Aubameyang, Taribo West & African football’s wildest haircuts

Aubameyang West GyanGetty Images
  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Arsenal 2021-22Getty Images

    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

    Auba debuted a bold new haircut when he departed on his holidays earlier this month, revealing a new leaner shaved look that leaves him looking sharp ahead of his first full campaign with Barcelona.

    However, even though Auba might have nailed it with this current lid, we can’t help but forget some of the questionable barnets he’s sported over the years.

    The most infamous, of course, were his post lockdown braids, where Auba demonstrated how things can fall apart when he’s separated from his stylist.

  • Taribo West Nigeria

    Taribo West

    Iconic stuff from the Nigeria and Championship Manager legend, who—in some quarters—was as famous for his outrageous hair style as for his on-field performance.

  • Asamoah GyanGetty

    Asamoah Gyan

    One of the most image-conscious players of his generation, Gyan has had some class haircuts over the years, not least at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.

    During the tournament, he dyed his favoured No. 3 in the side of his hair, although we’ve also seen Gyan dye or shave stars into his hair.

    The striker has generated some controversy in Saudi Arabia, where his outlandish haircuts have been criticised.

  • Marouane Chamakh FC-Arsenal 22112010Getty Images

    Marouane Chamakh

    No one told Chamakh that the mullet went out of fashion in the mid-90s, with the Morocco international maintaining a persistent loyalty to the haircut through his time with Girondins de Bordeaux and Arsenal.

    With that lid, the striker’s mug shot would have fitted in perfectly in the Mexico World Cup ’86 Panini sticker album.

  • abel xavierGetty Images

    Abel Xavier

    Mozambique-born Xavier, who represented Portugal at senior level, has had a few eye-catching hair-cuts in his time.

    A peroxide discipline, the former right-back always maintained consistency by dyeing his facial hair the same colour as his hair—be it braided, straightened or in a ponytail.

    The day Xavier combined braids, Mohawk, ponytail and sideburns to invent a whole new hair style was a truly remarkable day for football.

  • Djibril Cisse of FranceGetty Images

    Djibril Cisse

    Like Xavier, Cisse loved to have a play around with the hair dye, typically plumping for blonde but also toying around with matching the colour of his hair to the colour of the team he was playing for.

    The blue and white-striped combo when he was playing for Queens Park Rangers was a personal favourite, while the ‘Landing Strip’ also had many admirers.

  • Bastian Hery

    Did Madagascar international Hery deserve the banter he received for opting for a red afro?

    We’ll let you decide…

  • Loco Angola 2006


    Loco paid tribute to his hero Ronaldo during his and his country’s first ever World Cup in 2006 with this remarkable fringe-only effort.

    Extra points to Loco for adding his own personal touch to O Fenomeno’s 2002 final style.

  • Mario BalotelliAA

    Mario Balotelli

    The Italo-Ghanaian forward could have an article all to himself on some of the remarkable hair-dos he’s had over the years.

    We’ve seen multi colours, we’ve seen Mohawks, braids…no one can claim Mario’s not versatile.

  • Milan's Stephan El Shaarawy

    Stephan El Shaarawy

    Balotelli’s Italy teammate El Shaarawy was—earlier in his career—instantly recognisable with his high, sharp tilted Mohawk, which gave the forward almost a foot of extra height!

    The attacker, who was previously eligible for Egypt, has toned down the Mohawk over the years.

  • Gervinho Ivory Coast v Guinea Africa Cup 20012015Getty Images


    Gervinho’s haircut…which we’ll stop short of calling legendary…seemingly defies logic.

    How can one man have such long braids while simultaneously cultivating such a receding hairline?

    To protect the great man’s dignity, we won’t bring up that time when his headband fell off and revealed the truth.

  • Fode Mansare of GuineaGetty Images

    Fode Mansare

    On one hand, Mansare was kind of channelling Bakary Sagna with his middle-parting effort, but we have to give him points for originality anyway for that braided fringe.

  • Robert Kidiaba wa TP Mazembe na DR CongoISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images

    Robert Kidiaba

    Kidiaba’s iconic celebratory bottom dance gets so much attention that his stunning haircut often gets overlooked.

    We’re not sure if Kidiaba modelled his style on Mortal Kombat’s Goro, or vice versa.

  • Ahmed Musa of NigeriaGetty Images

    Ahmed Musa

    We’re not sure if Musa actively wanted an orange haircut ahead of the 2013 Nations Cup, or if he planned to bleach it and something went wrong.

    He claimed the style was to help him do well for Nigeria at the Afcon…so at least, in that respect, it worked.