R9 Haircut (The Story Behind it, Haircut, and its Influence)

Written By Bakes

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

The year is 2002, the biggest sporting event is taking place in Korea and Japan, Ronaldo debuts his iconic R9 Haircut which receives both praise & scrutiny.

Whilst sports media continued to document each moment of the game, we also saw a high priority given towards his haircut during the 2002 world cup.

It was bizarre & different but most importantly it did what he wanted which was to get the world talking.

Our editorial details everything around the most iconic football haircut ever!

Story Behind the R9 Haircut

With an intense amount of pressure to perform Ronaldo felt the pressure as he had been injured several times during this period, this created doubt and uncertainty.

R9 Haircut in 2002

To quote the legend himself

“I decided to cut my hair and leave the small thing there. I come to training and everybody saw me with bad hair.

“Everybody was talking about the hair and forgot about the injury. I could stay more calm and relaxed and focused on my training.”

“I’m not proud about the hair itself because it was pretty strange. But it was a good way to change the subject.”

There was a method to Ronaldo’s madness, he strategically placed all attention on his haircut and not his injury, did it work? Well, were writing about it decades later, Brazil won the world cup that year without much mention of his injury!

The Haircut itself

Ronaldo’s haircut is buzzed down from the mid-section, sides and back with a triangled shape pattern left at the front with a high level

It’s haircut contrast in reverse, traditionally haircuts with different levels are shaven at a lower level and on the sides or back on head which are fades.

In this Ronaldo haircut example it goes against the traditional practice, higher at the front and shaved down at the back.

The haircut itself was inspired by a character named Cascão from Brazilian cartoon series Turma da Mônica.

The former athlete specifically apologised to mothers who had to watch her child copy his hairstyle, it was terrible but we can’t say it didn’t mark time!

R9 Haircut in Pop Culture

The influence around the haircut continues to present itself even today through musicians, athletes and sports fans mimicking the look.


2022 Halloween and Kano shows up to the party in the iconic haircut along with the Brazilian football jersey and world cup.

R9 Haircut

Each and every year we anticipate football supporters shaving their heads this way during Halloween which we will continue to document below.

Football Fan

During the 2022 world cup Ronaldo was spotted in the stands watching the game, the cameras then cut to a Brazil fan with the signature haircut moments later.

R9 Hairstyle


Man City keeper Ederson gave Richarlison the iconic R9. Back in 2021 we saw the 2 in an Instagram post reveal richarlison new look.

UK Student

Back in 2022 a school student was suspended from school for this infamous haircut as the principal stated it didn’t adhere to the school uniform.

student with ronaldo haircut

R9 Haircut vs Skullet

The principle of both haircuts is the same, but the positioning of the haircut is what differentiates the hairstyles.

R9 Haircut vs Skullet

The skullet features hair being completely bald at the frontal area and crown whilst there’s hair towards the back and sides, a perfect example of his would be Hulk Hogan Hair.

The R9 focuses on a very low haircut at the mid crown section, sides and back with small patch of hair in the front.

In our opinion the R9 may be the most appropriate out of all bizarre haircuts when we compare it too the skullet or a gelled up mohawk, makes sense right!

Main Takeaway: Be Daring

We won’t remember the times we choose to play it safe, only the times we choose to be daring and the R9 perfectly depicts this.

Yes it was bizarre at the time, but it was also a cultural moment that has gone on to influence the masses.

In all fairness any haircut at the time would have caught the attention of the masses as he was regarded the best in the world.

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