Sammy Hagar’s flowing mane of hair had become as recognizable as the singer’s inimitable voice. Yet, 20 years ago the Red Rocker went on national television and had his distinctive curls cut off.
“A few weeks ago our old friend Sammy Hagar called us,” Tonight Show host Jay Leno explained to his studio audience and viewers at home. “You know, he’s got that legendary long hair and he wanted to cut his hair for charity.”
Hagar, it turns out, had been informed of Locks of Love, the nonprofit organization that provides wigs to children who face hair loss due to medical conditions such as alopecia and chemotherapy. The rocker was so moved by the charity’s work that he decided to offer up his luscious locks to help the cause.
The musician’s trademark long and curly look began in his early days with Montrose, and stayed with him as solo success and a stint in Van Halen brought Hagar (and his hair) international fame. But on Nov. 12, 1999, Hagar ended a relationship that he and his hair had maintained for more than 25 years.
After a brief contest among audience members, a young woman was selected to do the cutting. Celebrity stylist Johnathin Antin supervised, “to make sure none of Sammy’s arteries [were] accidentally severed,” joked Leno.
With what looked like giant gardening shears, the fan went to work on the Red Rocker’s famous locks, much to the delight of the audience members watching. “You look like you could be in Annie now!” Leno quipped, as Hagar’s long strands were quickly turned into a curly red bob.
Watch Sammy Hagar Get a Haircut on ‘The Tonight Show’
While the occasion was all in good fun, it served as yet another classic example of Hagar’s charitable work. The Red Rocker has earned a reputation as one of music’s most generous philanthropists, forming the Hagar Family Foundation, continually donating to food banks and founding the Acoustic-4-A-Cure event alongside Metallica frontman James Hetfield.
Meanwhile, Locks of Love has grown exponentially since Hagar helped bring the organization attention in only its second year of existence. The charity continues providing wigs to children in need across all 50 states. More information can be found on the official Locks of Love website.