The most famous man in the world? Quite possibly. We take a look at the hairstyles that have made the man, or the man that has made the hairstyles.
The envy of men and women the world over, he’s mastered his art, has a net worth of $300 million and a head of hair that’s seen more styles than we’d care to remember – some far better than others. Since he graced our screens as an unsuspecting 19-year-old midfielder for Manchester United in 1995, sporting poster worthy bleach blonde curtains – the envy of teenage boys and the infatuation of teenage girls everywhere – David Beckham’s hair has really been through it.
There are few hairstyles Becks hasn’t tried, from the man bun to the mohawk, admittedly some hairdo’s really were doing it for him and some just… weren’t. When we take a look back at some of Beckham’s barnets it’s hard to see why he is such a grooming god, but then we see all the times he got it right and we marvel at how hard it must be to make a mullet look good because somehow, he did.
Since the mid ’90s, David Beckham has kept us on our toes with his constantly changing hairstyles that paved the way for men’s grooming. Now, you didn’t need to trawl the pages of hair magazines or watch style segments to see where your next hairstyle was coming from – all you had to do was look to what Beckham had done with his hair that week. With a fresh faced Victoria Adams – aka Posh Spice – clinging to his arm wherever he went, Beckham soon transformed from gangly Premier League hopeful into celebrity ‘It’ boy with unprecedented style.
Over the past 20 years, Becks has put his best left foot forward and created an empire. An early loan to Preston North End and a dubious early contract with Brylcreem came to lay the foundations, and through the good styles and the bad, his hair has been there every step of the way.
David Beckham Short Hair
When Beckham first started out as a fresh faced lad, boybands were at the height of their popularity, the 90s were in full swing, and curtains were a mainstay of your typical teenage boys grooming regime. This may not be your most desirable of David Beckham’s hairstyles, but it was iconic nonetheless and no definitive guide would be complete without it. Believe it or not, with the recent resurgence in popularity of ’90s fashion and culture, curtains are not a million miles away from appearing on the walls of your local barber shop.
Back in the day, the likes of Leo Di Caprio, Johnny Depp and Brad Pitt were no stranger to those wet look, combed back curtains – Christ you probably had them. Becks was only following in the footsteps of giants and with his mousey brown do, baby face and agile left foot, he paved the way for us Brits to do the same. Nowadays, the curtains are making a comeback, so what better time to grab your comb and texturising clay?
Guide on Styling Short hair
If you feel like harking back to the good old days of Becks ’90s curtains, it is worth bearing in mind that this style is best suited to straight and wavy hair types. Requiring movement, mid-long hair is the easiest to work with to achieve this style – too short and the style will stick up looking awkward and rigid.
Start with damp, towel-dried hair and comb hair from the front to the back of the head. With the palm of your hand, gently push your hair forward from the crown of your head until the hair begins to naturally part at your hairline. Finding your centre part, divide the hair into 2 sections and comb one left and the other right, creating a straight centre parting down the middle of your head.
Apply texturising product into your hair and roughly blow dry the separated sections with the nozzle of your dryer facing down. We don’t know what hair products David Beckham uses, but you won’t go wrong with a light texture clay if you’ve got thinner manageable hair, and a thicker clay if your hair needs a little more control.
David Beckham Braids
Oh wow. Well what can we say about the cornrows other than that – David Beckham went and got himself some cornrows. And just in time for his visit to meet Nelson Mandela in South Africa, handy. DB has recently condemned himself for getting the traditionally African style braiding, claiming he must’ve been drunk when he agreed to that one.
We’re not really sure what the cornrows were all about. The vino’s flowing, the sun’s shining and David’s mate the hairdresser is pretty good at doing cornrows so you know what, David gets some cornrows. I think we can all agree the reality of the cornrows set in when he’d sobered up back on British soil, but nonetheless they happened.
How to Style Braids
In general, it’s best to avoid taking on David Beckham’s braids unless you’ve got the hair type to pull it off, which unfortunately Becks just didn’t. You can, however, achieve a similar, but less intense, look by honing the braiding vibe and merging it with the man bun look. Now before you think you’ll end up looking like a little girl on her first day of school, or just, well, a dick, then fear not, because there are ways to pull off this style.
The first rule is to go minimal at first. You can start off with just one braid running alongside your updo, or just use it to separate the different sections of your hair. You don’t have to go as complex as the above examples, but taking on some ideas can boost your hair style.
David Beckham Buzzcut
A new Millenium saw in a drastic new style for Becks. His curtains were left in the ’90s and with 2000 came a brave new hairstyle no one was quite expecting. By now, he was awarded his first England captaincy, was soon to become a Dad and had recently married Victoria. And of course to mark all this, Becks made the bold move and rid himself of his trademark blonde tresses.
Dubbed the ‘Short Becks and Sides’, DB’s new do reportedly set him back £470. Admittedly, there wasn’t much imagination required with this one, but it was brave and it kind of worked. The buzzcut – or close shave – was the shortest of all his hairstyles – a more mature look for Becks, plus it was a style that everyone could emulate, whatever their hair type.
The Guide on Styling The Buzzcut
The ‘Short Becks and Sides’ – more commonly known as the close shave, buzzcut or skinhead style- has never really been ‘in fashion’ but then again it’s never really been out of it either. Undoubtedly the easiest of David Beckham’s hairstyles to achieve, this hairstyle works for all hair types and lengths, as long as you’re daring enough to commit.
If you own an electric razor, you can do this one at home totally for free. When it comes to clipper blades – or guards – the lower the number the closer the shave so you’ll be wanting to opt for a number 1. Starting at your hairline, slowly move the razor in a fluid motion from the front of your head to the back, continuing this repetitive movement until all hair has been removed.
You can actually go for a number of looks when it comes to buzzcut depending on how short you decide to go. Take the faux hawk look for example, which can work with long hair to the tiniest stubble.
Worth noting when contemplating a close shave is that the look is extremely easy to maintain, however – and this may sound odd – you must honestly consider the shape of your head. They are great for receding hairlines, as they mask your natural hairline and blur it into a close cut, but not so great if your head has an irregular shape.
Which Face Shape Suits The Buzzcut?
The buzzcut can be a striking look and it’s not for everyone. Whenever you’re contemplating a new haircut it’s always good to think about the shape of your face and if it would suit the cut you’re thinking of. This is especially true for something as drastic as a buzzcut. Overall a buzzcut suits those with;
- Straight, angular proportions and a wide jaw.
- Strong features that can compete with the sparse and striking look of the cut.
- A matching stubble can help bring the look together if you’re not doing for a full 0 buzzcut, so guys who practice good beard care could pull off this cut
Hair Clipper Guard Guide
If you’re unsure on which clipper guard to use – that’s the attachment you’ve fixed to your electric razor – then this guide is a great way to find out. So if you were to chose clipper guard 1, you’d be left with one eight of an inch of hair growth; if you were to chose clipper guard 3, you’d be left with three eights of an inch of hair growth. The higher the clipper guard, the longer your hair will be. Guards 5 and 6 are used to taper the hair and do not leave one even length of hair.
David Beckham Mohawk
Just when we thought Becks was done with intrepid ventures into the realms of daring hairstyles, 2001 brought us the mini Mohawk.
Perhaps Becks most controversial ‘do, the mini Mohawk – or faux hawk – was a nod to Robert DeNiro’s manic depressive and schizotypal character in Scorsese’s psychological thriller Taxi Driver. He was inspired to get the chop after watching the movie and thinking the hairstyle looked ‘wicked’ – his words, not ours.
Safe to say, the hairstyle was not a hit with manager at the time, Alex Ferguson. An hour before kick off, Becks revealed his new pièce de résistance to the Man United boss who swiftly ordered him to shave it off. David relented and basically, that was the end of that.
The Guide on Styling The Mohawk
Not for the feint hearted, the mini Mohawk is an acquired taste. Best suited to mid length hair, this style requires texture and volume. Before you style this one, you’ll need to cut it. It’s up to you how much hair you leave in the middle, just make sure it’s centered and that the amount you shave off on either side is even. If you’re feeling uneasy about this, go to your barber to ensure a precise cut.
There’s no reason to go as extreme as Beckham and completely shave the sides of your head, and you can easily achieve a less intense cut by making the top part of your hair subtly longer than the sides.
It’s the styling that really finishes off this look, and it requires product that’s strong enough to mold the hair into a shape, and then keep it there. A strong gel is a good option, although this can sometimes create a ‘wet look’. If you’re not a fan of that trend then another option is wax or matt clay, which will give a more natural appearance to your hair. Work the product through your hair, starting from the roots and smooth into a peak using an upward motion from side to centre.
David Beckham Long Hair
Signed to Real Madrid for a blinding €35 million in the Summer of 2003, perhaps Becks felt like he had to sharpen up to fit in with his European teammates. Enter the man bun. In recent times, the man bun has been venerated by hipsters to become the alternative hairstyle of choice, and is now loved or loathed by billions around the world.
So sure they divide opinion, but whether you’re a lover or a hater there’s no denying – Becks claimed the man bun as his own before we even knew it was a thing. It was 2004 and the bleach blonde highlights were back along with a new lax look, tousled bun. A far cry from the days of the buzzcut and the mini Mohawk, David Beckham’s long hair a subtle return to his younger days and a more grown out, casual hairstyle.
The Guide on Styling Long Hair
Apart from David Beckham’s current hairstyle, the man bun is probably the most contemporary of all his looks through the years. Still a popular style, long hair is pretty much a necessity for the man bun, although mid length hair can work.
Typically, a man bun will sit lower on the head – close to the nape of the neck. For a more groomed and deliberate look, the man bun can be positioned a little higher on the crown of the head. To create the bun, work a pomade into dry hair. Scoop all of the hair from the underneath and comb your fingers through top sections of your hair from the hairline to create a ponytail, then feed the tail into a hairband and twist the band around the hair forming loose knots. An elastic hairband should be the only tool required for this hairstyle – the messier the better.
Beckham kept things balance by opting for facial hair with his man bun from time to time. Going overboard with a full beard could make you look a little messy, so keep it trim with a clean stubble. This will stop things looking too sleek, and will give you a rougher, rugged edge.
What’s The Difference Between Clay and Pomade?
David Beckham rocked slicked back hair when he had his man bun, and obviously that required a fair bit of product. When choosing which hair products to use, it’s useful to know which ones do what and what they actually are.
You may have never heard of a pomade before, so let me enlighten you as to what it is and the difference between that and a clay. A pomade is a waxy substance that gives the hair a slick and shiny finish and can be water and petroleum based. Clay on the other hand is a stiff wax that adds texture to the hair. The former should be used for a sleek look and the latter for a tousled look.
If you want to achieve a similar look to David Beckham then stick to the pomade and embrace your smooth, sleek man bun. If however you want to just take some inspiration from his look then you can create a messier bun with clay and go for a textured vibe.
David Beckham Bleached Hair
You’ve got to hand it to David Beckham, he seems to be able to make notoriously bad hairstyles work without really trying. Take 2007 for example, when following his transfer to LA Galaxy he took to a bottle of bleach and gave himself – or rather paid someone else a lot of money to give him – a peroxide makeover.
The actual hairstyle was short, tousled and very wearable. The colour wasn’t so wearable, but somehow Becks got away with it. The unconventional do took on an almost yellow tinge at times, but with his tanned skin tone and pearly whites, it all just kind of worked.
The Guide on Styling Bleached Hair
The peroxide blonde ‘do is an easy one to achieve but there is a lot of upkeep afterwards. This is only an option if your hair is in good condition and has not been abused by other harsh dyes in the past. Over the counter and on the shelf hair bleach is available – not to be confused with ordinary domestic bleach.
It’s important however to make sure you treat your hair as much as you can before and after you bleach, and never do it more than one every two to three weeks (unless of course you fancy loosing your hair). Bleach strips the hair of its natural oils and makes it course and brittle if it’s not properly done or cared for afterwards.
When you’re washing your hair afterwards, stay clear of the two in one cheap combos and instead invest in quality shampoos and conditioners, making sure they’re designed for dry or course hair. It wouldn’t hurt to add in some treatment after you’ve washed your hair, such as a leave in conditioner or hair oil. This will slowly help replenish the natural oils in your hair and repair any damage.
David Beckham Slicked Back Hair
Since the 1700s, the pompadour hairstyle has been the reserve of women – predominantly the elite – with hair swept back from the face in exaggerated curls and quiffs. This remained a popular style up until the 1940s – by this time men began adopting softened variations of the pompadour, namely Elvis Presley. Unarguably Beckham’s longest reigning hairstyle, the modern pompadour (sometimes referred to as the faux hawk) effortlessly mixes contemporary and classic styles perfectly.
The overall style is a trim, but not buzzed, cut at the sides, with the top noticeably longer and taking centre stage. David Beckham’s haircut took on a sleek and alternative edge and was often slicked back, helping to define the differences in length.
The Guide on Styling Slicked Back Hair
If you’re wondering how to get a quiff haircut, keep the sides trimmed and go for longer or shorter lengths depending on your preference. You can keep it well defined, with a tapered trim, starting out with a buzzcut near the neck and gradually lengthening the hair till it reaches the top of your head. The top section of hair around the crown and hairline should be kept longer, making sure to create a big enough contrast between the sides.
With the longer section of hair, comb from the hairline upwards working a texturising matt clay into the section. Backcombing will add body to the hair and will reduce movement if you’re not trying to achieve a sleek look. Using the comb, sweep the backcombed section of hair back to form a quiff and secure with hairspray or more product if required.
Comb hair back and find your natural parting using a good comb, then finger dry into the style to create volume.
– Porters Barbers
If you’ve got naturally curly hair and don’t feel like wrestling out the springs with straighteners then do the opposite and embrace your curls instead. This requires slightly different styling, so use a hair moose to help define the curls and keep them in place, then use a hairspray to avoid the curls falling out of place. Smooth out of the sides of your hair to help emphasise your top curls.
This hairstyle is great for round and oval faces as it adds height and elongates the face giving a longer and thinner appearance.
David Beckham Hair Products
Now you can’t get through life and these many hairstyles without also getting through a good deal of hair products. With his ever-changing style, use of bleach and recent fondness of longer locks, David Beckham has to ensure that his hair stays healthy and strong, especially with his fears of hair loss due to his family’s history of male pattern baldness. We’ve mentioned products to use for each style, but it’s important to find out what type of hair you have and what best suits it.
If you’re dealing with curly hair then one way to control it is to use a good moose to add definition and help smooth your curls. You can also use a spray gel to keep frizz under control without overloading your hair. Serum is another good choice when dealing with curls, as it coats the hair cuticles and lessens the chance of frizz.
To add some definition and personality to flat hair, get yourself a texturised matt clay or wax and finish off with some hairspray to keep everything in place, and stop your hair from relaxing out of shape.
It can be hard to get your hair into certain styles if you don’t have a lot to work with, but there are ways to make the most of what you’ve got, especially with the right products. Use a volumizing shampoo and blow dry your hair from the bottom up to give it more lift. For a quick boost you can rub a volumizing powder or dry shampoo into your hair. With David Beckham’s hair loss issues, there’s a chance he uses these products as well.
How to Get David Beckham’s Hairstyle
- 1999 – The Curtains
- 2000 – The Buzzcut
- 2001 – The Mini Mohawk
- 2004 – The Man Bun
- 2007 – Peroxide Bleach Do
- 2015 – The Modern Pompadour
On That Note
We are officially crowning David Beckham the king of versatility. Through the years he has sported some unfortunate hairstyles, but you can’t knock him for trying. Admittedly, the cornrows were a bit of a mistake but who could fault the buzzcut? The modern pompadour? And what about the classic ’90s curtains – which happen to be making a comeback. With this definitive guide, we’ve managed to cover all of DB’s key styles, with extensive tips on how you can achieve his most iconic looks.
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