LeBron James’ hairline is one of those supplemental storylines that’s subtle but persistent. Nobody’s about to ask him about it in a post-game press conference, but to the millions of people across the world watching the Cleveland Cavaliers star on a regular basis, the questions are hard to ignore.
Does James, who at 30 would certainly be prone to some hair loss, dye his hairline that does seem to be undeniably receding? And whether he does or doesn’t, who’s in charge of keeping the world’s sixth-highest paid athlete looking like, well, the world’s sixth-highest paid athlete?
Thanks to Yahoo! Sports’ Marc J. Spears, we now have the answer. Nick Castemanos is James’ private barber, and has been since October 2010, shortly after James signed with the Miami Heat. James was introduced to Castemanos by Dwyane Wade, who was set up with the barber by former Heat forward Dorell Wright.
So now that a reporter has tracked Castemanos down, what more do we know about James’ hairline?
“There is no dye. No additives. No preservatives,” Castemanos told Yahoo Sports in a phone interview Thursday. “Everyone thinks he’s dying his hair using [temporary hair colorings] Bigen or Black Ice. It’s all his hair. They still don't believe me. I get Bigen comments all the time.
“I’ve become numb to it. It used to bother me. It's not easy to hear that.”
There we have it. Castemanos, who in addition to James, Wade and Wright also cuts hair for Kobe Bryant and Spike Lee, also said James is one of his more meticulous clients—one of his haircuts typically takes almost an hour.
“LeBron is very tedious about how his hair is cut,” said Castemanos, who has been a professional barber for 11 years. “The beard is the No. 1 thing. He leaves the top up to me. I leave him less bald. He’s my guy.
“He’s my hardest haircut. He has good hair. You have to cut it right. He just has a few fat patches around the chin that you have to take your time with. You have to have patience. It usually takes about 50 minutes.”
Castemanos is now James’ private barber, as the Cavs star asked him to move to Cleveland last August. He can still take clients on the site, so it’s safe to say the 29-year-old barber keeps pretty busy.
That answers one prominent question for this NBA Finals. Next up, perhaps: do the Cavs have enough in the tank to hold off the Golden State Warriors?
- Mike Fiammetta