29+ Bald Celebrities Who Look Unrecognizable With Hair


| LAST UPDATE 01/15/2023

By Raven Wade

We may be familiar with Vin Diesel and The Rock's bare-head aesthetic, but these before & after transformations have us blown away. Back before they embraced the smooth-shaved look, these stars were almost unrecognizable.

Bruce Willis

Once upon a time, in 1987, just a few years before Die Hard 2, Bruce Willis had a full head of hair. The then-32-year-old was at the top of his game. Not to mention his slicked-back hair.

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Ron Galella Collection/Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

As years went on, and the industry got more intense, things changed for Willis. He's still the same legend - unfortunately, he's struggled with health scares in recent years. Nonetheless, we can applaud Willis for dominating the scene for as long as he did. John McClane will forever go down in history.

Howie Mandel

It's wild to think that Howie Mandel once rocked a full head of hair. Needless to say, it worked. During the 80s, it seemed not many had taken a liking to the bald aesthetic as the mullet was at its peak of popularity - and the comedian is the perfect example.

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Donaldson Collection/Michael Ochs Archives/Phillip Faraone/FilmMagic via Getty Images

According to ABC News, Mandel's new look was nothing to do with his career. But in order to focus on his battle with OCD and anxiety with germs, having hair was no longer an option. Yet again, this bold bald look worked out in his favor as it has become the signature look of the America's Got Talent judge.

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Taye Diggs

Back in the 90s, everything was short and small. From skirts to sunglasses, this was the peak of celebrity style, where most rocked the same fashion. For Taye Diggs, it was all about his small hoop silver earrings - worn with the matching silver-lined minuscule shades. And how could we forge the short-shaved buzz cut?

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Jim Smeal/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images/Unique Nicole/WireImage via Getty Images

Diggs' bald look was out of his control as he reported to Men's Health in 2015 he was losing his hair. "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," he noted. We love to see him embracing his age with open arms.

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Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson

We are used to focusing on The Rock's hefty muscles. His large built body is enough distraction from the fact that he doesn't, well, have any hair. Yet, we never have really noticed anything different. Although, back in the day, he had a long dark mane that exuded an entirely different vibe.

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George Pimentel/WireImage/Aaron Davidson for HBO via Getty Images

We have become far too familiar with Johnson's clean-shaved aesthetic, and he seems to rock the buzzcut look like a star. "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," the actor hilariously revealed back in 2017. Noted.

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Samuel L. Jackson

Back in 1994, before Samuel L. Jackson trademarked his variety range of specs, the audience focused their attention elsewhere. Although he looks exactly the same every year, it's difficult to ignore the short head of hair he once possessed. Of course, he later changed his mind and went for something a little more bold.

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Ron Galella Ltd./Ron Galella Collection/Anthony Harvey via Getty Images

In the short space of two years, Jackson took the plunge and shaved off all of his hair. Now we can focus on his spec collection even more. Though we can't help but notice how the man hasn't aged a day since that left picture. What's his secret?

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Jon Cryer

Before Jon Cryer became the aimless roommate in Two & A Half Men, he soared through Hollywood with his heavy head of hair. At the peak of his Pretty in Pink fame, Cryer's long locks were everything the camera desired. The subtle swoosh did the trick, but we guess all good things come to an end.

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Michael Putland/Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic via Getty Images

Though he has maintained his acting skills, Cryer is no longer the proud owner of the brunette mane that once sat on his head. Although, he likes to keep things tamed as he prefers to grow out his dark beard rather than holding down the fort with hairspray and endless wash routines. He's still the same Cryer.

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Woody Harrelson

In 1986, Woody Harrelson was the ultimate bachelor with his blonde hair and ocean-blue eyes. His luscious long locks were the talk of the town, though it didn't last for long. When he changed his look, he also changed his roles in movies, attracting a different on-screen persona.

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Ron Galella Collection/Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic via Getty Images

Looking at the works of ZombielandNow You See MeTrue Detective, and The Hunger Games, his new look worked perfectly for a different genre. That being said, we can't quite picture that guy on the left fighting zombies or becoming a mischievous magic scam artist. In fact, it seems his bold look earned him quite the career.

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Vin Diesel

This one might be our most surprising… yet. While everyone is familiar with Vin Diesel, it is shocking to come across a photo of him with a full head of hair. Though we might start to believe it is photoshop or become skeptical about him using wigs, everyone goes through changes - and this just happened to be one of his.

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HD Retro Trailers via YouTube/Jim Spellman/WireImage via Getty Images

The Fast & Furious star is all about the ride-or-die, fixing oil tanks, and revving engines. Now, it wouldn't exactly be practical to have a head of hair pressured against the wind while driving over 100 mp/h. Something to think about - which brings us to our next legend...

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Kevin James

Kevin James has always been a man with soft brown locks that almost look too conditioned. He is most commonly recognized when his hair is cut short with a cropped cut at the sides, as seen in The King of Queens. As time passed, he dabbled around with haircuts, but he might have finally found the perfect one.

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Rotten Tomatoes TV via YouTube/Maureen Donaldson/Michael Ochs Archives via Getty Images

"I did shave my head ... it was [for a role] and God was leading me that way I think," he recalled. Now, he is embracing everything, au natural. As seen in the 2021 comedy series The Crew, when he's not wearing his cap, it's all bold and bald underneath. And we're here for it.

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J.K. Simmons

When it comes down to J.K. Simmons, it's almost impossible to find evidence that he once was not the bald legend we see today. Without tracking down unreleased images from childhood, he rocked a salt & pepper head of hair in Spider-Man. As edgy as he looked, it was all about sticking to what he knows.

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Top Scene4u via YouTube/Kevin Winter via Getty Images

Some might say that Simmons rocks the best bald look in town. After being cast in well-established characters of his generation, there is no better way to trademark his new appearance. Even so, he stands out from the rest without having the slightest goatee appearance. He takes the bald look the whole way.

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Michael Keaton

American actor Michael Keaton is professionally known for his comedic and dramatic characters. His most renowned stint might go to his leading role as Batman in 1991. Despite the Keaton we know and love today, he's since taken charge of a completely different look.

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Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic Inc/Matt Winkelmeyer via Getty Images

Considering the Batman suit, the Beetlejuice look, and even The Founder classic suit and tie, it seems Keaton's latest look is here to stay. The remaining tuffs continue to add character, but his lean and sturdy build pair perfectly with his bold aesthetic. Don't get on his bad side, folks.

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Stanley Tucci

It's the guy with the round specs everyone knows and loves: Stanely Tucci has created some of the best looks in movie history. From sparking the audience's attention with his pink-haired character from The Hunger Games to his wispy look in Captain America. Though, it seems that he was destined to stay bald.

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Marvel/Paramount/Kobal via Shutterstock/David Levenson via Getty Images

Throughout all of his characters, it's clear that he can pull off anything, as seen in The Devil Wears Prada. The clean-shaven head completes his look as he continues to view the outside world through the small rectangular lenses that sit upon his nose. Just imagine what his closet looks like...

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Laurence Fishburne

Laurence Fishburne might have debuted every look known to man. He has grown out both his beard and head of hair, and also shaped the simple goatee on his chin to compliment his facial structure - yet, it seems he has reached his final decision.

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Steve Eichner/Charley Gallay for Netflix via Getty Images

As seen in the side-by-side snaps above, Fishburne has ditched the mane and is all about bearing it all for the world to see. No beard, no hair, just Fishburne. He is his own character, and there's nothing better than that. The actor has done his time and the crime, and we think his latest look is here to stay.

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Channing Tatum

Considering his chiseled facial structure, Channing Tatum might as well have blue and yellow hair, and he would still be making fans swoon. We're not hating on his spiked, gelled hair. Yet, his recent and reoccurring look has caught a substantial amount of attention.

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Frazer Harrison/Taylor Hill/WireImage via Getty Images

From 22 Jump Street to She's The Man and Step-Up, he slowly but surely cut his hair shorter and shorter. "There is nothing, and I mean nothing, as good as finishing the hardest job of my life. And then shaving my head and letting the character go," he revealed of his post-production ritual. It all makes sense now...

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Christopher Meloni

Chris Meloni has been keeping bad guys off the streets for as long as we can remember. But throughout his time as Detective Stabler, the Law & Order: SVU actor has made quite the transformation. And we're not the only ones who have noticed...

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Ron Galella/Contributor via Getty Images/Momodu Mansaray/Stringer via Getty Images

“hi @Chris_Meloni do you miss when you actually had hair or are u having fun living the egg head life,” one user shaded the actor on Twitter. His response? "Acceptance is a beautiful thing to experience.” As if we didn't love the guy enough already.

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John Malkovich 

Something just doesn't sit right with us when it comes to John Malkovich donning a full head of hair, long too. But back in 1985, Malkovich wasn't yet a part of the bald squad until years passed, and he finally found what he was looking for.

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Ron Galella Ltd./Ron Galella Collection/Tristan Fewings via Getty Images

The Of Mice and Men actor reached a point in his life where the look just wasn't working for him. Something was missing - or needed to be missing. That's when he finally took the plunge and shaved it all off. Still, there's a sporadic grey goatee in sight every now and then. But this is the Malkovich we all know and love.

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Steve Harvey

Same mustache, different TV host. Steve Harvey is mostly recognized for his bright and light pearly whites and mustache that haven't changed in over ten years. Yet, to our surprise, the iconic comedian had a life before we knew him, and it involved a clean-cut head of hair with a pair of classic 90s shades.

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Kevin Winter/Gregg DeGuire/WireImage via Getty Images

The guy that has a smile that can be spotted from a mile away once had a fairly thick head of hair that matched his facial hair. The Family Feud host decided it was time to ditch the cropped cut and focus on his stache as if it was his prized possession. We have to give it to him - the look is still going strong.

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Mark Strong

When we take a look at Mark Strong in Zero Dark Thirty or even in the 1996 production of Emma, he is completely unrecognizable. Strong has always been on the bald team. So, there really is no talking him into growing his hair out. Although, as an actor in high demand, his various roles require various hairstyles.

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ITV via Shutterstock/John Phillips for Jameson via Getty Images

Taking into consideration unidentifiable aesthetics, this comes down to the power of hair and make-up. Most of the time, when Strong takes on a film where his role requires hair, it usually involves a wig. But despite the hassle that his balding hair has caused him, he'll be the first to call it "a blessing in disguise," as he told BBC.

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John Travolta

It's hard to imagine a John Travolta without the characteristics that make up his T-Birds persona. We can't imagine how much gel the Grease star has used in the past, but what we do know is that he might have run out. We could say his hair was the epitome of most of his characters - but now things are a little different.

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Matej Divizna/Daniele Venturelli/WireImage via Getty Images

He is still the same John Travolta, but he most definitely looks different. Just a few years back, the Grease movie star took a major risk in shaving off his head of hair. This doesn't mean it did any damage. In fact, in an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Travolta said he shaved his head "on a whim." Good for him!

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Billy Joel

Perhaps it's only right that the legend who produced songs such as Vienna and Piano Man would have a full head of locks that fit his charming persona. The King of the 80s welcomed his fame with a thick head of hair. Yet, it was only a matter of time before it disappeared. Someone cue the nostalgia.

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Richard E./Aaron Redferns/Theo Wargo/NBC via Getty Images

Age works in many wonderful ways, and it just so happens that Mr. Joel kept his bright blue eyes and talent - but eventually got rid of the mane. "I started losing my hair when I was in my 50s," he recalled. While he might look different performing these days, his voice sounds just as familiar.

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Billy Zane

Nothing beat the 90s thick and arched bang haircut. Similar to the stylings of Johnny Depp, Billy Zane once possessed the same head of hair. Almost completely unrecognizable, the actor was not always a fan of the bald look. But eventually, time caught up with him, and it was time for a change.

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Ron Galella Ltd./Ron Galella Collection/Andreas Rentz via Getty Images

Thankfully, Billy Zane wouldn't be Billy Zane without his signature bald head. He had the tendency of going back and forth over the years with shaving his head and re-growing it, but it seems that he realized nothing could beat the bold look. As it became a part of his persona, he never went back to the brush.

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Alan Arkin

Before becoming an Academy Award Winner, the man of the Muppets captured intriguing photos with the presence of his brown locks. While Arkin began acting at a young age, it was all about the motion picture aesthetic of a perfect smile with great hair to match. For Arkin, his look seemingly helped him land roles in gems like Catch-22.

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David Dagley via Shutterstock//Frazer Harrison via Getty Images

As established, age affects people in weird and wonderful ways. For Arkin, his hair went away just like his years of youth. Although he remains a Hollywood legend, his bald look only enhanced his career. The transition to the shaved style ironically took him back to the beginning, allowing him to fit the part of more mature roles.

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James Spader

This might just be the most luscious blonde locks we have ever laid our eyes on. While the 80s were prime for big hair everywhere, James Spader might have won this round. His disco-inspired aesthetic complemented the blonde whisps even more. Spader aged liked fine wine but left his hair behind.

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Michael Ochs Archives/D Dipasupil/FilmMagic via Getty Images

These days, the Blacklist actor prefers a sharper look. "The way his life has been for the last 20 years, he's moving from place to place. I thought that he should have a haircut that he could do himself," he explained of his character's low-maintenance bald hair. Fair point.

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Ed Harris

Up next is another star whose balding ways helped push his career. But don't take our word for it. "I think it shaped my career," the Westworld actor admitted. "I don't think I get the credit I deserve for being bald and playing parts in films meant for people with hair."

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julio donoso/Sygma/Angela Weiss via Getty Images

Though he is not entirely unrecognizable, thanks to his baby blues, he kept a few things consistent throughout the years. While he has completely balded at the top, he has kept the nostalgic 80s sideburns. Not to mention, his acting skills are just as present today.

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Michael Chiklis 

Michael Chiklis has found his passion for crime, drama, and, particularly, horror productions. With that in mind, it might be harder to take him seriously with a full head of champagne locks. It seems that Chiklis realized his hair might have been a burden when it came to roles, considering his now-signature bald look.

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Michael Putland/Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic via Getty Images

Chiklis took the plunge and grabbed the razor. It was a go big or go home moment, and he wasn't going to drop his career. After bidding farewell to his locks, he secured roles in American Horror Story, 10 Minutes Gone, and The Shield. It seems his new look was just what production was looking for, and we respect the dedication.

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Aaron Paul

While Aaron Paul might have a need for speed, he might have experienced the same issue as Vin Diesel. It's almost impossible to enjoy the same amount of horsepower when there's a bundle of knotted hair flying around. Although Paul kept his hair quite short in a buzzcut style, it clearly wasn't short enough.

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J. Shearer / Contributor via Getty Images/Frazer Harrison/Staff via Getty Images

In fact, it was his idea for his Breaking Bad character to debut a bald 'do in season 4. How did he see it? "Whenever we go through something traumatic in our lives... you tend to sort of shed some hair, different hairstyles, start fresh, start new." Talk about art imitating life...

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Jonathan Banks

Is that Jonathan Banks? His signature pristine cut hijacked majority of the roles he played back in the 80s, such as Aaron in the 1991 thriller production of Blind Side, and especially his first major role in Beverly Hills Cop in 1984. Those regular barber shop trips did him justice with the old Hollywood cut.

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Beverly Hills Cop (1984) Paramount Pictures via IMDb/John Shearer/WireImage via Getty Images

But, just like all those other Hollywood gems, they were too get to let go of. While Banks has dominated multiple seasons of Breaking Bad, it would be hard to picture all the action with a full head of hair - it just doesn't fit the part like his bald image does. Thankfully, we don't think Banks is growing out his hair any time soon.

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Sean Connery

There is no doubt in our mind the original 007 star would have excelled in the movie with a bald head. Sean Connery perfectly portrayed the glamorous peerless spy of his generation. His hair might have pushed the producers to give him the part, but we can't blame them. Even bald, he still manages to look sleek in his suit and tie.

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Silver Screen Collection Archive Photos/Stephen Shugerman via Getty Images

With or without hair, Connery always had a charming feature about him that Hollywood went crazy for. The Scottish actor adopted his bald look in the best ways possible, keeping it long at the sides while it swiftly transitioned into a clean-cut grey beard. He's still got it like he did in 1962.

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Patrick Stewart

The English actor has majored in acting for almost seven decades, so there was no way his hair was getting in the way of his career. The young Patrick Stewart typically showed up on the big screen with a sleek side parting and a thick head of hair - one of which being his 1976 role in I, Claudius. Yet, not for long.

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I-Claudius (1976) BBC via IMDb/Jamie McCarthy via Getty Images

As Stewart later revealed, the actor began balding at the young age of 19. After contemplation, he ultimately went back to his roots and decided to shave it all off. With wigs not out of the question, it seems his bald head turned out to be the best thing that happened to his career.

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