Willie Nelson Reveals Whether He'd Part With His Signature Hair

Throughout the history of popular music, many musicians have gotten to where they are through a combination of their music and signature "look." For example, the guys in Metallica emit a "heavy metal" vibe not just with their instruments, but also through their tight jeans and black clothing. Similarly, Lady Gaga's outrageous outfits and makeup are a key part of her persona, making the performer "Lady Gaga" unique from the woman under the costume, Stefani Germanotta.

One musician who is inextricably linked to his "look" is Willie Nelson. Over several decades in country music, Nelson has been known for the raw simplicity of his presentation: cowboy hat, tattered T-shirt, red-white-and-blue guitar strap, beat-up guitar, and long, braided, salt-and-pepper hair. It's a look he's relied on for decades. Early in his career, as Taste of Country notes, he sported short hair, but as he found his niche in outlaw country, the long hair soon became a part of the Willie Nelson package. And it's going to take a lot to convince him to get rid of it.

Willie would ditch his hair before his guitar

Willie Nelson told The Today Show in 2021 that his long braided hair isn't going to be the last thing he holds on to. Indeed, he'd be glad to get rid of his hair need be, but one thing he's never going to part with is his beaten-up guitar, Trigger. Asked directly if he had to choose between getting a haircut or getting a new guitar, Nelson answered that the choice was simple. "I'd cut the hair off, and it'll grow back," he said.

As it turns out, Nelson has indeed cut his hair short (comparatively so, anyway) in his later career. As recently as 2010, as Taste of Country reported, Nelson was spotted on-stage sporting unbraided locks that barely reached his shoulders. Of course, since then he's gone back to  lengthy braids. Indeed, Willie noted that he may cut his hair off again at some point. "I might decide I don't like it one day and cut it all off," he said.