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Football Fashion: The best hairstyle for headers


From Fellaini’s bouncy locks, to Beckham’s entire career, football has never been lacking in notorious hair do’s. But are some hairstyles more valuable than others? Bettingexpert dives into Opta’s stats of the most and least successful header attempts in the Premier League to determine if there is a hair style with a competitive advantage.

Best hairstyles for headers
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For bettingexpert to determine which hairstyles are most successful, we gathered the opta stats for the top 100 players with the most successful headers in the Premier League, as well as the bottom 100. Since there are a lot of players that make both lists (as these are the players that are doing the most header attempts overall), we have been able to create success rates for these players and their hairstyles. Here is what the data shows.

Best Cut: Short Shaggy

It seems that players who keep their hair trimmed, but not too tidy, have successful headers 25.5% of the time. Perhaps this hairstyle shows the character of the best header players—keep it tight, but carefree enough not to worry about how the ball will mess with their do. Or maybe the ball just bounces better on a gel free surface, we cannot be sure. All that we can be sure of is that this hairstyle is way ahead of the pack, increasing header chances by a margin of nearly 5%. The remaining 8 hairstyles that made the list range from a 15.5% to a 20.7% success rate. Meaning that their impact is minimal in their incremental improvement.

Worst Cut: Long Shaggy

It seems that the shaggy hair do needs to be maintained, otherwise the good luck look can pull a 180. The players who keep their hair long and unkempt only have a 15.5% success rate when it comes to their headers. However, for these players, it’s an easy fix to go from the bottom to the top. Chop chop.

Best Hair Colour: Black

At 19%, black hair tops the list as the most successful hair colour in the top 100 list. However, there isn’t a big percent margin for the remaining hair colours in our top 100 list. Brown hair trails only by 1.6% (17.4%) and Blondes sit at the bottom at 15.5%. However, in a game where every opportunity counts, players might want to reach out for some hair dye.

If Blonde players don’t want to dye their hair, then they can opt for shaving their heads—a shaved head will increase their success rate to 16.7%

Worst Hair Colour: Red

The only hair colour that was featured on the least successful 100, and not in the top 100, was Red. Players with red hair should head to the salon and request the most successful hairstyle: Black, Short and Shaggy.

Best Hairstyle: Black, Short and Shaggy

It comes as no surprise that the most successful hairstyle comes from the fusion of our most successful attributes. By combining them, players have a success rate of 27.2%—meaning over 1 in 4 headers will be successful. Their closest hairstyle competitor comes from Long Blonde hair that is tied back. However, with a 21.8% success rate, they can only expect approximately 1 in 5 headers to find the back of the net.

Leading the way with the most exemplar hair cut is Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge. Sporting the short and shaggy look, Sturridge has a 52% success rate on his headers—and he looks sharp doing it.

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