Lionesses’ Hair – It’s Not The Mane Event
The UEFA Women’s Euros have catapulted the Lionesses into the spotlight, having captured our attention and our hearts this past month. However, that’s not to say their campaign has been smooth sailing – women’s football is historically less popular than men’s, and is often the victim of sexist remarks. You may have even seen a number of adverts on TV over the last few months in an attempt to combat this, and it seems it was not in vain, with the Lionesses’ hair, and their overall appearance, taking a back seat from any scrutiny – at least in compared the previous tournaments.
Viewing figures, funding and fowl-mouthed fans aren’t the only difference between men’s and women’s football – there appears to be a noticeable difference between the players’ hairstyles.
Looking back to the (Men’s) 2020 UEFA European Football Championship, which was held in 2021, you may remember midfielder Phil Foden sporting a bright, bleach blonde look, whilst French midfielder Paul Pogba is known for his striking styles – including a leopard-print dye job and a blue mohawk. Foden reportedly made the decision to switch up his look after getting a break on the England team, whilst Pogba uses his hair to show off his sense of style whilst remaining in uniform. Yet, a few years ago Pogba appeared at the World Cup with very minimal, even natural, looking hair. At the time, he explained that he wanted people to only focus on his performance and not his look, so if they want to criticise him, it could only be on his performance.
In contrast, the Lionesses presented a unified front at the Euros, all sporting pragmatic ponytails and buns. Carolyn Newman, UK Insight Ambassador, explains: “I think the Lionesses want fuss-free hair so they can focus on their game without it getting in the way. They wear it long so they can tie it up, or we have also seen female teams wearing it short so it stays out of their face – but they still show their own personal styles either through colour or accessories such as headbands. Chloe Kelly stood out for that incredible goal and celebration, but I was also drawn to her two-toned hair.
“However, the Lionesses are showing us that they are strong, amazing athletes and having their hair look uniform, alongside their kit, makes them look an even better team – and at the end of the day, it’s about the team standing out, not the individual.”
Meanwhile, Lisa Farrall, UKI Ambassador for Matrix, suggested that the Lionesses might have been taking a page out of Pogba’s book, sharing: “After making the entire country proud and with a manager like they have, I don’t believe the army of pony tails was a coincidence – more of a political statement saying, ‘Don’t comment on my hair or appearance but on my game and the ball’, which I certainly stand with.”
Let’s not forget, this is the first time that a senior England football team has won a major trophy in 56 years, which truly highlights the skill and determination of the team.