If you’ve ever seen Triple H, Randy Savage or Hulk Hogan enter the wrestling ring, you immediately notice their long hair. So, why is it that these beasts of beat downs have long hair? There are many reasons why they do this that range from the practical to the fashionable and even historical.
Long hair on men has always been a symbol in Westernized civilizations that denote strength, power, bravery, and courage. In the world of wrestling, it offers protection, hidden communication, and distraction as well as for shock effect and showmanship, among many others.
Believe it or not, there are several factors that offer practical benefits for a wrestler to wear their hair long. First and foremost, it offers a cushion from bumps, bangs, and other injuries to the head. When they wet their hair in combination with it being long, it provides the ultimate protection from minor head injuries.
Also, when wrestlers are coming up in the industry, they don’t make a lot of money. They live on a shoestring budget and can’t really afford to get a haircut. Ergo, they have to prioritize their expenses a little differently than the average Joe.
Performance ; Drama Purposes
A lot of wrestling seen on TV is mostly choreography, not all of it is real. So, the hair provides a mask to perform a sort of sleight of hand, making it something of a showpiece or prop.
They can use their head and flip it in such a way as to make a punch or throw more dramatic than it actually is, for instance. Also, if the wrestler has light-colored hair and they start bleeding, it stains their hair and sends the throngs of crowds in an uproar. Therefore, the hair helps sell the fight that’s going on, whether the injuries are real or not.
Plus, they have to communicate with opponents and team members as well as hide the fact that a blow didn’t take as hard as they pretend. They don’t want the audience to know they’re choreographing movements, their intention is to entertain. It helps them call the next spot while going unnoticed.
As a Fashion Statement
Yet, there are some wrestlers who love to wear their hair long. They have lovely locks and want to show them off, whether in the ring or operating in daily life. The fact that it protects them during matches and other wrestling events is a bonus.
Yet others are classic metalheads and rock music aficionados. They wouldn’t dream of cutting their hair for the world. This concept harkens back to the golden age of WWE wrestling in the 90s.
It was during this time that rock and metal genres reigned supreme. Long hair was a strong-held value and these televised wrestling matches featured the music as wrestlers entered the ring. They still play such music during a wrestler’s entrance, but the culture is a little different today.
Historical Basis ; References
Plus, long hair is synonymous with the ultimate badass warrior persona. This has been a part of human psychology and civilization for thousands of years. Since the ancient Vikings, Greeks and Romans, wrestlers, warriors and heroes wore their hair long. The most notorious of these are Thor, Zeus, Achilles, Jupiter, Poseidon and Apollo. It symbolized strength, brute force, and power.
There are other popular tales and legends too. The biblical story of Samson and Delilah is one such famous example. In short, Samson was a great warrior and the story centers around his long, illustrious hair. It’s important to his power and how he is able to defeat enemies.
Delilah has his hair cut, rendering him powerless. This was a deliberate act of betrayal, knowing it would leave him vulnerable.
Vietnam Military Study
And there’s a scientific basis and evidence for the practical reasons behind why the ancients had men wear long hair. Long hair to humans is something like whiskers on cats. They give us an almost sixth-sense-like quality to our awareness.
There was a military study done during the Vietnam War about warriors and soldiers that had long hair. Native American tribes became the subject of the study. This showed how men with longer hair were able to intuitively detect danger far better and more acutely than those with shorter hair.
The Middle Ages to Today
During the Middle Ages, men with short hair were a symbol of the subjugation of some kind. This was the style for monks, priests, slaves, peasants, prisoners or some other such thing. Therefore, it was a sign of humility for men to have short hair.
These ideas and perceptions have not left the psyche of humanity. They, therefore, echo these sentiments in the modern world of professional wrestling. Fans were shocked when people like Stone Cold Steve Austin and Shawn Michaels shaved off their hair, for example.
Why Are Some Wrestlers Bald Then?
As you may well know, not all wrestlers adorn their shoulders with long, luscious hair. Some are straight-up shiny and bald. This also serves practical purposes, albeit leaving their skulls open to injury. However, some bald wrestlers will oil their heads, which allows punches and blows to slide off rather than make a direct impact.
But, then there are others that simply just want to go bold because they’re tired of their long hair. Yet some have to do it because of genes and Father Time. The long hair doesn’t look right anymore. Regardless, going bald still provides that strong, powerful and forceful persona wrestlers go for and fans adore.
Wrestlers have long hair for several reasons. For many, it provides a protective barrier from feeling the sensation of blows and punches while giving a bit of a cover to communicate with opponents. But they could simply like wearing their hair long or because they want to reflect something more ancient about human history, like the awesome power of the Greek gods.