Featured Article: The many varying hair loss management techniques of professional sports and their many varying levels of success
So, if the internet is anything to go by 2/3 of us will have experienced some degree of hair loss by the time we’re 35 – and the statistics only get worse from that point on.
As the old wives’ tale goes males inherit hair loss from their mother’s side of the family, and I am fortunate enough to have two uncles on my mother’s side as bald as a doorknob. This did not stop me from giving endless shit to any of my mates’ whose hairlines were transitioning from a plentiful high tide down to slightly less plentiful low tide, or in some cases drying up entirely. If anything, I found myself incessantly hounding my mates who had more letters in their first name than strands of hair on their head – as they say the bully is often the most insecure.
Well, at my most recent haircut I found out that karma has come to collect. “Definitely a bit thinner up top” my hairdresser informed me, in a state of panic I rushed over to mum’s house and asked her to double check assuming she’d at minimum lie to boost my confidence – no dice.
With my thick locks going the way of the dodo bird, let’s examine how the world of professional sports has handled hair loss, and just to guarantee my impending baldness is an absolute certainty we’ll begin with the hilariously ineffective and work our way up.
Assume He Lost A Bet
Carlos Boozer: Many of you will not know who Carlos Boozer is, but he played in the NBA for 15 years and even suited up on the Cleveland Cavaliers with one of the higher profile members of the hair loss community – LeBron James. He had a relatively successful career but will live on forever in internet infamy after attempting to cover up his bald spots with what we can only assume is shoe polish.
Could you imagine going around to your bald-digger of a mate’s house to find not only does he now have hair, it’s also shiny and unbeknownst to Carlos Boozer it drips when it heats up. There are no pictures of this that I could find in my 5 minutes of googling but that’s ok, because after seeing the shoe polish success story that is Carlos Boozer, none other than Rudy Giuliani jacked his move this past year with similar results.
Definitely Not a Hair Transplant
Shane Warne: Warnie is the crown jewel in the transparent tiara that Advanced Hair Studio’s make all their clients wear to show off their impressive hair ‘regrowth’. Their advertising is dubious to say the least and I’m pretty sure he’s wearing a wig in the picture on the right, but the king of spin and Advanced Hair Studios wouldn’t lie to us, what would they possibly have to gain from that?
The Advertising Standards Authority disagrees and has banned several Advanced Hair Studio’s ads for “unsubstantiated claims” and its “likelihood to mislead”. In other words, its definitely a hair transplant.
I’m Not Losing My Hair, You’re Losing Your Hair
Gary Ablett Snr: I’m too young to have seen Ablett Snr ever lace up the boots, but I do know what he lacked in hair density he more than made up for on the field. You’ve got to be pretty special to earn the nickname ‘God’ and yet despite never seeing him play, I’d say he was undeserving of the title. Does anybody really think God is up watching the second season of Euphoria and rocking the party at the back, nothing at the front cut like Ablett Snr in the later stages of his career?
I hope so! But its probably unlikely. To be truly deserving he’d need to be able to snap his fingers and stop his hairline from doing him dirtier than Dan Andrews did those in the public housing towers. I could die a happy man if, in a similar vein to the dickheads who walk around with a ‘Dusty’ cut after every Tigers premiership the kids of the 90s were running around and shaving the top of each other’s head to give them ‘the Ablett’ after every Cats premiership.
Steering into the Curve
Gary Ablett Jnr: Remember what I said earlier about males inheriting their hairlines from their mother’s side of the family? I guess Gary Ablett Jnr pulled the short straw. As they say though ‘Smart men learn from their mistakes, wise men learn from the mistakes of others,’ and Ablett Jnr had a front row seat in how not to handle hair loss by kicking back and watching his father stick his head in the sand.
Armed with intergenerational knowledge, Ablett Jnr took matters into his own hands and pre-emptively shaved himself into the chrome dome league (where members secretly lick each other’s heads when no-one else is watching) before things became untenable. He may have waited one year too many before his big date with the clippers, but the results speak for themselves after the big chop.
This one’s been done by a few of my mates, and as some have found out the hard way is definitely a one way street. Once you wax the big noodle there’s no going back and your mates will have to wear sunnies for the rest of their lives to handle the glare coming off your turtle-waxed bowling ball.
The Skeleton in The Closet
Tiger Woods: Perhaps most damming of all the Tiger revelations was the discovery that underneath that crisp cap of his he was hiding the darkest secret of all. It wasn’t the 7(!!!) alleged mistresses or his pain killer addiction, but instead a hairline that had paid the cost of the previously mentioned vices, as well as being in the global spotlight since 1997.
Tiger uses the commonly employed cap technique that several members of my social circle have made their bread and butter. With golf being an outdoor sport, Tiger has managed to get away with this for years no questions asked. It’s far more difficult to pull off in a day to day setting, and usually a clear giveaway when out of the blue one of the boys isn’t seen without a cap on his egg. Whether it be in a swimming pool, after-dark or at the movies, if the cap isn’t coming off you know there’s a skeleton in his closet. The inevitable ‘Bit sunny mate?’ call hits all that harder when there’s no soft locks to cushion the blow.
The world of professional sports hasn’t really given us much. By the looks my options are either to shave it all off or super glue a hat to my scone.
Welcome to the real world – if only I knew a website that sells caps.
Leave a comment