Look good, play better?
That might be the secret for New York Mets pitchers Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard, who have earned almost as much attention for their hair around Major League Baseball as they have for their fearsome pitching.
“The hair, it does give you confidence,” deGrom says. “Whether you're out there on the mound or in everyday life, feeling good about your hair gives you that."
Not all that attention is positive, of course.
“Teammates have a little bit to say about it, but it’s mostly opposing fans,” says deGrom, the 2014 National League Rookie of the Year whose mane has inspired at least one meme, #HairWeGo, among Mets fans. “When we’re shagging fly balls in the outfield if we’re not pitching, I hear at least one time: ‘Get a haircut!’ But none of that really bothers us. We’re both confident in having long hair. It’s super simple and easy to style your hair and feel good on the mound."
— That's So Mets (@thats_so_marie) August 13, 2016
In fact, their biggest style critics might actually be each other.
"Jacob and I go back and forth about who has better hair,” says Syndergaard, who has earned the nickname "Thor" in part because of his flowing blonde tresses. “I think mine speaks for itself. There's some joking and ribbing in the clubhouse, but I think it’s all about jealousy."
So it's no surprise that they jumped at an endorsement deal with AXE during the 2016 season. Syndergaard and deGrom want to spread the message that styling is easy and fast, plus it gives them confidence on the mound. The two showed off their style choices in Manhattan in early August, giving some insight into what makes them both so successful.
DeGrom started growing out his hair in college. By the time the Florida native made his Major League debut, his unruly hair was unfurling from his hat. Styling it, he says, was purely practical: His long locks often whipped into his face while pitching, which distracted him from the game. That's why he likes to use the AXE Natural Look: Understated Cream on his hair.
“Styling it is a pretty simple process,” says deGrom. “I get out the shower, put some Natural Look in there, and I'm ready to go for the day. I let my hair air dry and it really does keep my hair out of my face—it’s an easy process.”
Syndergaard came to the hair game a bit later—the Texas native began growing his locks out in 2014 while playing for the Mets minor league team in Las Vegas. “I’m a big fan of the AXE Softening Cream,” Syndergaard says. "I’ll jump in the shower and then toss a little in my hair, and that adds that extra confidence that I need to go out there and perform at my best."
And with that confidence—plus some help from their equally magnetic teammate, Bartolo "Big Sexy" Colón—deGrom and Syndergaard think they can guide the Mets to a strong finish.
“We're all really optimistic,” Syndergaard says. “We’re ready to finish out this second half on a high note, get back to the playoffs, and get back to the World Series.”
Side note: The Mets did finish strong, ending up in the NL Wild Card game, where they lost to the San Francisco Giants.