Barbers abuzz with World Cup haircut requests
Football-mad fans give hair-raising support to stars
Nobody wants to look bad playing the Beautiful Game.
Little surprise, then, that players have gone vain in their quest to look good on the pitch.
From the mohawk to dreadlocks, to Neymar's homage to the cockatoo, footie tresses have never looked so good.
So what are the popular styles at the barbers and hair salons?
Spaniard Sergio Ramos's windswept fringe and Cristiano Ronaldo's zig-zag buzzcut (a warped parody of Harry Potter's forehead scar), said Mr Jay Anudin.
Mr Anudin, 25, is the manager of The Golden Rule Barber Co in Little India.
He told The New Paper that he gets about three requests a week for football player-inspired hairstyles.
Mr Anudin charges between $28 and $35 for a haircut, depending on the complexity of the lines involved. A "Ronaldo" is, like the player, expensive: $35.
DeepCuts SG gets about 80 requests a month.
Its 22-year-old founder, who wanted to be known only by his Instagram moniker, Barber Faz, said: "To be honest, the excitement was low pre-World Cup. Now, it boils down to who the most successful player on the pitch is.
"I have customers coming in, showing me pictures of the same three to four players and asking me to copy that."
These players include Ramos, Italy's Claudio Marchisio and ironically, David Beckham, who is not even involved in this World Cup.
Inspired, TNP headed to Sultans of Shave, an upscale barber shop in the heart of the central business district, for our own World Cup-inspired hairdos.
Mr Sean Ong, a barber at Sultans of Shave, described the difficulty of his job to TNP.
"Customers hand us pictures. But Caucasian hair is very different from Asian hair, even without factoring the type of hair the customer has, such as frizzy or straight.
"Because of that, a lot of my job is actually artistic interpretation.
"We create not exact replicas of famous hairstyles but rather haircuts based on that inspiration, tailored to an individual's hair type and head shape," said the 26-year-old.
Correspondent Shaffiq Alkhatib chose a hairdo modelled after Portugal's Raul Meireles, a mohawk without the pointy tip, while reporter Clement Yap picked Ronaldo's iconic zig-zag, which was supposedly modelled after a fan who had brain surgery.
The "Ronaldo" turned out to be the most difficult.
Barber Vick Hernandez, who is from the Philippines, had to use a pair of 9.5 inch-long shears and a razor blade to meticulously sculpt the zig-zag.
He took about 45 minutes.
After he was finished, Mr Hernandez said with a laugh: "This is only going to last for four to five days at the most before it grows back out."
Let this be a warning to any Ronaldo fans out there.
Mr Louis Lim, the 28-year-old founder of Sultans of Shave, said: "We haven't seen anybody asking for outrageous World Cup styles because our clients need something suitable for the boardroom.
"However, I have seen customers asking for beard styles based on Italian World Cup players."
But no, there has been no request for (English referee) Howard Webb's shaved head.
This is only going to last for four to five days at the most before it grows back out.
- Sultans of Shave barber Vick Hernandez, on the Ronaldo-inspired zig-zag.
First the hair, then the shirts
It's not just tresses.
Soccer jerseys are flying off the shelves faster than hotcakes.
The most popular? Müller (Germany), Neymar (Brazil) and Sneijder (Netherlands).
Owners of shops selling soccer memorabilia said business has been good.
Mr Kendrick Seah, 23, who works at Football Madness, said jersey sales have gone up 50 per cent since the first game of the World Cup.
He told TNP: "Customers want such a wide range of jerseys that it's almost impossible to pick out the most popular.
"If I had to choose, I'd say Neymar (jersey) is in the most demand.
"I have actually run out of small and medium sized jerseys for Germany and had to order more."
Customers don't browse the shelves choosing between different designs. They walk in with a specific player's jersey in mind, try on the size, and make the purchase. The whole process takes no more than five minutes.
A Brazilian jersey without any printing on the back costs $109 at Football Madness. Unmarked German and Netherlands jerseys cost $99. Printing of a player's name and jersey number costs an additional $45.
La Vanita at Peninsula Shopping Centre has also reaped the benefits of the World Cup, with a 30 per cent jump in jersey sales.
German jerseys have been the cornerstone of this jump. In particular, Schweinsteiger, Özil and Müller.
An unmarked German jersey there costs $80 while unmarked Brazilian and Netherlands jerseys cost $85.