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Joakim Noah’s Hair Isn’t Going Anywhere

Joakim Noah’s hair isn’t going anywhere. It has become part of his identity and he isn’t going to cut it.

Jessica Camerato profile picture



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The hair isn’t going anywhere. At least, that’s the plan.

Joakim Noah’s locks have been part of his M.O. for as long as he can remember. They became a conversation topic in the NBA on Draft Night 2007 when an image of his curls pouring out from underneath his Chicago Bulls hat stole the show.

The dominating big man has no intention of cutting his hair anytime soon.

“The only time I would cut my hair is if something really, really – if somebody that I loved like passed or something like that, then that’s the only time I would cut my hair,” Noah said. “[It would be symbolic] just because we shared a lot of experiences or something together. If something like that was ever to happen, that’s when I would cut my hair. But I’m not planning on cutting my hair right now.”

There was a time when Noah went went under the scissors. He chopped his hair during his junior year of high school. The reaction has stuck with him to this day.

“I had long hair before that, just like as long as it is now,” Noah recalled. “I remember going into the gym with that short hair and my teammates were killing me, killing me! I didn’t leave my dorm room for like, for a month. It was very depressing.”

Noah’s hair has become part of his uniform on the court. Rather than wearing it down or with a headband, like players such as Kelly Olynyk and Josh McRoberts, Noah pulls it up for action.

“It’s my samurai bun,” he explained. “It’s my look. I feel comfortable with it.”

Noah knows many people are not a fan of his hair. He doesn’t care, either. His basketball career has never been about confirming for others, and he isn’t about to alter his appearance to please critics.

“I think it’s my identity,” Noah said. “It’s who I am and I feel like it’s just interesting how somehow my hair has rubbed people the wrong way for some reason. I kind of like it. I kind of feed off that. My hair’s my identity. I am who I am.”

Jessica Camerato is a bilingual reporter who has been covering the NBA since 2006. She has also covered MLB, NHL and MLS. A graduate of Quinnipiac University, Jessica is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association and the Association for Women in Sports Media.

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