Celebrities You Forgot Used To Rock Long Hair

Entertainment | By Harriet King | October 27, 2019

Because celebrities always want to look like they're up with the latest trend, many of the world's biggest male stars have experimented with the long hair look in the past. Some have even done it more than once. Here's a whole collection of those who you've probably forgotten tried it! Who knows, maybe you'll even get inspired to grow yours out.

There are a few factors that might affect your decision on whether to wear your hair long or short. Biology might be one of them - if you have male-pattern baldness, trying the long-haired look isn't even an option after the first thirty-or-so years of your life. Time quickly runs out.

Not everyone's face suits having long hair, and so that might help you to decide whether to keep your style long or short, too. Other than that, we're at the mercy and whim of fashion. Some years it's fashionable for men to have long hair, and some years it isn't.

Bruce Willis

You might raise your eyebrows at this one. How is it possible that Bruce Willis could have tried the long-hair look? After all, he's been very famously bald since his early 20s. His shaven head is part of what makes him look so intimidating as John McClane in 'Die Hard!'

We don't think he'd be capable of growing his hair out for real, but he was happy to put on a wig for the 1997 movie 'The Jackal,' and it totally changed his appearance.

Mel Gibson

The appearance of Australian actor Mel Gibson has changed quite dramatically over the years. He seems to reinvent himself with each passing decade. Because of that, you can sometimes forget that he had wild, unkempt hair.

Fortunately, pictures like this exist to remind us all of how he looked. You probably won't be surprised to hear that it was taken during the 1980s while he was making one of the 'Lethal Weapon' films. This look was cool back then!


Bono, the frontman of legendary Irish rock band U2, is one of the world's most famous musicians. If you had to pick one thing about his appearance that you associate him with, it would almost certainly be his famous dark sunglasses.

If you went back to the early 1980s, though, you'd find his hair equally as remarkable. Bono actually had long locks when the band started making music, and only cut his hair short when their sound became a little more punk.

Hugh Jackman

In this picture, Hugh Jackman is sporting the very definition of what we like to call '1990s hair.' It's just a shame that 1990s fashions were well and truly dead by the time this picture was taken in 2003.

Apparently, growing his hair out was a requirement placed upon Jackman for one of the roughly six thousand 'X-Men' movies he's made. We have to applaud his commitment to the role - he did it for real instead of wearing a hairpiece!

Brad Pitt

Brad Pitt is more than just a world-class actor; he's a style icon. For a lot of people, Pitt has been one of the world's most desirable men for decades, and it doesn't matter whether his hair is long or short.

Here we see Pitt pictured in 1993 while he was making 'Legends of the Fall.' The grunge look was the fashion of the time, but not everyone who tried it made it look as effortless as Pitt did.

Jared Leto

When Jared Leto played the Joker in 'Suicide Squad,' you probably thought his bright green hair would be the most shocking style you'd even see on his head. You were wrong. Here he is at the turn of the century with a longer look.

When Leto isn't making movies, he's making rock music. You can't be in a rock band without trying the long-haired look at least once, and so we shouldn't hold this experimental phase against him. It looks like he may have found some straightening irons, too.

Tom Cruise

Here's Hollywood A-Lister Tom Cruise as he looked back in the mid-1980s. Facially he looks exactly the same now as he did back then, but there's been a significant change on top of his head.

In truth, Cruise might still have long hair now if it wasn't for 'Top Gun.' It was his preferred style before he landed his starring role in the film, for which he had to cut his locks short. The US Air Force would never allow anyone to fly with a hairdo like this!

Daniel Radcliffe

Of all the child actors who made their names by appearing in the 'Harry Potter' series of films, Daniel Radcliffe is the one who's gone on to have the most significant success in the world of acting as an adult.

Perhaps his commitment to the roles he lands has something to do with that. After all, we don't imagine he particularly enjoyed cultivating this hairstyle when he was cast in 'Victor Frankenstein' back in 2014. To add insult to injury, the movie bombed at the box office!

Johnny Depp

Did Johnny Depp dress like this because of the grunge era, or did people involved in grunge dress like this because of Johnny Depp? We may never know for sure, but we do know that Depp looked especially iconic back in 1990.

You may think you've seen Depp with long hair plenty of times in the 'Pirates of the Caribbean' movies, but you haven't. He was wearing a wig in those films, whereas back then, his hair was very real.

David Beckham

Before Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, the best-known footballer around the world was David Beckham, who combined exceptional talents with movie-star looks to forge a very successful career for himself all over the world.

It may have been the influence of his fashion designer wife and Spice Girl Victoria that persuaded him to grow his hair out in 2003, but we can't say it didn't suit him. Then again, is there any style that wouldn't suit a man this handsome?

Christian Bale

Christian Bale is one of the most committed character actors in the world. Whether he needs to starve himself for a role or build up huge amounts of muscle mass, he's happy to take on the challenge for the right part.

Because of that, everyone assumed Bale's long hair look in 2011 was for an acting part. They were wrong. He was just enjoying some chill-out time between big jobs and decided to let everything grow for a while.

Jon Bon Jovi

Not only did Jon Bon Jovi have long hair in the past, but he continued to wear it long for a very long time past the point where anyone thought it was cool or fashionable to do so. His dedication to keeping the style alive is to be admired.

With the tight curls and the almost-mullet style of presentation, it's obvious that this picture was taken in the 1980s, but Bon Jovi was still rocking it way into the 1990s. His screaming fans never seemed to mind!

Joe Jonas

If you're anything like us, you probably have difficulty remembering which Jonas brother is which. That's why we were glad when Joe Jonas grew his hair out a little bit between 2008 and 2009; it made him easier to identify.

A few years later, he cut his hair short, and our confusion returned. Now the band is back together, though, we might see him distinguish himself with a longer mane of hair yet again. It feels like the right thing to do for nostalgia purposes.

Lenny Kravitz

All the major stars of the early 1990s had long hair, and rocker Lenny Kravitz wore his longer than most. Perhaps he was tired of people saying he looked like Jimi Hendrix, and so he went for a longer style to differentiate his appearance.

At their longest, Kravitz's dreadlocks came all the way down to his waist. We suspect that they ultimately became impractical, which is why he has a much shorter style now. He still looks cool, though, no matter what his hair's doing.

Jake Gyllenhaal

Like Christian Bale, Jake Gyllenhaal is an actor who's happy to customize his appearance to make himself suitable for a movie role. When his part in 2014's 'Everest' called on him to have long hair, Gyllenhaal had no reservations about obliging.

We have some reservations, though. No matter how long your hair becomes, we're not convinced it's ever acceptable to wear it as a man bun. Not even Gyllenhaal can get away with that! Perhaps he realized - he cut it off as soon as filming was over.

Alexander Skarsgard

His brother Bill has terrified the living daylights out of all of us in the 'IT' movies, but here's Alexander Skarsgard looking like butter wouldn't melt in his mouth back in 2005.

By combining his bangs with a scarf, Skarsgard may even have set the template for the hipster look we know today when he left the house looking like this. He doesn't join in with in these days, though. We don't know why - the style suits him!

Adrian Grenier

Adrian Grenier's hair has always been a little longer than the average man in the street's. Having an unkempt, floppy style was part and parcel of his character back when he was a fixture on our screens in 'Entourage.'

From this picture, we can see that his 'Entourage' style was actually conservative for him. His curly hair used to be a lot wilder, and at one point, it was almost touching his shoulders. We think that on balance, he looks better today than he did here in 1999.

Billy Crudup

Some actors are so facially handsome that it almost doesn't matter what they do with their hair. Billy Crudup is one of them. There isn't a hairstyle in the world that could distract attention away from that chiseled jawline.

We're not opposed to him growing his hair long again if he feels like it, though. Back when this photo was taken in the year 2000, he'd grown it out so he could play a part in the cult movie 'Almost Famous,' and it really works for him.

Colin Farrell

Unless Irish actor Colin Farrell is wearing extensions in this picture - which we can't rule out - this is a scientific study into how much hair it's possible to grow in five years.

Back in 2003, Farrell completely shaved his head so he could play Bullseye in 'Daredevil.' This picture, taken in 2008, shows him doing press duty for 'Pride and Glory.' Was this look all-natural, or did he get some help from a stylist? If we had to guess, we'd say the latter.

Tom Selleck

Tom Selleck could have long hair, short hair, or no hair at all, and we'd still recognize him because of that iconic mustache. It's the single most defining thing about his appearance, and even know we're humming the theme song from 'Magnum P.I.' while we're looking at this picture.

This hairstyle was very much of its time when this picture was taken back in 1985, but we don't think it's his best look. Nor does he, based on that glum facial expression.

Rod Stewart

If we had an award to hand out for commitment to keeping long hair for your whole life, we'd be tempted to hand it to Rod Stewart. Whether or not the mullet was fashionable, Stewart has kept the torch burning for the often-mocked hairstyle.

This picture was taken back in 1969, long before the trend for mullets began. Even though he's a little older now, his hair still looks almost exactly the same fifty years later. That's some impressive consistency.

Joe Manganiello

We don't know who decided that vampires ought to have long hair, but that's how you see them represented in fiction more often than not. Joe Manganiello famously played one on-screen in 'True Blood,' but has kept the style going after the series ended.

If anything, Manganiello's hair is even longer now than it was back then. It's fuller, wilder, and trails down to his chin. He's even grown a companion beard to go with his hair, and it suits him perfectly.

Joaquin Phoenix

You've probably seen Joaquin Phoenix with moderately-long hair quite recently if you've taken a trip to a movie theater to see his performance in 'Joker,' but by his usual standards, his hair in 'Joker' is actually quite short.

Earlier in his career, Phoenix looked like a wild man. His hair and his beard grew almost out of all control, and this picture from 2009 captures him at the peak of that period. He almost looks like he's in disguise!

Michael Jackson

Was Michael Jackson's permed and curled hair ever real after the 1970s? It's difficult to know for sure because the singer's appearance varied so dramatically. We do know he generally preferred to wear his hair long, though, and it never looked better than it did during the late 1980s.

These were arguably the peak years of Jackson's career, and he almost single-handedly made the Jheri curl fashionable. Many people tried to imitate the style, but nobody ever did it better than him.

Emile Hirsch

To say that people were surprised when Emile Hirsch turned up for a red-carpet event looking like this back in 2004 would be an understatement. It was a dramatic break from the norm for the actor, whose hair is usually darker and shorter.

As it turned out, there was a reason for the change in style. Hirsch had landed a part in 'Lords of Dogtown,' and his character had long blonde hair. Instead of accepting a hairpiece, Hirsch had decided to supply his own. It wasn't a permanent style change.

Sam Elliott

For a long time, when a Hollywood movie needed a convincing tough-guy actor, Sam Elliott's agent was the person who got the phone call. It says a lot about Elliott's talent as an actor that those phone calls still came in even when he was looking like this.

If we had to describe this 1987 style, we'd call it 'Mad Professor.' Elliott is almost unrecognizable, and it's hard to reconcile this look with what we saw from him on the big screen recently in 'A Star Is Born.'

Harry Styles

Whenever a major pop group or boy band breaks up, you can always rely on one of them to become 'experimental' as they look to forge a solo career for themselves. In the case of One Direction, that member was Harry Styles.

Styles has been known for having this mane of hair for such a long time now that it's hard to remember that he was once a much more demure-looking young boy. Not everyone loves the style, but you'd certainly always recognize him in a crowd.

Ashton Kutcher

Replacing Charlie Sheen on the set of 'Two and A Half Men' was never likely to be an easy task, but Ashton Kutcher gave it everything he had. For reasons best known to himself, giving it everything he had involved growing long hair and a beard for the part.

The resulting look made Kutcher appear a little bit like a magician, so we weren't surprised when he went back to his more fresh-faced style after the show came to an end.

Chad Michael Murray

If you've been following Chad Michael Murray since the early days of his career, then you probably remember him looking like this. If you haven't, then seeing this picture is probably quite a revelation for you. Would you have recognized him if we hadn't given you his name?

This was Murray as he appeared in 'Freaky Friday,' which was his breakthrough film. As soon as he got his feet under the Hollywood table, though, he cut his hair much shorter and has never gone back to this look since.

Matt Damon

When the first pictures of Matt Damon with a ponytail hit the internet in 2016, they almost broke the world wide web. Everyone had an opinion on his new look, and everyone wanted to share the images. There was no getting away from them online!

Damon's hair was worn long for his part in 'The Great Wall,' which he filmed in China in 2015. During a later appearance on 'The Graham Norton Show,' Damon clarified that he was wearing extensions.

Chris Hemsworth

Does Chris Hemsworth's hair grow incredibly quickly, or does he just have a way of wearing extensions that make them look totally natural? We only ask because he seems to have a different length of hair every time we see him.

Hemsworth has spent much of the past few years playing 'Thor' in the Marvel movie series, and as the character has long hair, it would make sense for him to keep his grown out. Between films, though, it seems that he trims it off and then grows it back miraculously fast.

Andre Agassi

If you didn't know who this was, you'd probably speculate that it was the star of some long-forgotten TV soap from the 1980s. It isn't though - it's legendary tennis champion Andre Agassi as he appeared way back in 1988.

Agassi must have had the opposite of the Samson effect with his hair. As soon as he shaved it all off, he started winning major tournaments. That might explain why he never grew it back - although nature might have had something to do with that, too!

Brendan Fraser

We've known Brendan Fraser for most of his time in the movies as a good-looking guy with short hair, but that's not the way most of us first got to know him. 'George of the Jungle' was nearly 20 years ago, but this is how he looked when he was making it.

We think Fraser must have liked the style because he kept it for a few years after filming wrapped on the movie. By the end of the 20th century, though, he'd cut it off and go for a shorter style.

Charlie Hunnam

Here's yet another actor who was happy to dramatically change his appearance for the sake of a single role. You can't say that big-name performers aren't dedicated to their craft! This time it's Charlie Hunnam, looking nothing like we've seen him before or since.

The movie in question was 'Nicholas Nickleby,' and the contract he signed was good enough to persuade him to depart a long way from the chopped, clean look we usually associate with him. That still wouldn't explain the hat, though.

Orlando Bloom

You probably never suspected that Orlando Bloom's long blonde hair was real when he played Legolas in 'Lord of the Rings,' and it wasn't. He was wearing a wig. As anyone who's seen him in any of his other films already knows, Bloom's hair is neither straight nor blonde.

He has grown his real hair out once or twice in the past, though - perhaps most notably here in this 2005 picture, where he was preparing to film one of the 'Pirates of the Caribbean' movies.

Tom Brady

NFL legend Tom Brady has had a career that seems to defy the laws of time and age. He's still playing and winning games at the age of 42, and at times it feels like he's been around forever.

He's definitely been around for long enough for us to forget all about this long hair experiment he performed on himself in 2009. Wearing your hair long is rarely a great idea for a football player, and it didn't take long for Brady to reach that conclusion and cut it short once more.

Tom Hiddleston

Depending on how familiar you are with Tom Hiddleston's movie work, you might only know him as Loki from the Marvel movie universe. If that's the case, you might think that he always has long, dark hair and that it's his preferred look.

Here's a newsflash for anyone who believes that - it isn't. Hiddleston doesn't like having his hair long and has never grown it for the part. He always wears a wig and always does away with the look as soon as the cameras stop rolling.

Austin Butler

If you don't know the name of Austin Butler right now, you will do very soon. He's going to be playing Elvis Presley in a biographical movie about the legendary singer's life, and he's got the quiffed black hair to go with the role.

What made Butler a surprising pick for the part is that he doesn't look anything like Presley. He's changed his hairstyle for the part, but until now he's been walking around with very long, very blond hair. He looks more like Nirvana's Kurt Cobain!

Jason Priestley

Before there was Brad Pitt, there was Jason Priestley. The actors even resembled each other a little during their younger years - for example, right here in this picture from 1990.

Priestley was best known for being in 'Beverley Hills 90210' back then, where his character had a fantastic 1980s flat-top hairstyle. As the 80s gave way to the 90s, Priestley let his hair grow out a little more, and it's hard to deny he looked great doing it. We could have done without the cigarette, though.

Chris Pine

We're not sure that Starfleet would have signed off on this hairstyle, so it's a good job that Chris Pine didn't have it when he inherited the role of Captain James T. Kirk from William Shatner for the most recent set of 'Star Trek' movies.

Usually, actors experiment with long hair earlier on in their careers, so it's been a surprise to see Pine walking around looking like this in 2019. If the stories are to be believed, though, he grew his hair to better suit his character in 'I Am the Night.'

Rob Lowe

Rob Lowe comes across as such a suave, sophisticated personality these days that it's hard to imagine him as a wild child. If you're one of our younger readers, you may not even remember his crazy days, but we do - and we have the pictures to prove it.

Here's a very-youthful looking Lowe during the late 1980s. Back then, he was part of Hollywood's so-called 'Brat Pack.' We don't know if having a mullet was part of being in the gang, but Lowe went for it anyway.

Kanye West

How has everyone forgotten that this happened? Everything that rapper and rampant egotist Kanye West does makes the news, and so we'd expect people to remind him that he once rocked the long hair look on a daily basis. Instead, we all just pretend it never happened.

Here's West in 2008, borrowing his hair, his jacket, and his gloves from Michael Jackson's wardrobe. He persisted with the style for about three months, and then ditched it and went back to normal. It was a good call.

Kurt Russell

Kurt Russell has never really stopped experimenting with his hair, although in 2019, you're more likely to see him wearing it short than long. He's had various long hair phases over the years, though, and never more so than during the late 1980s.

This picture, taken in 1989, shows us the mullet by which all other mullets should be judged. It's the hairstyle in its perfect form, worn with total nonchalance by Russell. He almost makes it look like a sensible hairstyle!

Hulk Hogan

Even if you've never watched a single wrestling match in your life, you know who Hulk Hogan is. You also know what Hulk Hogan looks like - he's the muscular bald guy with the mustache who rips his t-shirt and dresses in a lot of red and yellow.

Hogan wasn't always bald, though. During the early 1980s, he actually had a wonderful mane of blond hair. He even fought against it when it started to recede, as we can see in this picture!

John Stamos

John Stamos, is that really you? No matter how much your mind might be trying to tell you otherwise, this really is a picture of the 'Full House' actor, taken during the 1980s. This is such an old picture that it's from before he even landed the 'Full House' role.

Based on all the evidence we've seen so far, we have to assume that every actor's agent told them that having long hair was the only way to get ahead in the 1980s. There's no other explanation for it!

Paul McCartney

Back when the Beatles started in the 1960s (ask your parents if you don't know who they are), they were four fresh-faced young men from England with identical mop-top haircuts. It was only in later years that they started to try out new styles.

Paul McCartney, in particular, grew his hair very long during the 1970s. It was a look that he kept for the majority of the 1980s too, although he's now firmly settled into his senior years and trimmed it back.

George Clooney

This is a picture that we suspect George Clooney wishes had never made it to the internet. The handsome actor's look has remained remarkably similar all the way through his career - a handsome face, twinkling eyes, and short dark hair flecked with gray.

Even Clooney wasn't immune to what went on during the 1980s, though. As a young actor looking for work, he had this picture taken to send to casting companies. We're not surprised he didn't really start getting jobs until he changed his style.

Michael Bolton

Depending upon your age, you'll either know Michael Bolton better as the guy who belted out love-struck ballads during the 1980s, or the guy who did the 'Captain Jack Sparrow' song with Lonely Island a few years ago.

If you fall into the second group, you may never have seen Bolton with shockingly long blond hair. Allow us to correct that for you, by showing you this image of him in all his glory! We think he actually looks better now, thirty years later.

Ben Barnes

We think somewhere along the way casting directors have started to assume that Ben Barnes normally wears his hair long. We say that because every time he's in a movie, his hair magically seems to grow.

Look at any picture of Barnes when he's not on a movie set, and you'll find he has some of the neatest hair in Hollywood. Watch any of his films, and sometimes it's flowing past his shoulders. As far as we can tell, he always uses extensions rather than growing it.

Keanu Reeves

Keanu Reeves started his movie career with long hair and then cut it short when he became the star of 'The Matrix.' The cropped look became his trademark for the next few years, but you always felt that deep down, he harbored a desire to grow it long again.

Now he's finally had the chance to indulge that wish. He's making another 'Bill and Ted' movie, and the long hair is back. Will he keep it this time? Only time will tell, so we'll have to wait and see!



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