Stories Photo essay

If you haven’t heard that the FIFA Women’s World Cup is underway, you must live under a rock. As the tournament enters its 9th edition, a total of 32 teams — 8 more than the previous edition held in France — are facing off for the coveted FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 trophy.

Football or soccer, whichever you choose to call it, is evidently a team sport and we definitely saw an impressive array of newly launched kit from each country, but as we approach the final match of the tournament we couldn’t help but notice certain players who stood out on the field for their own stylistic individuality, perhaps the old saying “there’s no ‘I’ in team” doesn’t always ring true, well at least when it comes to hair.

From bold hair colours to bubble braids, we’ve compiled a selection of some of our favourite athletic looks from players who levelled up their hair game while maintaining the practical requirement of keeping it under control and match-ready.


By Tautahi Subritzky

Crystal Dunn (Defender - USWNT)
Crystal’s ombré blue braids were a major hair moment during the games. Whether plaited or pulled up into a ponytail, they brought the D-R-A-M-A. The blue coordinated headband is a perfect accompaniment to this look too. Why not match your hair accessories to your hair colour? We’re definitely a fan of Crystal and this look.

Megan Rapinoe (Forward - USWNT)
Fellow team member and former captain for the USWNT, Megan Rapinoe is infamous for her vibrant hair colour choices. For this year's games, Megan was inspired by Crystal Dunn’s commitment to the blue hue and coincidentally the tuft of blue atop the FIFA Mascot ‘Tazuni’s’ head.

Who’s who?
Megan peace signing for a pic alongside the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 mascot ‘Tazuni’ the “fun, football-loving penguin”.

Jun Endo (Midfielder - Nadeshiko Japan)
Leave it to a member of the Japanese team to serve a bold colour-popping hair look like this one. Pulled back into a bun with a black headband, Jun’s signature pink hair makes a statement wherever she is, both on the field and off.

Getting a feel for the field
Jun Endo’s hot pink hair looks equally as cool worn loose, sans headband, while she’s in full contemplation mode.

Kadidiatou Diani (Wide Man - Les Bleues)
Raw emotion, team spirit and national pride. This is a prime example of coloured hair being more than just a beauty choice.

J’adore bleu
Kadidiatou’s pale blue braids were undoubtedly inspired by France’s ‘away’ kit for 2023.

Alexia Puttelas Segura (Midfielder - La Roja)
The Spanish ‘away’ kit for the 2023 games referenced the coral reefs of Southern Europe and the Australasian region, aiming to turn attention to the plight of ocean preservation globally. Alexia coordinated her fuschia pink hair colour with the uniform's ocean-life print, further highlighting this environmental statement. It doesn’t hurt that it also looks shockingly good.

Sophie Schmidt (Midfielder - The Canucks)
Sophie’s dip-dyed bob with an athletic headband evokes power and strength.

Thembi Kgatlana (Forward - Banyana Banyana)
Showing pride and bringing awareness to the LGBTQIA+ community (often ignored or overlooked when it comes to sports), Thembi Kgatlana made a statement in more ways than one with her rainbow-coloured hair look.


Marta (Forward - Seleção)
Like Cher or Madonna, you only need one name when you’re at the top of your game. Marta is considered one of the GOATs of football, having won the ‘FIFA Player of the Year Award’ an unprecedented six times and holding the title of Brazil’s all-time record goalscorer, male or female, with 115 goals. Marta often favours a “half up half down” hair look and we’re in full support. Unfussy and match-ready.

Gabriela Salgado (Midfielder - Banyana Banyana)
Are undercuts actually cool again? We’re definitely leaning toward HELL YES after seeing Gabriela rock one.

Rachel Daly (Forward - Lionesses)
Scrunchies are a colleen go-to for a number of reasons; not only do we think that they’re super practical for being a less damaging alternative to secure your hair up, but we’re also really into the nostalgic vibe that they bring. Rachel Daly gets the buzz, utilizing a black scrunchie to keep her bun in place during team training.

Kaylin Swart (Goalkeeper - Banyana Banyana)
A sleek bun with zero flyaways has always been a staple style on social media and again popularised thanks to the Balletcore trend but after seeing Kaylin’s impressively slick version, perhaps we should reconsider and think of them as Football-core instead.


Lina Hurtig (Forward - Blågult)
If you think about pixie cut icons like Mia Farrow, Twiggy, Goldie Hawn or Annie Lenox, there’s no doubting how cool they can be and we’re obsessed with Lina’s icy blonde version. It’s just so badass. End of story.

Malia Steinmetz (Midfielder - Football Ferns)
There’s no need to adjust your ponytail or re-knot your loose hair if you’re Malia Steinmetz. Throw on your kit and you’re game ready.

Quinn (Midfielder - The Canucks)
Quinn made history as the first openly trans and non-binary player at the World Cup and when it comes to short hairstyles, Quinn knows what’s up. In a time where gender norms are being questioned, how you choose to wear your hair should definitely not be restrained by “rules”. We commend you, Quinn.


Alisha Lehmann (Forward - La Nati)
With over 15 million followers on Instagram, Alisha holds the title of the most followed football player at the tournament, utilizing her account to bring attention to the sport. With social media being such a major part of her career we couldn’t help but be engrossed by the "football-glam” that she delivered.

Bubble braids
Alisha is definitely on-trend when it comes to her choice of ponytail styling.

Ponytail highlighting headwear
‘Ponytail beanies’ are a thing. Who knew keeping your head warm and highlighting the fact that you’ve got a ponytail could look kinda cool?

Cho So-hyun (Midfielder - Taegeuk ladies)
With hair pulled back into a low pony So-hyun epitomizes Romy and Michelle’s Highschool Reunion quote “You look so good with blonde hair and black roots it’s like not even funny”.

Giada Greggi (Midfielder - Le Azzurre)
There’s no re-inventing the wheel when it comes to ponytails in this shot but can we stop for a moment and talk about volume?

Sara Däbritz (Midfielder - DFB Women's Team)
There’s nothing more classic when it comes to athletic hairstyles than a plaited ponytail. The pop of pink on the nail? Chefs kiss.

Hayley Raso (Forward - Matildas)
How do you level up a simple ponytail? Put a bow on it of course! Hayley coordinating her bow to the Matilda’s ‘away’ kit.

Casey Phair (Forward - Taegeuk ladies)
Casey stands as the youngest player EVER to play in the world cup at the age of 16. Casey also clearly got both memos, a classic plaited pony with a coordinated bow. Go, Casey!


Sure the kits were cool but we couldn’t help but obsess over the off-field looks that certain teams delivered. The partnering of fashion brands with athletes isn’t a new concept but it was these off-field looks where the fashion truly leveled up.

Team China, also known as the ‘Steel Roses’ partnered with the luxury Italian fashion house Prada and they couldn’t be more classically cool.

Team Italia were dressed by Emporio Armani (of course). Molto Italiano.

Easily one of the most talked-about fashion moments from the Women’s World Cup The USWNT in genderless suits by British designer Martine Rose.

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