“The Hos” is a hit.
Yes, Eric Hosmer has been red hot during the Kansas City Royals’ undefeated run to the World Series. But we’re not talking about his bat or his glove.
We’re talking about his hair.
Around town, more and more kids are asking for the modified mohawk worn by the first baseman.
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“I just like the way it looks on Hosmer,” said 11-year-old Luke Hagan of Overland Park. “I kind of imagined it on me, and I thought I could get it.”
That’s why he came to DeJuan Bonds on Thursday afternoon, the day after the Royals won the American League Championship Series. At his Purple Label barber shop in Overland Park, Bonds does haircuts for Hosmer and many other professional athletes.
“It’s going crazy right now,” Bonds said of the style. “A lot of people are asking for ‘The Hos.’ I’ve probably had seven requests just this week.”
“I’m honored that people” like it, Hosmer said Friday after batting practice at Kauffman Stadium. “My dad’s always yelling at me to shave. It’s just funny to think about. It’s awesome.”
Just don’t ask him why it’s such a fad.
“I have no idea,” he said with a laugh. “I really don’t. It’s just crazy to think about how much you can change the community like that — I mean this baseball team, and what we’re doing.”
One thing’s for sure: After a record eight straight postseason wins, Hosmer isn’t changing his hairstyle anytime soon.
“You can’t mess with a winning streak,” Hosmer said. “So we’re going to stick with it from here on out.”
Bonds said he is getting an equal number of requests for another haircut he is responsible for — the lightning bolt and the word “zoom” shaved into the hair of speedy Royals outfielder Jarrod Dyson.
Luke, who plays catcher on his baseball team, noticed Hosmer’s haircut, and shoutout to Bonds, on Twitter and Instagram. Now the Purple Label can hardly keep up with demand.
Just what is “The Hos”?
“It’s a modified mohawk to Hosmer’s specifications,” said Bonds. “You’d have to hear him explain it to me. I use a combination of blades to get kind of a microburst over the ear.”
Over in Martin City, “it is the postseason cut,” declared Jacob Salmons, co-owner of JD & Jake’s the Barber Shop. “I had four little guys in last week wanting that cut. Some even put blue hair gel in it so that people would know that it was for the Royals.”
Salmons figures he has done about five of the haircuts a week since the Royals began their postseason magic, mostly for boys between the ages of 9 and 14.
At Brookside Barber Shop, “we’ve been doing the haircut for years,” said manager Josh Gilbert. “European soccer players started it.
“It’s basically a blended mohawk. It’s not like the ’80s-style mohawk where you shave it down to the skin. It is faded down. … We’ll be doing tons of them now.”
At Kansas City’s Uptown Source “Hair Studio,” co-owner Chris Lee said patrons also have been asking to have Royals designs shaved into their hair, such as “KC #1” or a crown.
But for Luke, only one haircut, and one barber, would do.
Purple Label is an old-school barber shop with a modern vibe, featuring flat-screen TVs, leather furniture, cherry wood workstations, eclectic music and more than a dozen framed jerseys of pro athletes on the walls.
Bonds, 40, has been cutting hair professionally for 20 years. He oozes cool in black hipster glasses and dreadlocks pulled back in a loose ponytail.
Former Chiefs cornerback Jayice Pearson was the first pro athlete to come into his shop, which was previously in Olathe. As the Royals’ team barber, he also cuts the hair of catcher Salvador Perez, shortstop Alcides Escobar and left fielder Alex Gordon.
“I’ve been working on Dyson to do the lightning bolt for probably two, three months now,” Bonds said. “I was like, ‘Yo, come on, man. You gotta do something. You got to do a lightning bolt. You’re the fastest on the team.’ He was like, ‘Nah, I’m not Hos. I’m not Gordo. I’m not going to do nothing like that.’ Finally I said, ‘It’s the playoffs. We’ve got to do something.’ He said, ‘Don’t mess me up, D.’”
Bonds then shaved the lightning bolt into Dyson’s hair.
“He came back the next day like, ‘Oooh, that was hot. Now you need to put the “zoom” on the side.’”
As he told his stories, Bonds used various shavers and clippers to meticulously craft the cut. There was only one problem, he told Luke. His hair was so short to begin with. He promised to do the best he could.
“All right, Luke, this is all the way out there,” he said. “Hos gets it (shaped) all the way in the front as well. You want that too?”
“Yeah,” Luke said.
“It’s not the norm for Caucasian cuts,” he explained. “A lot of white guys don’t get the (shaping) in the front. So it’s going to be ‘out there’ compared to what he’s used to. But we’re going full Hosmer here.”
His mother, Rachel Hagan, approved.
She said that Wednesday, “when we were watching the Royals game, my husband said if they win this and go to the World Series, you can get your hair cut that way.”
And then it was done.
“Well?” Bonds seemed to ask with his eyes.
Luke looked over the short, tufted mohawk reflected in the mirror. Just like his favorite player.
“It’s good,” he said with a smile.