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The Official NBA Hair Power Ranking 2021

We Ranked Every NBA Team Based on Their Hairstyles

Forget the playoff race; this is the only power ranking that matters

Tirhakah Love
Published in
13 min readMar 11, 2021

Update 6/7/22: Level has a new home. You can read this article and other new articles by visiting

Last July, the NBA set up shop in Orlando to close out the 2019–2020 season in an isolated zone at Walt Disney World. Within that bubble, the 22 teams competing for a championship had a wealth of amenities at their disposal, from fishing and films to bowling and boating. But while the coronavirus forced the rest of us to self-groom our quarantine hair situations, the bubble ballers enjoyed one of the most clutch perks of all: not one, not two, but three on-campus barbershops, all open daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Even still, watching the tournament-style bubble games, you could see which players took advantage of the six staffed barbers (Lonzo Ball) and who didn’t (Harrison Barnes, who deliberately placed his own facial hair at the mercy of his team’s performance). With the NBA back to a more conventional model, the capacity for hair care and fresh cuts is back to something approaching normal — but halfway through the season, the gaps between the good, the bad, and the straight-up tragic cuts aren’t any less prominent.

The NBA remains a treasure trove for Black experimentation, so it’s only right that LEVEL puts players’ pelts under scrutiny for a second straight year, ranking the truly outstanding braids, beards, fades, ’fros, and whatever the hell is happening on Patrick Beverley’s head. Before we get it poppin’, let’s lay out the ground rules.

The process

Team by team, I examined each NBA squad’s starting lineup, bestowing upon each player a numerical grade based on the aesthetic quality of their follicles. Additionally, one bench player was graded and factored into each team’s consideration. The average of these figures represents each team’s overall hair score. (This is in-game only, which means that folks who only keep their shit crisp for rest nights or the banana boat still get dinged.)

Critical considerations and admissions of bias



Tirhakah Love
Writer for

African from Texas• Staff Writer at LEVEL • Black politics, Celebrity interviews, TV & Film Criticism • Previously: MTV News, San Francisco Chronicle