Is Messi's New Haircut Really That Bad?

We ask an expert for their verdict on the Barcelona man's new do

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Lionel Messi showed up for his first day of training at Barcelona this week with a new haircut, prompting snide remarks among certain sections of the press who think A) it doesn't look great, and B), it may be a failed attempt to copy his long-time nemesis Cristiano Ronaldo's do, presumably to absorb – Samson-like – some of the Real Madrid man's powers and wrestle back the Ballon d'Or back this season.

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All of which seems rather unfair for a man who has never presented himself as a style icon, but Messi will understand better than anyone the scrutiny that comes with being one of the greatest footballers of all time, particularly when your biggest rival is one of the worst strutting peacocks the game has ever seen.

But is the new do really that bad? And what can he do to improve it? We spoke to Hari Efthymiades, stylist at Covent Garden barbers Ruffians, to get his view on Messi's cut and the one he's supposedly aping.

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"It's not that there is anything wrong with Messi's haircut per se... it's just the extreme contrast between the top and bottom sections won't be to everyone's tastes. Also unfortunate is that these photographs were probably taken a few days after the haircut, so the neatness and precision is already growing out.

"The barber has put in what is called a 'step', but because some time has elapsed between the haircut and when the photograph was taken, it looks like a bad fade. However, you can tell it wasn't originally a fade as there is no graduation from the bottom of the neck to just above the ear (it's all been shaved at the same grade).

"To improve the look, Messi could ask his barber to blend the denser part of the hair into the shaved back and sides - the weight taken out could then look like a proper skin fade."

"Ronaldo's haircut poses a couple of problems... for starters, you can see a tan line circulating the edges of his hairline which is just unfortunate. Like with Messi, it isn't necessarily a bad haircut, but just a style that doesn't appeal to everyone because of its extreme disconnection.

"There doesn't seem to be too much flow in this haircut – particularly at the back where you can see the top section falling flat onto Ronaldo's neck. This could have been better had his barber started at a low grade at the bottom of his neck and left a bit more weight further up, so the top section would have something to rest on.

"Aside from that, Ronaldo seems to have used a gel, which looks like it's gone sticky and crispy. For texture and volume that would look better, I'd use a matt paste or clay so it doesn't develop that sort of sheen."


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