By Robert Marlowe, The Cutthroat Journal
I think we can safely cut to the chase in answering whether the barbering industry is affected by our celebrity and sporting icons.
Yes and YES! Who doesn’t want to be like their hero? We all remember fantasizing about replicating our star player, scoring the winning goal in the cup final of our chosen sport, if that were NRL, AFL or whatever that sport might be.
For me personally being an avid soccer fan growing up in the UK it was Ian Rush, Kevin Keegan, Gary Lineker, Paul Gascoigne, Barnsie, Terry Butcher, Waddle & Hoddle. As I remember, the fashionable look was either a trusty mullet or a curly, voluptuous bouffant hair doo, lacking much style in general.
When did celebrity and professional sport people become the fashion icon they are today? I don’t remember people thinking of Shane Warne as he took his 400th wicket “oh yea, I must put on an extra 50kg of weight, grow my hair into a mullet and start smoking marijuana!”
There was a period through the late 80’s and early 90’s where globally, professional sports became more professional and the idea that sportsmen had to become faster and fitter than they ever were before! As sporting fashion icons go, I’m not sure there’s anyone more influential and successful in this area than Sir David Beckham.
Now to be honest with you, Beckham is not a Sir yet, only a mere OBE recipient, HOWEVER he should be! For his service to the hair industry alone! This is a man who won league titles in four countries: England, Spain, the US & FRANCE. He took out 19 trophies in his 20-year footballing career. In 2004, Beckham was named by Pele in the FIFA top 100 living players and is regarded as one of, if not Britain’s leading cultural icons, along with Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and Mary Fucking Poppins!
To enhance his reputation in scoring goals, he married Victoria Adams, better known as Posh Spice in 1999, since which he’s had four children, whose God Parents include Elton John and Liz Hurley, and is often referred to as Golden Balls!
1996 – Spice Girls perform at Top of the Pops and David arrives with blonde tipped hair doo.
1997 – Possibly not as good looking as the man he has grown into, but with a great head of now blonde hair signs a £1million 1-year deal with Brylcreem.
1998 – Sent off in the World Cup quarter finals game against Argentina, which England go on to lose, Beckham is vilified by the media as a hate figure, labelled a pretty boy.
2000 – Beckham shaves off his beautiful blonde locks down to the skin. Reported as the £470 haircut ‘short Becks and sides’.
2001 – Beckham presents us with the Mohawk, inspired by Taxi Driver.
2002 – Back in popularity, Becks varies from shaved head with asymmetrical forehead slit, through to different lengths with assortments of tramlines, having taken on a new barber, who struggled to earn £70 per week to being a fully booked shop charging £300 per cut.
2003 – Beckham has the great pleasure of meeting Nelson Mandela with cornrows. He admits a possible mistake.
2004-2011 – Varies, most regularly from dyed faux-hawk, to long hair pushed back with an Alice-band, skinned, to dyed blonde all over.
Other influential cuts from a large sphere of inspiration are the NRL boyz, primarily beauties like Jai Arrow, Andrew Fifita, Nathan Cleary and my personal favourite if I had enough hair, Johnathon Thurston back in the day.