The Evolution of David Beckham

By | April 4, 2016

The man, the myth, the legend, David Beckham has been a household name in the US since he and his wife, Victoria Beckham, moved here in 2007. Beckham has been touted as fashion icon, a heartthrob, and a soccer star. He is a man of many accomplishments. Today my friends we will look at this evolution through a different lens; we will look at David Beckham’s hair.



Let’s begin, at the age of 16 Beckham joined Manchester United at a trainee[7]. Beckham sported a typical 90s boy cut with a slight undercut and a middle part[8].


In 1995 Beckham gained momentum on the soccer field, becoming a regular for Manchester United. During his first full year of play, Manchester would win both the Premier League and FA Cup double[7]. Beckham’s hair situation was just a grown out version of what he wore in 1993, minus the middle part[8].


In 1997 Beckham’s hair may have been in his eyes, à la Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic[8], but this did not prevent him from scoring from halfway down the field against Wimbledon[7].

Image retrieved from Google Images.

1998 added some gloss to his hair. Beckham went platinum[8] in preparation for Manchester United winning the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League treble in 1999. 1999 was also the year that Beckham and his wife, Victoria Adams, married and welcomed their son, Brooklyn into the world[7].


In November of 2000, Beckham captained the English team for the first time against Italy[7]. For the occasion he shaved off the golden locks[8].


2001 brought the evolution of the mohawk[8] along with a place for England in the 2002 World Cup finals where they would later lose to Brazil[7].


Real Madrid tempted Beckham into transferring during the summer of 2003[7]. Beckham also was tempted into trying corn-rows[8], not a good look in my opinion. Late 2003 brought the release of the tight braids into a much more sensible man bun[8].

Image retrieved from Google Images

In 2004 he shaved it all again[8] and was named by Pelé to the FIFA 100[6]. This list of 75 retired players and 50 current players chosen for their greatness was created in celebration of FIFA’s 100th anniversary[6].

2006 brought the return of hair[8] but also Beckham resigning as England’s captain after a loss to Portugal in the World Cup quarter-finals. The end of Real Madrid’s season and a win of the league did bring some pep back to Beckham’s step[7].

Image retrieved from Google Images

Beckham decided to shave it all off for the third time in 2007[8] in preparation with his move across the Atlantic to join the LA Galaxy[7].

Image retrieved from Google Images

On loan to Milan in 2009[5], Beckham began to regrow the hair.

Image retrieved from Google Images

With his headband holding back his longer locks[8], 2011 would bring the LA Galaxy its third and Beckham his first MLS Cup[4].

Image retrieved from Google Images

Image retrieved from Google Images

2012 brought the return to his undercut days and a second MLS Cup[3] .

Image retrieved from Google Images


In 2013 Beckham would join Paris St Germain eventually winning the Ligue 1 title[1]. This win made him the first English player to win championships in four different countries and would mark his retirement from football[2] .


David Beckham has traversed the world playing soccer, from England to Spain, from Los Angeles to Milan and back again. Both the hair and the kit of this superstar have changed a lot over the years with certain colors and styles bringing more heartbreak. But it is the constant movement that has kept Beckham a focus of today’s society. Looking at the trajectory of this player through his hairstyles may seem superficial but each style is a snapshot in time, marked by its own accomplishments or defeats.


[1] Associated Press. 2013. “David Beckham’s Paris St-Germain clinch French title.” BBC Sport, May12. Accessed April 2, 2016.

[2] Associated Press. 2013. “David Beckham: ex-Man Utd, Real Madrid & AC Milan star to retire.” BBC Sport, May 16. Accessed April 2, 2016.

[3] Associated Press. 2012. “David Beckham wins MLS Cup in final LA Galaxy match.” BBC Sport, December 2. Accessed April 2, 2016.

[4] Associated Press. 2011. “Landon Donovan leads Galaxy to title.” ESPN, November 21. Accessed April 2, 2016.

[5] Associated Press. 2008. “Beckham to join Milan in January.” BBC Sport, October 30. Accessed April 2, 2016.

[6] Best Football Players Ever. 2004. “FIFA 100.”

[7] ABC Australia. 2013. “Timeline: the life and career of Beckham.” Last modified May 15.

[8] Bleacher Report. 2013. “The Evolution of David Beckham’s Hairstyles.” Last modified May 16.

One thought on “The Evolution of David Beckham

  1. Ben Jackson

    I love your interesting take on such a storied career. I feel like David Beckham’s career exploits have been hashed and rehashed many times, but all that means nothing in comparison to his exploits in the realm of men’s hair! I mean “Bend it Like Beckham” is a reference to the bend of those luscious locks atop his perfect head right? In all seriousness, David Beckham though a great player maybe one of the few players who has become more famous for his off the field success then his on the field achievements, especially in America. I know when American’s think of the Manchester United Legend they see the underwear modeling, supermodel marrying, inspiration for the cult classic movie “Bend it like Beckham” not the soccer player. Global businesses such as Adidas, Calvin Klein and Samsung have commercialized the star and changed how the Beckham is known and represented. At this point Beckham is a celebrity who happens to be good at soccer. And it’s no loss to Beckham who according to Forbes. com, made $75 million in 2014 alone, the highest annually earnings of his entire life. For better or for worse this is who Beckham is to the larger American populous and therefore his hair is just as important as his Ligue 1 title to us.


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