Artists Behind The Hair
Musicians are creative types; their ability to form beauty out of sound, to build patterns from chaos, is what makes them special. Sometimes their creativity goes beyond the sonic realm into that of the visual. Hair is one of the most defining and yet malleable features of a person’s look, and one that musicians often use to express themselves. Here, we review the most notable hairstyles and the artists who wore them.
The Mullet: Billy Ray Cyrus, Rod Stewart
A classic look of the 70s and 80s, the mullet hairstyle is produced by cutting the hair shorter in the back than in the front. Billy Ray Cyrus is one of the more iconic wearers of the mullet, but other famous musicians to rock the style include Rod Stewart, David Bowie, and Paul McCartney.
Dreadlocks: Bob Marley, Migos
Dreadlocks are rope-like formations made by matting or twisting hair. They’ve been a hairstyle since ancient times, but came to prominence in the music world thanks to the influence of Rastafarianism in reggae music. Bob Marley is no doubt the best known dreadlocked musician, and the style remains popular today as evidenced by artists like Migos and 2Chainz.
The Jheri Curl: Michael Jackson, Eazy-E
The Jheri curl is a permed hairstyle of loose curls that was popular in African-American communities in the 1980s. Many artists of the time had Jheri curls, the most famous being Michael Jackson. MJ sported a Jheri curl on the cover of Thriller, the best-selling album of all time, thus immortalizing the style. Another artist known for his Jheri curl was N.W.A. founding member Eazy-E.
The Mohawk: John Lydon, Travis Barker
The mohawk hairstyle was worn by various indigenous peoples throughout history, and didn’t become well-known in the music scene until the rise of punk rock in the late 70s. Involving short or shaved hair on the sides with longer hair in the center, the middle hair can be spiked or shaped for extra effect. Sex Pistols frontman John “Johnny Rotten” Lydon often appears with some mohawk variant. Travis Barker, drummer for pop-punk group Blink-182, is commonly pictured with a mohawk as well.
Innovators: Lady Gaga, Willow Smith
While hairstyles can bond musicians together, they’re also a way to stand out from the crowd. Artists like Lady Gaga and Willow Smith aren’t known for one kind of hair in particular, but rather for hairstyles that no one’s ever seen before. Gaga and Smith push the boundaries of what’s possible, and it’s always fun to see what they come up with!