His hair has made him a cult hero among the Dundee United support but Ian Harkes is hoping it will be his flair to catch the eye this season.
As much as the American midfielder has performed well on the park since his arrival at Tannadice in January 2019, his flowing locks are what have had many a grown man swooning.
Although he is flattered, the 25-year-old hopes to change that viewpoint – slightly.
Previously limited to standing out with hairbands and bobbles under Robbie Neilson, Harkes feels he has gained a licence to express himself on the pitch under new boss Micky Mellon.
His performances in a more advanced role under Mellon have stood out, including in Saturday’s 1-0 home defeat to Celtic. Now, Harkes is aiming to add the finishing touches to his game.
“I think it always happens when a new manager comes in,” he said.
“Boys rise to the occasion and see it as a new licence to go and prove themselves.
“I think everybody is stepping up, young boys and all the guys who were playing in the Championship last year, we’re all on a level playing field.
“The gaffer just tells us to go express ourselves in the final third.
“He doesn’t care too much how we get there, he just kind of trusts us to go and be good players.
“Now, we’ve got to get the end product.
“I’m just trying to take positives from each game and I think, when I do find myself in those positions, I’m just a little bit annoyed that I haven’t had more chances or shots.
“I have to keep trying to put myself in those positions.
“I think the formation suits me and Pete (Peter Pawlett) well to go and join the strikers.
“It was tough on Saturday because we had to do a lot of running in the wide areas and in the press.
“But when the ball turns over we like to get up the pitch and find those little gaps and spaces.
“Playing there has been helpful and I’ve just got to try to get forward and help out with goals and assists now.”
Testing himself against the best is something Harkes and the rest of the squad are relishing.
Games against the likes of the champion Celts and Hibs are what the former DC United man jetted in from over the pond for, after all.
And he feels the Championship-winning Tangerines are equipping themselves well in the top flight so far.
Harkes added: “We spoke about it before, this is what we’ve all been looking forward to and worked so hard for last season.
“We’ve put ourselves in the position to go against these bigger teams. We know it’s going to be tough but I think we’re holding our own and have just been unlucky at times.”
Of the Celtic defeat, he continued: “We were definitely frustrated.
“We know they’re, obviously, a good team and we had to be up against it for long periods of the game but I think we played well.
“We didn’t just want to sit back and just hold positions, we wanted to get after them and try to press and I think we showed that a little bit at times.
“It was hard for Celtic to deal with us.
“We spoke about that throughout the week. The gaffer didn’t just want us to sit back.
“A lot of teams in the league just try to wait for moments that they can go and counter but we wanted to get after them, press and make them uncomfortable, especially at home.
“I think we did that well but there were spells in the game where they moved the ball well so we had to just chip away, hoping we could keep going and get chances.
“Eventually Celtic found one, unfortunately.
“I think we felt unlucky not to take something after that. That’s why we were so frustrated.
“But we’re happy, coming up from the league below, that we’re feeling frustrated to be in that positon.”
The Terrors face Sheffield United in a friendly at Tannadice this afternoon, with Harkes expecting it to be another huge test of where they’re at.
The Blades finished ninth in the Premier League last term and are in Scotland looking for some game time ahead of the new English campaign kicking off next month.
“It will be good, definitely,” Harkes commented.
“It’s going to be tough coming off of Saturday, I’m sure boys will be tired, but every time we get the chance to play against better teams it’s good to test ourselves.
“I’m sure we’ll take something away from it because they’re, obviously, a great team and it’ll be good to play against those players.”