The Official NBA Hair Power Rankings
Ball is life, but so is a fresh cut. Which team’s cut game remains sharp?
The war is over: No American sports league can touch the NBA’s global visibility. Players both past and present are in more movies, more commercials, and the absolute most fashion blogs of them all. Bankable stars like LeBron James and Kevin Durant are spokespeople for their own brands; even Chris Paul, whose likability remains a matter of debate, has a seemingly infinite number of State Farm commercials. These aren’t just athletes, they’re icons — which makes a concept like “sticking to sports” both impossible and straight-up backward.
But because the NBA is so vast and fun, it’s equally silly for fans to stick to sports. With the league’s premium on presentation and outsize personalities, each game is a visual feast illuminating the many cultural and social ingredients that inform the global popularity of the league.
And perhaps nowhere is that beautiful difference better highlighted than in a player’s hairstyle. From baldies to locs and fades to braids, the geometry, flair, and oddball quality of the league’s hair is wildly underreported. So we’ve decided to Bigen this bald spot and show love to the flyboy bizarreness that is the NBA follicle. Welcome to LEVEL’s Official NBA Hairstyle Power Rankings.
Team by team, I looked at each NBA squad’s starting lineup and gave each player a numerical grade based on their hair and then averaged each quintet’s scores to get a team grade. (This is in-game only; if you keep your shit crisp only for rest nights or the banana boat, you’re still gonna get dinged.)
Critical considerations and admissions of bias
To define our parameters, “hair” refers not just what’s on the scalp; every player gets checked up from the neck up. After all, with so many players struggling with hair loss or opting for shaved heads, facial hair has become increasingly important, and it factored strongly here. That’s not to say a dedicated Beard Power Ranking isn’t a future possibility, just…