Some athletes have distinctive hair that helps them stand out. For example, no one in NBA circles could match Dennis Rodman’s ever-changing hair color. It was an iconic look that everyone associated with him throughout the years. Allen Iverson made cornrows popular in the early 2000s the way Michael Jordan made it cool for basketball fans to sport a shaved head with any hair at all.
Similarly, former Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher was also always known for his bald head. It was what fans became accustomed to expecting when they saw Urlacher. Since he’s retired, Urlacher’s figured out a way to get a full head of hair back. Let’s take a closer look at how he did it, and how that threw fans for a loop.
Hall of Fame career and distinctive look
During his time as an NFL player, Brian Urlacher was known for unleashing vicious hits on his opponents while patrolling the middle of the field for the Bears’ defense. The Bears selected Urlacher with the ninth overall pick of the 2000 NFL Draft.
According to Pro Football Reference, he made eight Pro Bowls and was named to the All-Pro team four times. Urlacher last played in the NFL in 2012. Canton came calling in 2018 when he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It was his first year of eligibility.
Urlacher’s teams never won a Super Bowl, but he did appear in one. He was known throughout his career for being the leader of the Bears’ defense. He also became known for his bald head. It became such an ingrained part of his appearance that to show up with any other look would have been jarring for fans who had come to recognize Urlacher bald.
That time Brian Urlacher reappeared with hair
Being bald has to be a great look for football players. After all, they spend each day in games or practice sweating and taking their helmet on and off. Hair just gets in the way. That’s why Urlacher likely enjoyed the bald look. But what about once his playing days had ended?
GQ reported that in 2016, Urlacher appeared with a full head of hair. It was a much different look than the one fans were used to. Urlacher said his daughter enjoyed the look. But how could someone who had been bald for so long rebound with hair, as if he’d never lost it in the first place?
How Brian Urlacher got his hair back
Urlacher told Dan Patrick he’d had follicle replacement surgery. The company Restore by Katona completed the procedure. While many cures for baldness have popped up throughout the years, the company claimed they had a foolproof method.
They’d take the follicles from the back of a balding man’s head and move it to the top of the head. The entire surgery took eight hours.
One other company tried to cash in — unsuccessfully — on Urlacher’s head of hair. The Palm Beach Post reported that after Urlacher underwent the procedure, a Florida-based medical facility used his likeness to promote their hair replacement product.
They did this despite not working with Urlacher at all. They even attempted to lure Chicago residents to Florida for the procedure with travel deals. Because they didn’t ask Urlacher’s permission first, he sued the company for $200,000 in damages.
Ultimately, Urlacher’s new look was a positive change for him. Now that he’s not playing anymore he has more time to dedicate to the upkeep of his hair.