The Best Joel Embiid Hair Moments

Written By Bakes

Avid writer on Men's Hair, Grooming, and Lifestyle!

Our gallery features Joel Embiid Hair styled in various ways since his draft to the NBA in 2014. Some of the most reoccurring styles range from his,  

  • Buzz Cut
  • Afro Fade
  • Afro Blow Out
  • Cornrows
  • Box Braids

Since his draft to the league in 2014 we have witnessed in real time the changes to his appearance and hair which we have documented below.

Joel Embiid Hair Gallery (Every Hairstyle)

Our gallery features every single hairstyle Joel Embiid has had since entering the league.

Buzz Cut

The year is 2014, its NBA draft season, round 1, pick 3, Philadelphia 76ers welcomes baby face Joel to the team in his relatively short buzz cut.

short hair in the nba

We see a rookie Joel in a buzz cut at 1 level across his entire head, it’s the perfect balance between practicality, simplicity, and style.

A common trend we notice amongst NBA athletes joining the league is them having shorter hairstyles within their draft year and then getting more experimental as time goes by.

Joel Embiid Hair cut short

The contemporary athlete places a massive emphasis on their looks and appearance which is why we see multiple styles outside of the buzz cut today.

Afro Fade

Today Joel can be seen mostly in his afro fade which makes this style his signature look. It’s worn both on and off the court.

Joel Embiid Hair in an afro

The NBA has a great representation of African American players with afros who transition over to protective styles.

In the example below we see Joels signature afro beside James Harden Hair in cornrows. James Harden also joined the league in a buzz cut but transitioned to braids.

afro hair in the nba

Joels temple fade is subtle and slightly above the ear which is used to draw more attention to his beard as the fade is gradual towards his facial area.

Afro Blow Out

Due to the nature of afro hair being coily and not straight were able to see him using a blow dryer with a pick attachment to show his true length.

Joel Embiid Hair in an afro blowout

This is also a method used to ensure ends are not tangled with knots so that the braiding process can be achieved.

Joel will often use this method to get rid of shrinkage when hair encounters water and stretch it out so that the styling process is easier.


The foundations were set with his thick afro which was then used to create his cornrows!

Joel Embiid Hair in cornrows

Now there 2 main benefits which regards to an athlete placing their hair in protective styles, 1, its practical and low maintenance, 2, its aesthetically pleasing.

The misconception around cornrows is that it makes your hair grow longer, when in actuality what it does is it retains length.

If Joel’s hair is placed away in a protected style there’s no pulling and tugging whilst he’s on the court with reduced manipulation at home.

Carmelo Anthony braids has seen the benefits of this, and we imagine this is the reason Joel decided to implement the look!

Box Braids

The most common styles we see him alternate between are his cornrows and box braids.

box braids

Cornrows are braided very close to the scalp whilst box braids are braided away from the scalp creating 2 different unique looks.

Allen Iverson changed the culture around braided hair in the NBA which can still be seen today years after his retirement.

Being the 1st African American player to have his hair in cornrows has led to many others follow in his footsteps, whether that be braids, cornrows or twists.

Extended Gallery

Key Take Away: Maintenance

Both curly and coily hair types require maintenance to preserve its health and look. Grooming practices need to be set in place which are simply, ensure that you

  • Oil your scalp.
  • Keep braids in for a maximum of 6 – 8 weeks.
  • Protect hair at night or doing any physical activity.
  • Moisturise your Hair.

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