We’re so used to seeing famous people that we can’t imagine what they must have looked like before.
When those people are bald, imagining them with hair is sometimes impossible.
Well, don’t worry. I’ve scoured the internet for pictures of bald celebrities when they had hair, so you don’t have to imagine anymore.
Boxing legend ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson went bald in the early 1990s while still in his mid-20s. Before that, he sported a short, cropped hairstyle, often with a line shaved into the hairline.
Tyson’s hair showed an uneven hairline even in his early 20s, which is often perfectly natural and present from birth, but can sometimes be a precursor to a receding hairline.
The reason for, and extent of, Tyson’s baldness is still the subject of speculation. Whether it was caused by the stress of being the most controversial boxing champion of all time remains unconfirmed.
Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson
During his prime in WWF in the early 2000s, The Rock had a noticeably receding hairline. By the time he became the highest-paid actor in Hollywood, Dwayne Johnson had fully embraced the bald badass look.
Always happy to laugh at himself, the wrestler-turned-actor regularly shares photos from his teenage years, where he sported some questionable hairstyles and fashion choices.
70s pop music icon Joel rocked a dark quiffed haircut in his prime.
Now fully bald on top, the Piano Man keeps his remaining hair closely shaved to avoid that unfortunate contrast between hair and bald scalp.
The original James Bond was the quintessential British gentleman, with a neat parting usually keeping his thick, dark hair in place.
In later life Connery’s hair not only went a distinguished white, but fell victim to Male Pattern Baldness too. Unperturbed, Connery went for the ‘bald on top, hair at the back and sides‘ look and often paired it with a well-kept moustache.
The controversial American comedian has been receding for a long time and is one of few bald or balding celebrities who doesn’t reach for the razor.
Having lost his red hair many years ago, his hair is kept short but the untidy, unshaven look fits his overall image.
The writing was on the wall for Chappelle in his early years as a stand-up comedian, as shown in this shot from one of his shows back in the 90s:
His receding hairline is clear to see, and these days he keeps it shaved for public appearances.
The future King of England is one public figure who has resisted shaving his hair for as long as possible, despite the obvious benefits.
A life of public service comes with certain pressures and responsibilities. While it’s not known whether Wills was advised against shaving his head, it was long overdue by the time the prince finally braved the shave.
So here’s a picture of the billionaire owner of Tesla with his natural hair, and one more recent shot that suggests he’s had a hair transplant.
Of course, he’s far from the only balding celebrity to make this choice. Steve Carell seems to have had a transplant around 2006, and there are rumors that David Beckham has also had surgery to restore his hairline.
Banks is probably best known for his role as Mike Ehrmantraut in Breaking Bad, a show with a number of notable bald actors.
However, you might also recognize Banks in his role in 1984’s cult hit Gremlins, where his hair was already well on its way out.
One of Hollywood’s most recognizable baldies, Zane’s hair was already receding by the time he appeared in Murder She Wrote in 1988:
Considering Zane was only in his early 20s at this point, it seems baldness was inevitable and although he’s experimented with different approaches, he looks great fully bald.
NFL Hall of Famer Bradshaw is another who resists the temptation to shave the remaining hair at the back and sides of his head, which is fully bald on top.
Bradshaw’s fair hair was thinning even towards the end of his football career, and he’s just one example of blondes going bald quicker and more often.
Another blonde who went bald was legendary surfer Slater, who had the classic surfer dude hair when he shot to fame in the 90s.
Slater’s Male Pattern Baldness doesn’t support the idea that salt water is good for your hair, but he still looks pretty amazing with a shaved head.
Shaq started shaving his head at just 23 years old, even though he didn’t need it at the time.
Since then he’s gone on to become one of the all-time greats in the sport and one of the most loved celebrities, known for his generosity and positivity.
Turns out the former guitarist and songwriter from The Who didn’t die before he got old after all, and we’re all the richer for it.
The signs were there in his heyday, given the wispy, flyaway nature of his curly mop.
Moby feels like he’s always been bald, so it was nice of him to remind us that he once had a full head of hair on Twitter.
Not many people know that Hollywood hardman Statham was a successful high diver before his movie career.
It’s difficult to recognize the Brit with hair, but this picture was taken when he competed at the 1990 Commonwealth Games. This slicked-back look shows that his hair had already settled into a mature hairline when he was still in his early 20s.
One of the greatest players in the history of the NBA, Jordan was shaving his head by choice long before baldness made it necessary.
Like Shaq, Jordan was shaving bald by his mid-20s. In the late 80s, the Bulls legend went hair-free and went on to win six championships (the two might not be related!).
The rap legend no doubt suits the bald look, but Common wasn’t so sure and admitted he tried to hold on to his hair when it started to thin out.
The combination of the bald head with a thick goatee has served him well over the years and Common graduated to a full beard in more recent years.
Samuel L. Jackson
The incomparable star of the Matrix and Avengers movies decided to go bald when he ‘felt this big hole’ in his afro.
These days, Jackson tends to wear a Kangol hat in what has become a signature look. Check out this list of the best hats for bald men for more ideas!
The lead singer of the Smashing Pumpkins has had quite the hair journey, from the long curly style of his early grunge look to full baldness via a more modest mid-length cut:
Corgan saw that his hair was thinning and shaved it right after the video for their (pretty awesome) single ‘Bullet With Butterfly Wings’ hit MTV’s screens.
Arguably the most famous advocate of the ‘bald on top, hair on the sides’ look, Alexander did hit our screens before losing his hair in a series of 80s TV ads:
Alexander, who plays George Louis Costanza in Seinfeld, rocked the ‘horseshoe’ throughout his run on the sitcom between 1989 and 1998.
Travolta’s hair and supple hips made him a sex symbol in the 70s with his roles in movies like Saturday Night Fever.
These days he’s embraced his hair loss and is one of many bald celebrities with beards.
Even in his youth, the star of XXX and The Fast And The Furious was showing early signs of thinning on top:
I’m not sure what he’s up to here, but I’m much more of a fan of the actor’s signature bald look.
I was today years old when I realized Stanley Tucci was the dig-stealing greaseball with the questionable cowboy boots in Beethoven:
As you can see, his hair was badly thinning, which adds to his character in the movie. However, he’s looking much better these days with the shaved head and glasses look.
Our next ‘baller also went early with the bald look, having sported a shaved head in his rookie year in the NBA. Here he is in a rare interview before the shave:
Sadly no longer with us, Kobe’s retirement gave him time to work on a new image, and thankfully we got to see bald-and-bearded Bryant before he passed away.
Tyrese’s talent was plain to see from an early age and after an appearance on a TV talent show, his career in music grew from strength to strength.
The RnB singer also went early with the shaved head, and it’s a look that has served him well over the years.
Starring as Richie Cunningham in Happy Days, Ron Howard was the wholesome, red-haired best friend of super cool Fonzie.
But there’s nothing cooler than being confident, and although he’s usually seen in a baseball cap, Howard is another who is comfortable enough to rock the horseshoe rather than shave the back and sides of his bald head.
Sir Patrick Stewart
This one is cheating, admittedly.
Seen here starring in I, Claudius, Stewart is actually wearing a very convincing wig, having gone bald at 19. That’s a tough thing to happen, so please read this post if you’re worried about being bald at 20.
Mr. Worldwide is arguably as famous for his image as he is for his music.
The Fireball rapper, who pairs sharp suits with his trademark facial hair, doesn’t talk about going bald much but has previously convinced Hollywood friends like Jon Travolta to brave the shave.
Bezos was proof that balding ages you in a big way. In this photo he’s in his mid 30s, but looks closer to 50:
Ironically, in the more recent photo the boss of Amazon doesn’t look much older, despite them being taken 30 years apart.
Sir Ben Kingsley
One of the most famous English actors, Sir Ben’s acting career stretches back to before the time of color TV when he appeared in the British soap Coronation Street:
It’s hard to make out, but there looks to be some thinning going on at the fringe, which was a precursor to the bald look we’re more familiar with.
‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin
It’s hard to imagine, but back in his WCW days, ‘Stone Cold’ was in a tag team called The Hollywood Blondes where he had a beautiful head of blonde hair.
Known as ‘Stunning’ Steve Austin, his character was a world away from the beer-drinking, foul-mouthed rebel of his WWF peak.
Australian media mogul Murdoch has made billions from his newspaper and television interests, but hasn’t been able to stop the onset of Male Pattern Baldness.
In this 1967 interview, Murdoch is 36 years old but is already showing a severely receding hairline.
Actor Moore shot to fame in the 90s when he was revealed as Halle Berry’s new love interest.
These days he’s held up as one of the sexiest bald men on the planet.
Diggs says he went for the fully-shaved look as soon as he started receding.
Some of us take some time to get used to the idea but given how great he always looks, there was no way the How Stella Got Her Groove Back star was going for the comb-over.
Harrelson became a household name playing lovable bartender Woody in the 80s sitcom Cheers.
Now one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, he’s incorporated his baldness into certain roles while wearing a wig in others.
Another famous wig-wearer, Willis’ thinning hair was obvious in this appearance on Miami Vice:
These days the actor regularly appears proudly sporting a bald head, but has donned a hairpiece in several of his blockbuster movies.
Crews is an odd addition to this list, because according to the man himself, he isn’t actually bald.
The NFL star-turned-actor claims he shaves his head every day because otherwise, people won’t recognize him.
More famous baldies
If you liked this list, here’s some more to get your teeth into: