Rock Hair For The Ages
We’ve celebrated long locks in the NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB. We’ve admired manes from world-renowned scientists, American presidents and legendary warriors. We’ve even shown love for the great lettuce in fiction, the old American west and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It therefore seems inconceivable we’ve never covered the best hair in rock and roll… until now.
Rock hair’s heyday was the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s, but some contemporary artists made the list in their own right. And while not every musician is enshrined in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, each is a first-ballot fail-safe to the foyer of famous flow.
Whether you spell it rock & roll, rock ‘n roll, or just plain rock and roll, let’s bang our heads and do a deep dive on rock’s best locks.
The Best Locks in Rock
All discussions of best hair in rock and roll start and end with Led Zeppelin. Shown at the peak of their follicle prowess, the song remains the same to this day. Robert Plant, the rock hair GOAT, still dominates the hair game at 72 years young.
All the 80’s glam bands dreamed of being Zeppelin on and off the scalp, but none could wrest “The Hammer of the Gods.” If hair has an afterlife, Led Zeppelin is on a stairway to heaven.
Bob Marley is the deepest, heaviest rock star ever, and he played reggae music. A huge part of rock is standing up for something. Songs about peace, love and freedom ( I prefer “freeness”) were most powerful and cool when Bob sang them.
Bob Marley’s hair never got shorter, only longer, and it looked alive when he performed, bouncing wildly all night long. Bob Marley said, "Trust the universe and respect your hair." Bare witness to the hair fitness!
Slash is the Slashiest looking Slash you’ll ever see. He has looked exactly like himself since the first second I saw him back in 1987. That’s 35 years! I was even Slash for Halloween.
He is so known for being Slash you could easily forget he has some of the best hair in rock and roll. Do you think he signs his name with the “Slash” symbol? This symbol here: / He would save so much time, just one pen flick, done.
Willie Nelson is a loyal guy. If Willie loves you, you’re with him for life. Weed, his guitar with the holes in it, and his life as a longhair are just a few examples. Willie’s been living and loving this life deep into his 80’s.
With amazing musicianship, classic tunes and unmatched authenticity, he is the ultimate longhair country superstar. Long live Willie Nelson and his beautiful braids!
What do you get when you mix twin brothers, six feet of platinum blonde hair, and the 1980’s glam scene? You get Nelson.
Like The Longhairs (see The Great Cut), Nelson is a Guinness World Records title holder as the only family in history to have a number one record in three successive generations (Ozzie and Harriet Nelson, grandparents; Ricky, Nelson, father).
Questlove is a likable and talented fellow. From his breakthrough work in The Roots, to leading Jimmy Fallon’s band, Questlove performs miracles on the reg. His hair is not only big, but hard-working as it is often seen carrying his trademark afro pick.
According to his NPR interview, he is fighting to keep creativity, itself, alive. Imagine seeing that on your list of things to do each day. Questlove, and his hair, are up to the challenge.
David Coverdale was in Deep Purple for years before Whitesnake. I was in deep love with Tawny Kitaen as a teenager. I want to thank Mr. Coverdale for putting his then, soon-to-be wife, Ms. Kitaen in this video with that car.
It changed our lives.
The Boys of The 80’s.
Honorable mention to all of Whitesnake’s members for keeping Aqua Net in business through the 1980’s and creating the hole in the ozone layer. I kid!
If that picture doesn’t make you lol, your laughing spot’s broken. OMG, how classic. In the 80’s it was real. Scary. Ha! I don’t know if Poison used Revlon or CoverGirl or both, but I bet they wish they had The Longhairs hair serum back then.
Did you know “Talk Dirty to Me,” was about using too much hair spray? Their tune “Unskinny Bop,” went to #3 in 1990. The term has literally no meaning. Bands like Poison ended the 80’s. They literally made the world need Nirvana. And nirvana.
The Jimi Hendrix Experience
Jimi Hendrix is known by many as the sickest guitar player ever. Jimi also had an amazing head of hair. When they went searching for guys to play in Jimi’s new band, Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding proved that three bushy heads of hair are better than one. Most underrated hair of any band ever. Guess that’s what made it The Experience.
The 80’s hair bands could have a list all their own, but here’s one last blast from when hair spray, perms, and men in makeup ruled the roost. RATT was San Diego’s contribution to the MTV-driven, cross-dressing funfest that was glam.
The video for their biggest hit, “Round and Round,” is peak 80’s content, featuring Golden Age of Television icon, Milton Berle being served rats at a fancy dinner. They’re RATT, get it???
Alice in Chains
Alice in Chains are best known as tortured grunge rockers. Their first record, “Facelift,” was a 1990 record though, the same year Poison scored with “Unskinny Bop.” Glam was not fully dead yet, just on life support.
Alice’s early videos showed off their hair far better than their later, moodier work. Lead singer Layne Stayley and his amigos’ follicle fabulosity was on display in the video for their hit, “Man in The Box.” Their 1992 record, “Dirt,” is epic, and may or may not have been inspired by shampoo.
Who Has the Best Hair in Rock and Roll?
Who has the best hair in rock and roll? Like which song or band is the best, we can endlessly dispute. Are there rock hair legends we overlooked? The Allman Brothers Band, Sly and The Family Stone, Rob Zombie?? Absolutely.
As the debate intensifies, we can safely agree that long hair goes with rock and roll like electric guitars, pyrotechnics and amplified sound. And while some of these manes have passed into rock music history, the make-no-apologies, never-say-die spirit of rock lives on with The Longhairs forever.
Rock on, icons. Rock on.
Master of Ceremonies Jefferson Jay
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You missed Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention
They were recognized as having the longest hair of any band in the early ’60s.
Frank Zappa and TMI would be great additions to this blog! Thank you, Frank. Keep lettin’ it ride.🤘
This post was a challenging one to make FO SHOO
Gotta love the Willie Nelson braids!
Alexander Krull of Atrocity, Danny Cecati, Brian Fair of Shadows Fall
A worthy addition, John! Thanks for your comment.🤘
Chris Cornell, Sebastian Bach… and what about Cher?
Chris Cornell rules! His hair too. Sebastian Bach wore a bad shirt and was disqualified by me. Cher is not a dude.
Gregg Allman From The Allman Brothers Band also had some great hair
Totally agree. Gave him honorable mention. Did he deserve better? Quite possibly.Lots of great hair in The Allman Brothers Band.Thanks for the feedback!
You forgot all about Metallica im not sure if you guys remember but they were top tier in the 80’s long hair game
Metallica dominated metal more than hair in the 80’s. Lots of stiff competition on both counts. Coulda made it… I blame Lars. Love you Lars!
Gotta throw some lynyrd skynyrd in there. Whew….talk about some hair coming out of a band lol
Also an honorable mention….Dimebag Darrel…fantastic head of hair. So so many in the rock world. But if I had to do a quick vote from this list, it’s is without a doubt Jerry Cantrell from Alice In Chains. A beautiful head of hair (very much like El Rubio’s I must say…lucky you El Rubio.) I definitely have some hair envy when I see him throwing his main around. Rock On Longhairs! 🤘🏼
Great ones! All of ’em. When Skynyrd sang “I’m free as a bird now,” they were talking about having long hair. Love the thoughts on Cantrell. The other dudes, Mike Starr on bass, and Sean Kinney on drums, also had some tip-top hair. Some of the replacements for the original band did too.
Hail the Almighty El Chuckarino! It’s March Madness! Remember when we hosted that Selection Show???
Absolutely phenomenal list here, Jefferson! The “Foyer of Famous Flow”.🤘
You left out Tommy Shaw from STYX. His hair is gorgeous! The peeps you did include are all pretty amazing though. 🙂
Hey! Thanks for the feedback! Googling… Judging… Young Tommy Shaw’s hair is top notch. 80’s Tommy Shaw’s hair is a David Spade mullet. Seems his spot on the list went “Sailing Away,” around 1985, but that 70’s straw was sporting was solid.
No one had hair as nice as John Bon Jovi
David Lee Roth HAD the greatest mane in rock history. His hair during the first album (see the videos for “You Really Got Me” and “Jaime’s Cryin’l) to the album 1984 ( video for “Jump” and “Panama”) is stuff of legend.
Unfortunately the excessive bleaching (or genetics) over the years caused it to go into the hair afterlife.
But we’ll always have the videos, pictures and memories of this natural phenomenon.
Sebastian Bach, the former lead singer of Skid Row certainly deserves mentioned in this category. He still is about about his hair 30 yrs later!
is this where i vote? y’all are going to look in the comments section??😬 Bob Marley
Although he’s not a musician, I’d nominate long-time DJ on Philadelphia’s WMMR, Pierre Robert, for the best rock ‘n’ roll hair!
Dave Grohl is a big omission. Dude had been doing it for years with Nirvana, Queens of the Stone Age, Foo Fighters.
C’mon, man! How could you leave out The Beatles?! The OGs of overcoming the crew cut look of the Fifties, they ushered in the long hair look of every other rock / country / pop star since.
You forgot Dave Mustaine’s and the rest of Megadeth’s glorious lockes