Ted Lasso Star Nick Mohammed Explains Why Nate's Hair Turned Gray In Season 2

Beware! Spoilers up ahead for the "Ted Lasso" season 2 finale, "Inverting the Pyramid of Success."

With the conclusion of "Ted Lasso" season 2, AFC Richmond and its whole cast of characters have gone through a number of major changes. Roy Kent learns to forgive, Ted lets his vulnerability shine, Sam Obisanya takes his place as the star of the team, Keeley has a stunning new opportunity ahead ... but no one has as substantial a turn as Nate. 

Through a series of microaggressions and misunderstandings, Nate evolves from competent to confidant to combatant — a de facto sworn enemy of Richmond and Ted Lasso himself. Like many Hollywood antagonists, Nate's antagonistic rise is accompanied by a distinctive change of visage. By the end of "Ted Lasso" season 2, his hair is completely gray. 

Physical changes accompanying psychological ones are actually common cinematic nomenclature. It's common for character hair color to change when they have increases in power (think the "Dragon Ball" or "X-Men" franchises), grow gray with trauma or hardship, and there's a whole trope associating gray, silver, or white hair with villainy. Roy ("Blade Runner," not Kent), Immortan Joe of "Mad Max: Fury Road," or the infamous Khan Noonien Singh of "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" were all top-tier antagonists with relatively colorless locks. Villain hair color theory aside, the big picture question for "Ted Lasso" is why, specifically, did Nate go gray? Thanks to actor Nick Mohammed, we now know!

Mohammed took to Twitter to answer a host of questions that he's received about the character, his journey, and his newly pigment-free hairdo at the end of "Ted Lasso" season 2. Among other intriguing details, he revealed that "the hair-colour change was deliberate. I have flecks of grey that were painted out in season 1 and were painted more and more grey as season 2 progressed (it's a wig by the very end!)" But why did Nate's hair change color? Mohammed explained:

"In the way bitterness, guilt, shame and stress can often change someone's appearance, they thought it would be fun to track Nate's spiral in this way (in my head Nate was transforming into [the white-haired Portugese football coach] José Mourinho!)"

It's a stunning transformation that reflects not only Nate's rising bitterness and ego, but also his very visible bouts of self-hatred at what he's becoming (even spitting on his own reflection).

The Aging Effects Of Anger

Nate's character goes through a huge evolution as "Ted Lasso" progresses. In the beginning of the first season, Nate is AFC Richmond's often-overlooked kit man, but fish-out-of-water Ted regularly encourages Nate to speak up and asks his thoughts on football tactics. At the end of season 1, Ted offers Nate a major promotion to Assistant Coach. The second season takes Nate's journey much further as it shows him growing in tactical prowess, even as he still struggles to find his psychological footing. 

When Nate produces novel strategies that help Richmond achieve an unlikely win, he's dubbed "The Wonder Kid" in the press. It boosts his ego, but his father's dismissal and the team's response to the nickname reveal his deep inferiority complex. As the season progresses, Nate gets cockier, more bitter, and convinced he's not getting his due, until he finally snaps at season's end and berates Ted. Nate feels like Ted built him up and let him down, abandoned, unappreciated. Nate ultimately storms off to gain what he believes is his by right, and boards Rupert's newly acquired West Ham United team as coach — his hair completely gray.

"Ted Lasso" seasons 1 and 2 are now available in full on Apple TV+.