Why Are So Many NBA Players Bald? (3 Reasons)

Why are so many NBA players bald? Even the greatest of all time Michael Jordan is bald.

Do they do it so they can become more like a ball? Or is it something else?

NBA players are bald for a lot of reasons such as their age, genes, too much exercise, and they chose to do so. Balding is common in most sports as their testosterone levels get high which reduces their hair growth.

Even so, there must be deeper reasons as to why they’re bald, right? Let’s find out.

Why are so many NBA Players Bald?

There are a lot of bald NBA players today and back then. But why exactly is that the case? Is it because they play basketball?

Here are the main reasons that we found:

1. Their Age and Genes

We know that as you grow older, your hair will start to fall a lot. Though this isn’t the case for all, age plays a huge factor in basketball.

A lot of aging NBA players starting from 30 and up are showing signs of baldness. Couple this with the fact that they may have bad hair genes and they could accelerate their baldness.

This is why a lot of NBA players towards the end of their career and when they retire are bald.

2. Stress

Stress can also play a factor as to why not just NBA but basketball players in general are bald.

One search and you’ll be bombarded by articles that says stress and hair loss are related. This is a proven fact.

NBA players play at the highest level of basketball in the world, so they’re subjected to intense amounts of stress each day. They exercise, practice, and play a lot of games.

This causes their body to heat up at extreme levels which isn’t ideal for hair growth. So, we can logically conclude that stress and too much exercise plays a lot of factors to their baldness.

3. They Chose to go Bald

But not all NBA players are bald and even those who retired still have a lot of hair. For instance, Jerry West, Bill Russell, Scottie Pippen, Dr. J, Larry Bird, and many others still have hair.

So, some players just like to go bald. They intentionally make their hair shorter or shave it altogether for a couple of purposes.

One, to hide the fact that they’re balding. Yes, some players just shave their head so they won’t feel insecure about balding.

The other reason could be that they’re not balding but they just like a free-flowing head. They don’t want any distractions when playing.

Plus, being bald is common in basketball at this point that there’s no shame in choosing to shave your head.

Is Balding Common in Sports?

Balding is actually common not just in basketball but in most sports. This is due to a lot of factors but mainly their testosterone levels being so high.

Since they exercise and do a lot of physical activities a lot, their testosterones can destroy their hair follicles.

For instance, UFC fighters are commonly bald.

So, since basketball is also a physically demanding sport, it makes sense that a lot of NBA players are bald.

Should You Shave Your Head as a Basketball Player?

The answer as to whether you should shave your head or not depends entirely on your preference. If you don’t mind the look, then you can sport the bald head.

Here are some pros and cons of a bald head.


  • Low maintenance
  • Less distractions
  • Fewer costs to maintain means you can save more money
  • It’s common in sports so you won’t stand out as much
  • It can hide the fact that you’re balding


  • It can lower your self-esteem
  • You won’t be able to rock any other hairstyle
  • It will take long to grow your hair back or it will not even grow at all
  • It gives off an old man look

In the end, the choice depends entirely on your preference and situation. Our suggestion is to try it first temporarily.

You don’t need to go bald completely but just shave it short enough and see if the benefits outweigh the disadvantages.

Will You Go Bald as a Basketball Player?

We learned earlier that basketball players or athletes in general tend to be more susceptible to becoming bald.

So, the chances of you going bald or losing a lot of hair isn’t high.

Specifically, it’s a bit higher than people who don’t play sports. But there’s still a lot of chance that you won’t go bald.

So that doesn’t mean that you should stop playing basketball – especially since it’s a good exercise.

How Come Balding Players Regain their Hair?

A lot of NBA players who has been balding early on in their careers have suddenly grown their hair back later.

One of the most popular examples of this is LeBron James. His hairline has been receding early in his career, but it seems to have improved now.

It has been believed that he has undergone a hair transplant or two throughout the past seasons. As he’s more than capable of doing so now, he may have invested quite a lot on his hair.

Some players may choose to go this route or just don’t bother with it and shave it completely.

But since they’re rich, we’re sure they can afford to get a hair transplant anytime.

Famous Bald NBA Players

Kobe Bryant 2014
Kobe Bryant 2014 by Keith Allison

In light of the topic of NBA players’ hairs, we thought you’d appreciate this list of the most popular bald players.

Some fans may have even forgotten that they’re bald since they’re so good at the court. Here are the most popular bald guys in the league.

1. Michael Jordan
2. Kobe Bryant
3. Shaquille O’Neal
4. Kareem Abdul Jabbar
5. Magic Johnson
6. Ray Allen
7. Vince Carter
8. Jason Kidd
9. Charles Barkley
10. Kevin Garnett

Final Thoughts

A lot of NBA players are bald for a lot of reasons as we have learned. But being bald is common in not just basketball but in most sports.

So, whether NBA players chose to go bald or not, it’s nothing more than aesthetics. The true test of their greatness lies on their attitude, character, and their accomplishments.  

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