Rugby & Hair – How to Play With Long Locks

Last updated on October 7th, 2018 at 08:53 pm

Rugby is a pretty intense and physical sport. You are constantly running, either with the ball or without the ball; and much of your time is spent hitting other players. Thus, your hair, especially if it is long, is a disadvantage on the rugby field as it will get pulled and be grabbed (despite hair pulling being illegal in rugby). I’ve played rugby and have played this sport with my curly hair long, so I know personally how bad it is to have long hair as a rugby player. In my book, The Men’s Hair Book, I cover and detail in length all the available hair accessories for men and I reference my time playing rugby and using hair accessories.

For those of you who insist (and rightly so) on playing rugby with medium or long length hair, you have several options to safeguard your hair, which I outline following this paragraph. Failure to use any of the 3 options below will have you running a risk of losing hair as your opponents grab into your locks to tackle you; this is a serious issue because repeatedly getting your hair pulled out from the follicle can actually irreversibly damage the hair follicle, which means permanent baldness.

Rugby & Long Hair: Wear a headband around your head

This one is the least recommended hair option for you out of the 3 I will give you. Headbands will pull the hair back, but they will not remain in place as you get into the game; the headband will move and so will your hair, exposing your long locks to potential bad sportsmanship from the players on the other team.

Headbands are best used with medium length hair, not long length hair. Simply wrap the headband around your head and then pull the front part of the headband (just on top of your forehead) up and back to secure the hair across your hairline and keep the hair off your eyes.

Buy this headband for your training/matches (Amazon)

Buy this headband for your training/matches (UK Amazon)

Rugby & Long Hair: Tie your hair with a band

Tying your hair with a hair band is much more preferred than using a headband, more so if your hair is long (i.e. 6 inches or long-length category as per my hair book).

Sebastien Chabal playing rugby with long hair and a tied hairstyle for his wavy locks

Tying your long hair to play rugby is a very good idea if you want to avoid losing some hair from having it grabbed by opponents!

Ideally, you want all of your hair tied into a secured bun that leaves no hair dangling. Alternatively, you can leave the hair tied into a ponytail or only tie segments of your mane; whatever you do, aim to have the least amount of hair loose because that’s where the opponent can grab you by.

Buy these hair bands to tie your hair for your training/matches (Amazon)

Buy these hair bands to tie your hair for your training/mates (UK Amazon)

Rugby & Long Hair: Use headgear

Using rugby headgear is the best option in terms of playing rugby with long hair (or medium length hair). This is because your hair is safeguarded by the headgear itself, so your opponent cannot grab your hair even if you haven’t tied your hair prior to inserting the headgear. However, you have to make sure that all of your hair is inside the headgear as any hair/locks that are outside the headgear can be pulled or grabbed.

If you want to buy a rugby headgear and use it, I recommend you to also get yourself hairbands (as per the previous point) and tie your hair prior to fitting in the headgear; this will be your best option to keep your hair safe when either training or playing rugby. For what is worth, do bear in mind that rugby headgear doesn’t protect your from concussions, only from lacerations (i.e. someone steps in your head with their boots’ studs and cuts into your scalp). It is also very important to buy a good-quality headgear such as the one in the Amazon links below; I’ve never used headgear but my long haired teammates swear by this headgear:

Buy this rugby headguard for your training/matches (Amazon)

Buy this rugby headguard for your training/matches (UK Amazon)

Rugby & Hair – How to Play With Long Locks

So there, if you have long hair and play rugby or want to play with great gentlemen’s sport in the near future, then choose one of the above 3 options for your hair (head band, hairband or headgear) and get playing, mate!

All the best.


Image credit: BalmainRugbyClub

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