Bro Flows and Playoff Beards: Grooming Secrets of NHL Players in the Stanley Cup Final

We asked players from the Penguins and Predators to share their grooming secrets. (Hint: Beard oil. Lots of beard oil.)

I had a few questions for the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Nashville Predators, and they weren’t about the Stanley Cup. And no, they had almost nothing to do with hockey. It’s: What are the secrets to awesome hockey hair? Hockey players are admired for their bro flows and playoff beards—which become bigger and, um, better in the postseason. It’s almost a brag: Hey, we’ve got multi-million-dollar salaries and great genes. See?

Here, we chatted about grooming and, of course, Jaromir Jagr at the NHL’s 2017 Stanley Cup Final Media Day:

Ian Cole (Penguins)

Who has the most iconic beard/hair in the NHL?

Jags [Jaromir Jagr] has some good hockey hair. Mike Commodore always had that big, fiery, red beard when he was in the playoffs, and that was always good. Lanny McDonald always had a great mustache as far as hockey facial hair, which was always a legend in my book, for sure. As for our team, well, Bones [Nick Bonino] has a beard. I wouldn’t call it great, necessarily. I would say that mine is probably the best.

From what I’ve heard, the tradition started with guys who were so preoccupied with the playoffs that they just didn’t shave and then it just kind of went from there and it’s been building since then. Now, guys from other sports are hopping on board with the playoff beards. The more the merrier, I guess!

Tell us about your beard…

Yeah, I don’t know about my beard. It’s just, like, two-tone. It gets to about right here and it gets red. This is the longest it’s been. I started a little bit early in January in preparation to get a real good one for the playoffs. It’s been good luck so far. I tried to grow my hair for a little bit. It wasn’t for me. It wasn’t for me. My head’s too big and it just kind of makes it look like a big watermelon on my head and doesn’t work.
People have made some comments about my beard. They’re usually positive. My wife’s tend to be negative. She doesn’t think it looks terrible, but she’s also ready for it to be gone.

Oh, man. For the beard, I honestly haven’t touched it. Not once. No trimming, nothing, for almost five months now. For me, there hasn’t been much grooming. Not a lot of products. I tried to put some beard oil in it and it got all oily and I just didn’t like it. I always play with it and it just was all oily and my hand were all oily. So, I’ve really just let it go. I haven’t brushed it, really. I’ve just let it go wild. It’s au natural.

Mike Fisher (Predators)

Who has the most iconic beard/hair in the NHL?

Best mullet would have to be Jagr. Guy Lafleur had a good look, good flow.

Tell us about the evolution of your beard/hair…

You look at my draft picture and I’ve got dyed hair. We used to dye our hair bleach blonde in Junior. I have bleach blonde hair in my draft picture and it looks hilarious. I don’t think any of the junior teams do it anymore. Now, it’s just growing beards or some teams do mustaches, too.

I used to have long hair—like, long hair—for a long time. This summer, I decided to change it up and try to stay young now that I’m one of the older guys in the league. I tried for more of a younger look so I cut it a lot shorter. I’m right in between here with the beard. The longest beard I’ve had was when we went to the finals in 2007. I look at pictures and it wasn’t as good as it is now or as thick, anyways. My wife, Carrie Underwood, is not a huge fan but she doesn’t mind it.

All the guys have gotten beard oil every round with our names on it. I’ve been starting to put beard oil in and that actually helps.

Filip Forsberg (Predators)

Who has the most iconic beard/hair in the NHL?

All time? It’s got to be Jaromir Jagr. It’s hard to beat that one.

What’s the best term for “hockey hair”?

I would probably use flow. I don’t think I’ve used any other word, really.

Do you consider a flow a mullet?

Yeah. It’s maybe a little less curly. That’s how I want to say it, I think. If you look back at Jagr, he had all this curly hair. Other players in that era did, too.

Tell us about your flow…

I’ve always had the same haircut really. If you ask any of my friends, they’ll probably say I’ve never changed it. You look at all the European guys and they’ve got pretty good hair. You look at Roman Josi [on the Nashville Predators] and he’s got good flow, too. So, yeah, I think it’s a European thing.

It’s pretty tough. I’ve got really thick hair. Well, I don’t know. It’s getting to that point where it’s a little extreme, actually. I thin it out pretty often but I don’t take too much on the length. It’s tough. I think it’s a lot of dedication, too. Some guys pay a lot of attention to it. I’ve got a girlfriend and she seems to like it, so I’m happy with that.

Carl Hagelin (Penguins)

Who has the most iconic beard/hair in the NHL?

You’ve got to give it to Jaromir Jagr, when he had the mullet. That was always cool to see when he was skating around with the helmet and his hair was so long in the back. It’s not a great haircut when you’re not wearing the helmet, but when you have the helmet on, it’s great.

What’s the best term for hockey hair?

Oh, flow is the right word for hockey hair. I’ve never been a big fan of “salad” or “lettuce.” I think that’s sounds like the hair is pretty bad if you use those words. Flow is a good word. I think it just started back in the days when guys were skating around with no helmet and had longer hair and once they put the helmet on it looked cool with those curls in the back of your head.

Tell us about your blond locks…

I think by the time I was 12 or 13, that was when I started growing it. I went to college at Michigan and the coach was old-school and didn’t want me to have long hair, so I had to shave my head for four years. Once I got in the league I decided, well, let’s just grow it out again. I look at myself in the mirror when I have short hair and I feel like I’m 10 years younger than I am. Maybe that will be a good thing 10 years from now, but not right now. I think I just feel better and look better with longer hair than shorter hair.

I have terrible facial hair so I just try to grow out whatever I have. I think you’ve got to do it when you’re in the playoffs. I’ve done it every year.

I think, for me, I try not to use shampoo too often because then your hair gets a little flat. I think that’s the only tip I can give. I shampoo maybe a couple of times a week but not more than that. I mostly rinse. I throw wax in there at times. I usually get it cut every month and a half maybe but just an inch or two.

James Neal (Predators)

Who has the most iconic beard/hair in the NHL?

I thought Barry Melrose had the best hockey mullet, didn’t he? He’s here as an analyst with ESPN.

What’s the best term for hockey hair?

It’s definitely hockey hair. I just like the long hair. I like the way it looks. I enjoy having it come out of your helmet a little bit. I think it’s all part of the way hockey players are. It’s thick, long. You know, a nice, full head of hair.

Tell us about your multi-colored head of hair…

This is definitely the biggest beard I’ve ever had. Usually, I don’t grow a beard. I’m taking a little heat from my teammates because it isn’t the same color as my hair. There’s a little orange in there and a little red, which comes from the Irish in me. But I’ve enjoyed growing it out. It’s the first time and it’s the longest it’s ever been. My girlfriend likes my hair longer. And she’s been open-minded about the beard.

I think it’s a lot of genetics and if you’re lucky enough to have it then you’ve got to go with it. I definitely comb it. P.K. [Subban] has had his barber in town for every round so he gave us some product to put in our beards so it’s been working well and we enjoy that. I think a few guys have been using him.

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