'I never knew that.' The hidden meaning behind the Matildas’ hair accessories.

Just because they have to wear the same uniform, doesn't mean the Matildas can't accessorise. 

Mary Fowler wears her black gloves; while players including Ellie Carpenter and Hayley Raso add things to their hair.

But the players' hair accessories have more meaning than you might think.

Take Hayley Raso, for example. She wears a yellow ribbon in her ponytail, tied in a neat bow.

That's because, since the Matildas winger started playing football, her grandmother would give her a ribbon to match her kit each season.

For the Matildas, she has a yellow ribbon, while when playing for Manchester City it was sky blue.

Raso's ribbons have become so popular, they inspired a series of children's books called Hayley's Ribbon.


Carpenter, among other Matildas players, wears a sheer headband during games. But it's not technically a headband. 

The sheer strip of material is, in fact, a thin medical gauze, known as pre-wrap, used to put around injured knees or ankles before adding tape. 

It has become a popular hair accessory for female athletes after referees wouldn't allow them to wear plastic headbands or clips to pull their hair back due to injury risks. 

Now it's also become a form of self-expression.

US player Alex Morgan began wearing pink pre-wrap as a headband so her parents could spot her playing on the field.

She later chose the colour to honour her mother-in-law who battled breast cancer.


"I would never play soccer without my pink headband," Morgan said in a 2012 Team USA video.

Her teammate Lindsey Horan wears a red one, after trying pink and being told she copied Morgan.

"I never knew that," Morgan laughed.

Matildas' Ellie Carpenter wears a strip of blue pre-wrap thick across her hair, while Alanna Kennedy rolls hers into a thin band.


Not only do the accessories help the women differentiate from one another, but they also help audiences spot who's who when watching on.

Feature image: Getty.

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