Here’s what famous athletes looked like before they had their iconic hairstyles

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Robert Laberge/Getty

In professions that often have strict uniform rules, professional athletes have found other ways to express themselves, including over-the-top hairstyles.

Many of today’s top athletes have become synonymous with a certain hairstyle, whether it’s long and flowing, dreadlocks, spikes, or just a sweet high-top fade.

But their hair wasn’t always like we know it now. Looking back to when these athletes were younger, they’re almost unrecognizable.


DeAndre Jordan has been gradually growing out his afro and goatee.

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Ethan Miller/Getty

This wasn’t the case as a rookie.

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Robert Laberge/Getty

Jacob deGrom has arguably the most famous mane in baseball.

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Christian Petersen/Getty Images

In high school in 2010, deGrom had his hair more under control.

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YouTube/Stetson Hatters

Marshawn Lynch also has iconic hair.

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Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Here’s what Beast Mode looked like in high school.

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via Youtube

Kyle Beckerman’s hair makes him the most recognizable player on the US men’s national soccer team.

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Yes, this is Kyle Beckerman (right) for the Under-23 national team in 2004.

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Bernardo De Niz/Reuters

Larry Fitzgerald is known for his dreads.

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Christian Petersen/Getty

But when he was a Heisman finalist in 2003, his hair looked way different.

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Dodgers infielder Justin Turner looks like he is in the wrong century.

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Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

But in 2010, Turner looked more like your neighbor’s son who is off to college.

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Nick Laham/Getty Images

Odell Beckham Jr.’s hair is something else.

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When he was at LSU, it wasn’t quite so unmistakable.

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via Youtube

Iman Shumpert’s flat-top has become his signature look.

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Thearon W. Henderson/Getty

But as a rookie, Shumpert just kept his hair short.

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Abby Wambach is one of the most dominant soccer players ever, male or female, and her hair is instantly recognizable.

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Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

But in 1998, Wambach was rocking a ponytail as a member of the Florida Gators national-championship team.

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ESPN

Clay Matthews is almost as famous for his hair as he is for his tackles.

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Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

In 2008 at USC, his hair was already on its way to greatness.

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YouTube/InsideTroy

Titans backup quarterback Charlie Whitehurst has earned the nickname “Clipboard Jesus” for his long hair and beard.

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Scott Cunningham/Getty

Here’s what he looked like in 2006.

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(NFL via Getty)

Of course, Johnny Cueto’s hair is pretty famous also.

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Jamie Squire/Getty Images

But in 2009, Cueto was just another pitcher with the Cincinnati Reds.

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Riley Cooper has some of the longest hair in the NFL.

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At Florida, he rocked more of a mop.

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Chris Archer was stylin’ as a guest host for ESPN during the World Series.

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ESPN

But the ace we affectionately call “Big Tree” had a smaller hairdo in 2012.

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Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Boston Celtics big man Kelly Olynyk has had a vintage hairdo since entering the league in 2013.

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Mike Lawrie/Getty

As a freshman in college, Olynyk’s hair was shaggy, but well on its way.

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Rob Ryan has the best hair of any coach in sports.

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In 2006, he looked like someone you might meet at a Jimmy Buffet concert.

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NFL via Getty

Tim Howard has one of the most famous bald head-beard combos in sports.

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Tim Howard had things backward in 2002 with New York-New Jersey MetroStars.

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Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

Along with Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard has made the New York Mets a great pitching staff with amazing hair.

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Sean M. Haffe/Getty Images

We only need to go back to spring training in 2014 to see a different Syndergaard.

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Rob Foldy/Getty Images

Serena Williams’ hair is nearly as powerful as her game.

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But in 1999, Serena was more known for her beads.

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Joakim Noah has always rocked the bushy ponytail/man-bun in the NBA.

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His hair was long in college, too, but he went with cornrows.

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Jamaal Charles has iconic dreadlocks.

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But he didn’t when he was in college at Texas.

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Nene Hilario’s long, tied-back braids have become part of his look.

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But as a rookie, his head was almost shaved.

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Jason Kelce looks like a legitimate mountain man.

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But his hair — and beard — haven’t always been quite so out of control.

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NFL via Getty

LSU product Tyrann Mathieu of the Arizona Cardinals is also known for his blond hair.

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Christian Petersen/Getty

For a little while in the pros, he got rid of the blond, which he also rocked in college:

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Journeyman Lou Amundson has taken his ponytail to 10 teams in nine years.

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But in 2006, he was still working on growing out his hair.

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Ethan Miller/Getty

Derrick Rose’s hair is longer than ever, somewhere between an afro and a flat-top.

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Jeff Zelevansky/Getty

When he entered the NBA, his head was practically shaven.

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Now check out which NBA players have the most money to spend on their hair.

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The NBA’s 25 highest-paid players