One of the best rebrands in wrestling history is the transition we saw when stone cold with hair was ditched for a new bald look.
The wrestling business is 50% skill and 50% looks and persona. He had the skill down, now it was time for a new look. Steve’s decision to shave his head was an immediate success as it was congruent to his new identity.
Stone Cold was heavily marketed as the face of the business during the attitude era since he was the biggest draw, this wouldn’t be the case if he kept his hair, and that’s the bottom line!
Our Timeline of Stone Cold with Hair
Shoulder Length 1990 – 1991
The year is 1991, Steve makes his debut in the WCW with shoulder length hair that’s beginning to thin at the crown.
Steve’s long hair was simply the result of a trend amongst young wrestlers spotting shoulder length hair and mullets.
Ric flairs Hair had become a part of his gimmick during 70s and 80s wrestling so it may be easy to see where Steve drew his inspiration from.
Blonde, straight, and fine hair, a look which presented him as a baby face rookie giving off the aura of a pretty boy, an image that didn’t work.
Long locks worked for certain wrestlers, Jeff Hardy Hair fit his image as it was painted and styled in multiple ways fitting his dare devil persona and Shawn Michaels Hair fit his image as the sexy boy!
Above Shoulder Length 1992
2 years into his wrestling career and Steve made some alterations to his look, we began to see him trim the ends of his hair.
During this period we begin to see Steve have his fronts combed to the sides and his hair going straight down.
The decision to have his ends trimmed was 2-fold, firstly there was less facial interference during matches and secondly it was more manageable.
Combover 1992 – 1993
In an attempt to cover up his bald spots Steve began to style his hair with a combover.
Most men experiencing balding select this style as the go to look to minimize its appearance whilst making hair look full and thick.
One of the hardest things for men is to go bald, however in Steve’s case it was a blessing in disguise.
We’ll even go as far to say he could of had everything, the sayings, the outfits, the beer drinking gimmick, anti-establishment persona, everything but had he of kept his hair it wouldn’t have worked!
Buzz Cut 1995
Its 1995, the combover is gone and Steve’s cutting ECW promos in his relatively short buzz cut.
The buzz cut was inspired by Bruce Willis’s character in pulp fiction which he would imitate during this time, and we can see what he was going for! Check comparison image below.
Were also able to clearly see his windows peak hairline begin to recede and it’s only a matter of time before his new persona will be born.
During this time Austin was in his early 30s which tends to be an age a lot of men experience male pattern baldness.
This tends to be a trait inherited by genetic lineage, which therefore means if it runs in your family the chances are high one could go bald, that was the case here!
Bald Stone Cold 1996 – Present
June 23, 1996, AUSTIN 3:16 was born!
After defeating Jake the snake back in 1996 Steve cuts his infamous 3:16 promo which will become the foundation of his character!
The following year the attitude era will begin which he will be known to dominate. It’s the bald head, brash, anti-establishment kicking ass one opponent at a time.
And that’s the bottom line because stone cold said so!
Would the Gimmick work with Hair?
Somebody give me a “HELL NO!”
Austin’s gimmick could have only worked with an image that was congruent to his persona and behaviour.
We don’t imagine his character cared much about a grooming routine, Steve’s character was simply to arrive, raise hell, & leave, in that order.
He himself spoke about his hair during a podcast in which a question was posed about his hair and this is what he had to say!