Justin Herbert chops off long locks, debuts new look ahead of meeting with Jets

If you watched Oregon football at all in the last four years, you knew the Ducks' star quarterback was an intelligent, long-haired local kid who was living his boyhood dream.

He's living his NFL dream now, but he's no longer doing so with flowing locks. Justin Herbert debuted a new look Wednesday, and it's, uh, something:

With the help of strength and conditioning coach John Lott, Herbert brought his look back from his late teens, which was coincidentally the last time he got a haircut. Herbert told reporters this week's fresh cut was his first since either 2017 or 2018, from which point he grew his hair long, complete with the headband to pull it backward and create the flowing effect.

"No particular reason. It was just time," Herbert said. "It was getting too long so it was time to cut it."

Herbert said he trusted Lott to handle the chop because Lott "said he was pretty good with the clippers. So he took care of that."

"I think he did a great job," Herbert said. "I wasn't looking for anything fancy. Just trimming it down. He did that job. So pleased with it."

Herbert is two clippers guards (the plastic clip-on to limit the trimming, not Patrick Beverley and Lou Williams) from a boot-camp cut, and frankly, most everyone already misses his long hair. As a bald man -- feel free to confirm with the above headshot – I advise Herbert to embrace his locks while he still has them.

After all, you never know when you might lose it. It could be 18. It could be 40. It could be 23 when you finally give in to the clippers (and eventually, the straight razor) and stop clinging to whatever sad, thinning hair was left.

Herbert's hairline is strong, much like his arm. He's got a good shelf life on that mop. But his is now more of a sponge than it is a mop, more Krabby Patty-flipping sea creature than Raggedy Ann.

This is a cut you get when you're about to hit conditioning weeks in high school football and want to keep your head as cool as possible. Perhaps Herbert grew tired of doing his hair. It's easier to go about completing your daily tasks when you don't have to worry about a bad hair day getting in the way. Plus, he has the Jets to prepare for this weekend. There's little time to spend trying to get his hair in line.

The one question we must ask: Why didn't Herbert get this done for free with a staffed barber? Oregon opened an incredible football facility seven years ago, and in it is a barber shop for the student-athletes. They likely would have shaped him up well enough for a GQ cover shoot.

In the end, though, one thing matters most in Herbert's rookie year: winning. His Chargers are 2-7, but have been very competitive thanks to his stellar play as a rookie. When it comes to his hair, the strategy is simple: function over fashion.

Plus, he wears a helmet for most of his TV time, anyway.

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