What famous bald celebrities looked like when they had hair

Some stars are known for their luscious locks and signature hairstyles. There are even celebrities who have “hair [that] is almost as famous as they are,” Redbook explains while also pointing out icons with enviable manes like one of the original Charlie’s Angels, Farrah Fawcett, and legendary singer Elvis Presley, as well as modern trendsetters like actress Jennifer Aniston and the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton. However, not everyone is walking around Hollywood with a full head of hair.

“One-fifth of men will experience significant hair loss by age of 20(!), and that percentage grows proportional to age,” dishes GQ. That means that “30 percent will experience it in their 30s, 40 percent in 40s, and so on.” Healthline also notes that “less than half of women will make it past age 65 with a full head of hair.” Granted, not everyone rocks the shorn style because of hair loss. Some simply like the look of a shiny scalp or have other reasons for wanting to rid themselves of hair up there. And while there are stars who look pretty much the same with or without a mop on top, others look like a completely different person.

For instance, check out these celebrities — including movie stars, a television host, and the most powerful bald man in the world — to find out what they looked like when they did have hair and compare that to what they look like these days. You may be surprised, impressed, or downright swooning over what you see.

Samuel L. Jackson has a wig man

GQ once deemed Samuel L. Jackson’s ever-changing ‘do “his best co-star,” thanks to the fact that he’s “no stranger to concocting character through coiffure.” Indeed, the star’s “five-decade filmography is littered with memorable hairstyles that run the gamut from extravagant dye jobs to exquisite extensions, bizarre wigs to fearsome dreadlocks.” But that might leave you wondering: Is the actor bald or isn’t he? Nowadays, yes. While he once had a full head of hair that he either wore short or let grow out when he was younger, the actor eventually started to lighten up on top.

Veteran hairstylist Robert L. Stevenson — who’s worked with Angela Bassett and Eddie Murphy — explained to Deadline in 2014 that years before, Jackson “was losing his hair at one point and said, ‘If I just shaved it all off could we still create looks with wigs?'” In response, Stevenson told Jackson, “Sam, we can basically do anything with wigs.” Indeed, he said that’s when they “started getting into it.”

And get into it they did! So much so that Deadline notes Stevenson “has a clipping of a piece of fan art called ‘The Evolution of Samuel L. Jackson’s Hair.'” Apparently, he’s “very proud of it” — as he should be, as it’s “a tribute to the many different styles he helped the actor create over 14 years of big-screen collaboration.” In short, the wigs have helped make the actor a bald star who’s (weirdly?) known for his hair.

Bruce Willis is a 'hair hero' even though he's bald

“It’s hard to remember Bruce Willis with hair,” HuffPost points out. Despite that, if you go back and watch his earlier roles from the ’80s and early ’90s, like the first film in the classic Die Hard franchise, 1990’s The Bonfire of the Vanities, or going back even further to check out his days as a television star on Moonlighting, “hair he had — and lots of it.”

However, by 1992’s Death Becomes Her, Willis’ fans were getting a glimpse at what he looked like with less hair as it started to thin out. He then completely shaved his head in 2007, according to Outsons, and in the years since embracing his baldness, he’s been unwilling to put up with any judgment or nastiness due to his lack of hair.

“I’ve seen all those little digs where they try to make you feel less of a man because you’re losing your hair,” he said, per The Idle Man (via Insider). “I’m a man and I will kick anyone’s butt who tries to tell me I’m not a man because my hair is thinning.” That kind of confident (if aggressive, John McClane-like) attitude is surely why HuffPost declared Willis “a hair hero.” Although that might seem somewhat ironic considering he no longer has hair, the honor is due to the fact that he allegedly makes “the world better for bald men everywhere.”

Terry Crews is 'living a lie'

While Terry Crews is another star who sports a slick scalp, it turns out that he’s hairless by choice. The Brooklyn Nine-Nine actor explained during an interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live in July 2018, “I am living a lie, because I am really not bald at all. I shave my head every day.” But why? Is he going grey and ashamed of it, or is he secretly a synchronized swimmer who prefers to slide through the water? No, it’s simply because he’s now known for his shorn look. He explained that if his hair “grows in, people will go, ‘Who is he? WHAT IS THAT?'” Frankly, he says, “people get really disturbed when [he] grow[s] it.” That’s why he’s “been this way for almost 30 years.”

Disturbing or not, we’re sure some fans are still interested to know what Crews looks like with hair. Well, back in the day, he either kept it short or wore a high top with a fade (one that he feels his son can, well, top). He can even pull off a bright, blond He-Man bob with bangs… kind of.

However, considering in 2019, People named him the Sexiest TV Host in the game thanks to his appearances on America’s Got Talent — beating out men with full heads of hair, like The Bachelor‘s Chris Harrison, Catfish‘s Nev Schulman, Today‘s Craig Melvin, and Strahan, Sara and Keke‘s Michael Strahan — we doubt he’ll be growing his hair back any time soon.

Howie Mandel is bald for a very specific reason

Howie Mandel had dark, curly hair early in his career, but when he took his gig as the host of Deal or No Deal in 2005, he turned up with no hair at all. And just like a handful of other famous men, his bald head is something he’s chosen. However, his decision wasn’t based on aesthetics.

According to ABC News, Mandel suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder, which is “a debilitating anxiety disorder that produces inescapable repetitive thoughts.” Affecting four million adults, including the performer, it “can manifest itself in countless ways that trigger a silent loop of the question ‘What if…’ in his mind.” Germs are Mandel’s “most frequent obsession,” which is why, in the past, he’s “spen[t] the day … in the men’s room rubbing and scrubbing and scalding,” and why his “makeup artists must use brand new sponges every day,” why he “won’t touch his money unless it’s been washed,” and why he “avoids handrails like the plague.”

This severe aversion to germs was also the motivating factor behind his decision to go bald. “This feels so streamlined and so clean,” he explained. And he may be justified in being wary of hair. “Apart from the skin surface, hair represents a significant tissue component with a capacity of bacterial interactions,” according to the US National Library of Medicine. What does that mean? Well, you may not want to look at dirty hair under a microscope because OMG, ew!

Jason Alexander wore a semi-permanent hair piece after Seinfeld

It’s hard to imagine the man who played George Costanza with a full head of hair, but Jason Alexander did, indeed, once have brown strands that would have made his character proud. According to Daily Mail, the actor started losing his hair at just 17, which is why when he first appeared on Seinfeld at 30 in 1989, he “was already bald.”

However, despite finding fame as a man with little hair, Alexander later started wearing a semi-permanent hairpiece. “The way my hair has receded … was best defined as ‘dorky,'” he tweeted in 2011. After noting that he “really embraced” losing his hair and explained how it helped him landed “older” and “better roles,” he also admitted that while “onstage and even to a degree on film, [his] head had become a big beacon, reflecting light in a very obvious and distracting way.” He also said that he “thought about grafts or implants but frankly didn’t trust the results would be good enough and also wanted to retain the option of playing truly bald characters.”

So Alexander went with a piece that restored his hairline but may have also given Seinfeld fans flashbacks to Costanza’s ill-fated toupée. In the end, the Daily Mail notes that the actor ditched the faux ‘do by 2014 when he went “back to his natural look” — no “hair on top of his head but still … on the sides and back” — a.k.a. the “Power Donut.”

Taye Diggs has tips for a tip-top bald top

Taye Diggs didn’t hesitate when it came to taking the bald plunge. “I rocked the shaved head before my hair started receding,” he told Men’s Health in 2015. “So as soon as I saw those corners inching towards the back of my head, I took it all off — as opposed to just watching the hair fade away.” Indeed, the outlet notes that making “a clean break allows your dapper self to make a powerful resurgence,” and Diggs is living proof of that.

However, “maintaining the look requires plenty of moisture to protect and soothe the newly exposed skin,” Men’s Health further notes. That’s why the How Stella Got Her Groove Back and Private Practice actor “relies on Kiehl’s products to keep his skin glowing.” He also says that “you can use exfoliating treatments like the Deep Micro Exfoliating Scalp Treatment to keep the skin surface fresh,” and then, “make sure you apply a moisturizer like the Bee Bald Smooth Plus with Broad Spectrum SPF 30 to protect your skin from the sun’s UV rays.” If that seems like a lot, then just take a look at the star’s perfectly primed noggin, and you’ll see that he obviously knows what he’s talking about.

And, frankly, it’s a good thing that Diggs takes care of his camera-worthy cranium, because, according to HuffPost, he’s an example of how “going bald can actually be the best thing to happen to the top of your head.”

Jason Statham 'doesn't Bic it'

When tough-guy actor Jason Statham was younger and did have hair, he looked like any fresh-faced Hollywood stud. Or rather, a diving stud, according to an old video that shows him partaking in his mid-air somersault skills at the 1990 Commonwealth Games in Auckland (yes, he was a competitive diver, as if he wasn’t already impressive enough). However, these days, he’s another star who has not only embraced being bald, but it’s also one of the reasons he’s just as “sexy as ever,” as ET Canada points out. “There is simply no other man out there who rocks a bald head quite like the debonair Statham. After years of Jason being a shining example for bald-headed men everywhere, we simply couldn’t imagine him sporting any other ‘do.”

If others out there are considering emulating Statham’s clean-shaven style, it’s definitely the way to go, according to hairstylist Mia Santiago of Sharon Dorram at Sally Hershberger in New York City, who told Allure, “He looks amazing.”

“He doesn’t Bic it — you don’t have to bust out the shaving cream and be Mr. Clean — but when you have a receding hairline, keep your hair at a closer crop,” Hershberger added. She also explained that “when you try to keep the top of your hair long to cover up baldness, that’s when people actually look at it (and think you’re trying too hard).” And if there’s something that Statham is effortlessly good at, it’s looking effortlessly good.

Vin Diesel is a bald idol

Vin Diesel is one celeb who likes to share throwback photos of himself on social media. Just check him out with costars Michelle Rodriguez and Ruby Rose back in the day, as well as the late Paul Walker (all stars who have or had amazing manes, BTW). But what you won’t really see — other than this old and adorable image of the star as a child — is a shot of Diesel when he still had hair, which made him look like a different man. Fortunately for the actor, he lost his hair and became a bald icon.

If you’re someone whose hair is thinning or receding — or maybe you just like the way a clean crown looks and feels — then there’s a good chance that you’ve looked at the actor with an admiring eye. That’s because, according to The Sun, he’s the “bald celeb most men would like to be.” It turns out that the “Fast and Furious star got a 35 percent approval rating in a 1,000-man baldness study” done by the Harley Street Skin Clinic in London (poor Prince William sits at the bottom of the list with just two percent, if you’re curious).

On top of that, research done by the University of Pennsylvania found that “bald men are perceived as being more masculine, dominant, and 13% stronger,” per Daily Mail, which is why the outlet wonders if lack of hair is the secret behind Diesel’s “sex appeal.”

The Rock offered a wild description of his hair

Jason Statham and Vin Diesel aren’t the only Fast and Furious stars who are bald. There’s also Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Vanity Fair notes that the former wrestler got rid of his hair around 2010, which is when he fully came into his own with “a strong, recognizable look” that includes a “big smile,” “kind eyes,” and “biceps like three biceps stacked atop one another.” There’s also his bald head, which is considered to be a “signature” aspect of his style and “nearly as iconic as the photo of the Rock himself” during the ’90s, “minus about 20 years, but plus a turtleneck, gold chain, and fanny pack.”

Johnson himself explained in 2017 why he rid himself of his hair when he tweeted a .gif that showed him with hair and wrote, “I’m not bald because I went bald. I’m bald because my hair is a cross between an afro and hair from a Lama’s ball sac.” Er, that’s not the description we would use, and the responses from his social media followers made it clear that they weren’t at all put off by what they saw, with one person writing, “but like, a really handsome llama ballsack of course,” and “Good thing bald is beautiful!” Another (cheeky) person wrote, “Keep things in perspective; my llama asked me to shave his nuts citing ‘not wanting to look like the young rock’ as the reason too.”

Michael Jordan was crowned the king of bald men

Michael Jordan may have earned countless sports’ related honors over the years, but the NBA legend was also ranked #1 on GQ‘s 2013 list of the 100 most powerful bald men in the world. Why was he given the top spot when it comes to spotless tops? Well, “His Airness made bald cool, simple as that.” In fact, “it’s hard to equate hair with virility, when … a bald man … is undoubtedly one of the greatest and coolest athletes of all time.”

Jordan’s inspirational ways — apparently when it comes to both performance and presentation — is even the reason why “dudes around the world have been shaving their heads ever since” the basketball star first opted to embrace baldness in 1989, when his hair started receding, per GQ. However, even before getting rid of his hair, he kept it short.

While being bald certainly didn’t hurt his image, he did once back out of a contract because of it. Explaining to Business Insider that he “had a deal with [Johnson Products] for their hair-care products” that still “had two or three more years” to go, he admitted that’s when he started losing his hair. “So I forfeited the deal. But if I had wanted to be greedy, I could’ve said, ‘Screw you, you didn’t know my hair was falling out, so you owe me money.’ But I didn’t,” he recalled, proving that he’s both honestly bald and baldly honest.

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