At least he has nice teeth and a nice jacket…

I have just noticed the ridiculous number of ludicrous hair styles among some obscenely paid professional athletes.  It is as if, to stand out, they are trying harder and harder to outdo each other.  Flowing locks, curled locks, tethered locks, coloured locks, braided locks, beaded locks…it is all there on the pitch.  It is absolutely hair-raising!  And then, like when all you can do is think of elephants when someone says don’t think of them, I noticed male haircuts and hair styles in other sports, and on rock stars, and on American Idols [Idles] or on Britain’s Got [No] Talent, and on the London Underground…everywhere in fact.

And I can say, with the solid backing of the Experimental Method, that outlandish coiffures are not the sole domain of the rich and the wannabes. Men with bad haircuts are everywhere…

Now, to be honest, I have had my share of hair disasters…when I was young, my dad tried to save a few bucks and cut my and my brother’s hair.  That may not be a bad idea – if you understood anything about the mechanics of the buzzer, the geometry of the human head, how to layer and most importantly, how to cut in a straight line.  But Dad did not appreciate any of that, and my late primary school and early junior high days were a misery…it is hard to look cool when your bangs look like the top of a castle wall and your head looks like it lost a fight with a weed whacker.  He would have done 1000% better if he had used a cereal bowl. For those that were at my 40th , you have seen the pic enlarged to preposterous  proportions  – it remains an absurdly comic tragedy. For the rest of you – here’s a scan…be kind, I am still scarred and not keen to have that snap show up in an internet search for Bad Haircuts!

But I was 10 years old – I had no choice. I had to march down to the unfinished basement, sit under the bare bulb, wrap the torn bath towel around my neck, and then face the tools of shame – in retrospect, it all had a bit of a hostile interrogation feel to it.  I was trapped, so I suppose I have an excuse; being kind, may be others with bad haircuts have an excuse, too.  BUT, that kind of logic is kind and pure and honest and worthy.  Those sentiments have no place in a blog!

So I will put those virtues aside, and will maintain the aim – the aim of today’s blog is to entertain and run through the Best of the Worst…haircut choices that just make you ask, “ Why?”

So here goes with the easiest first –

The Mullet.  The Mississippi Mud Flap just says, “Business up front, party out back”.  This haircut just begs for a number of descriptors:  hillbilly, redneck, NASCAR, Whitesnake, 80s, squirrel pie, bad judgement, acid- or stone-washed denim, European Hockey Star (ask Jaromir Jagr) …add your own to the list– its fun! And I am sure you have some good ones…

The Afro.  The Afro still sends a political  statement.  It still denotes all the 60s “black-pride” – Soul Train, TV shows like Good Times, the bad-asses on early Dirty Harry flicks, disco, the Jackson 5.  Black Afros are styling…I just don’t get the White-fro…that is a totally different statement: “I am Shaft – a pale Shaft, mind you…or I am a huge Gino Vanelli fan.”

The Fauxhawk (aka the Cockatoo…by me anyway).  The Mohawk is bad enough – and unless you have a safety-pin nestled in your cheek and hang around London’s Camden Market, or are entering the Thunder Dome sporting hockey shoulder pads before  your grudge match with Mel Gibson, you have no right to wear one. But a Fauxhawk The FH says, “I love the haircut, but I don’t have the cojones to go the Full Monty. I lack the strength to commit.”  If you like the Mohawk so much…do it right…not half-assed.  No one that I know would tangle with a guy (or gal) wearing a real Mohawk – if they are crazy enough to get one of those, then they are crazy enough to do anything.  But unlike its cool and intimidating cousin, a FH just dares the onlooker to gawk and ridicule the wearer. (As an aside, during the last rugby game I saw, a fellow spectator had a lovely statement of originality…a Fauxhawk that ended in a Mullet….I call it the “Hawklet”.  I would define the Hawklet as a misguided attempt to look mean and fun-loving at the same time – and while not committing to either, he failed to convey that happy-go-lucky toughness he so obviously intended.)

The Pony Tail.  Okay, this one is not for me, but apparently it appeals to men of all ages. What does the pony tail say?  Does it say, “I am confident enough to sport long hair, but practical enough to know I must leash it?”  Or does it say, “ I am a non-conformist, and I single-digit salute The Establishment?” Or is it just a guy who is too lazy to go to the Barber.  It is such a popular style that it comes with several variations including…

  • The beaded El Divin Codino (the divine ponytail…)  worn by Roberto Baggio – famous for missing the entire 192 square feet of goal in the penatly hand Brazil the 1994 FIFA World Cup
  • The Steven Segalan old guy just trying to look hip. Give it up Grandpa
  • The Beckham…which I also call the School Girl…actually, when you search for Beckham hairstyles you will find he has been a veritable coiffure chameleon…how posh!

The Page-boyOkay this one is plain creepy. Famous page-boys were  John Paul Jones circa 1970 (before he joined TCV and just looked stylin’), Damien from The Omen, Velma Dinkley (who is not a man, but had a great page-boy), and lastly, sported with creepy creepiness by Anton Chighur – the relentless “Unstoppable Evil” from No Country for Old Men…Damien, Anton, Scooby’s girl-bud….brrrrrrr. Shivers, man, shivers.  

Now, before I discuss the last few styles…let’s share just a few word about male pattern baldness.  Some will look at us follicly-challenged and say, “Poor bastards…lost their hair already – they’re just not complete men.” They will try to sell us Rogaine and Propecia and toupees and a million other hair remedies.  But really, early hair loss is not a symptom of losing manhood – it actually means too much dihydrotestosterone (DHT)…(and if you were wondering  DHT has about three times greater affinity for androgen receptors than testosterone and has 15-30 times greater affinity than adrenal androgens.  During preganancy,  it has an essential role forming the male external genitalia…it’s simple, more DHT, less hair but bigger man-bits!)  So take that, those of you with full heads of hair are just slightly lower on the male hormone scale than us baldies.  Public service announcement over…

But sadly, there are those that just can’t accept that their follicles are under siege (and losing) and will go to all the lengths of a complex military operation to avoid it – camouflage, deception, denial.  They deploy a series of tactics to hold off the inevitable, including:

The Perruque aka the wig, the toupee, the hairpiece, the rug, the squirrel, carpet… 

The Comb-Over.  Yes!  You were probably waiting for this one…the King of the Denial styles.  Sort of like the ammoniated beef of haircuts…not quite a lie, but as close as you can get to lying without crossing the line.  The Comb-Over screams, “I cannot be a man without my hair!” 

The category has one Überlord – The Trump. Check out the complexity of his C-O: four distinct grooming phases, four distinct growing regions. Would love to see it exiting the pool….it would be awesome to behold and probably look like “Cousin Itt”.


These fellas can justify their grooming choice however they wish, but the Comb-Over says only one thing to me… “Mock me – please. I am insecure.”.  Give it up Comb-Over Man…nature has given you lemons – drink the lemonade.

So that leads me to the best haircut to adopt.  Without a doubt it is the Wilstassier (pronounced will-stah’-see- yay).  The WHAT – you ask? 

It is the Zero on the Wahl …the no mess, no fuss, no sh*t haircut…sported by the one man one who brought down Hans Gruber at the Nakatomi Plaza…worn with pride by the Cockney who took on the Mob and brought pikey Brad Pitt into the bare knuckle boxing ring…and the same “ ’do” that led the Oilers and the Rangers to Stanley Cup nirvana. Yes, the Willis-Statham-Messier.  You just do not mess with these guys…or their haircut.  Look around, they made male pattern baldness cool!

And that is how a man should be…straight up.  No gel, no dye, no primping, no hair appliances, no stylist, no beads, no jheri curl…just clean, smooth, bald beauty – Yul Brenner style – self-administered by the Mach III or the Braun.   That is the way real men do it – just before they eat their Quiche.  So go on lads, shave it down to the wood…liberate yourself. Be free.  No one mocks The Wilstassier…at least not to your face…