washing your hair should be taken to the extreme with shaved sides and tufts of hair down the centre. The maintenance with this style is out of control. Unless your personal hairdresser (yes, I am available for this gig!) is going to follow you around on a daily basis, DONT DO IT! It might be fun for the first week, but there is no variation on this style and well… let’s just say the ladies want men, not boys!
Raul Meireles — PortugalEmbed from Getty Images
Kazblah says: I see this, I think three words: out on parole. And one more word: mangina.
Arturo Vidal — ChileEmbed from Getty Images
Lochie says: Sports stars have the innate ability to take something no one in their right mind would do and make it awesome! Vidal from Chile has the lot — the Steps, the scalp lines, the faux hawk, all in one neat package. Maintenance wise, you’d probably have to do every three weeks to keep the sharp lines and steps. Vidal, you have it all!
At the other extreme, we have…
Lionel Messi — ArgentinaEmbed from Getty Images
Kazblah says: For one of the world’s most exciting players, Messi has a really boring hairstyle. I want to ask him to do my tax return.
Edinson Cavani — UruguayEmbed from Getty Images
Lochie says: Ahhhh, the flowing locks are almost every man’s envy! Maintaining this style is not for the weak. While most believe it easier, in fact for a man it’s the balance of grooming and ‘I don’t give a toss’ that is hard to manage. Going too far on the grooming side, one can be considered too vain, while the opposite can look grubby and unkempt.
Someone who’d probably kill for flowing man locks is…
Gabriel Paletta — ItalyEmbed from Getty Images
Kazblah says: For an Italian, this guy is surprisingly fashion comatose. He needs to get the number of Wayne Rooney’s hair doctor.
Back at the other end of the pendulum is…
Marouane Fellaini — BelgiumEmbed from Getty Images
Kazblah says: We’ve found the sixth member of the Jackson 5.
Last but by no means least, we have…
Andrea Pirlo — ItalyEmbed from Getty Images
Lochie says: Oh, Andrea Pirlo! You get a gold star for the best natural look. Rugged yet soft and approachable. The locks show he is a free man! Free of conservativisms (yes, I’m making up words for this man!) but has that manly full beard that isn’t too kept, though not quite hipster vain either. This man has it going on! Grrrrrr.