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The Many Haircuts of Jon Bon Jovi (John Francis Bongiovi)

Updated on November 12, 2010

The Many Haircuts of Jon Bon Jovi (John Francis Bongiovi)

Long before he became the seemingly immortal pop/rock icon we all know as Jon Bon Jovi, John Francis Bongiovi may or may not have aspired to a career in hair design. Numerous trips to the 'beauty salon' with his mother and his many aunts seemed to have a lasting impact on his choice of vocation. Even as he climbed the charts with hits such as Runaway and Runaway Remixed, he spent uncounted hours designing and implementing haircuts that would change the coiffing landscape of Rock and Roll.

The minimalist hair cut of Billy Corgan may be directly related to influences emanating from John Francis Bongiovi
The minimalist hair cut of Billy Corgan may be directly related to influences emanating from John Francis Bongiovi

80's Big Hair Bands Dominate the Rock Landscape

Long-haired sissified flyaway hairdos were de rigeur at rock concerts of the 1980's. Stadium concerts actually became a necessity because all that hair spray in an enclosed arena proved to be a significant fire hazard. Bands such as AD/DC, Twisted Sister, and Mötley Crüe struggled for recognition, but their inability to play their instruments better than junior high school pep bands meant that they would need a 'hook' in order to finally get that 'big break'. The tried biting heads off helpless animals. They experimented with reading Robert Frost poetry on stage. They took a guitar lesson. Nothing seemed to help. Eventually they turned to Jon Bon Jovi as a last resort. JBJ was experiencing wild success at shopping mall openings and state fairs. Bon Jovi gladly shared his hair cutting secrets with his fellow rockers. He introduced them to the wonders of teasing, perming, and streaking. He convinced life-long brunettes to go blonde. He explained how to perform gymnastic leaps off the amplifier stacks without getting ones bangs tangled in the cabling. The rest is history, except for Brett Michaels, who thinks he is fooling someone with his bandanna and extensions.

JBJ may have convinced Nirvana to simply stop performing any hair care whatsoever.
JBJ may have convinced Nirvana to simply stop performing any hair care whatsoever.

90's Rock Hair: Ignore It and Maybe It'll go away.

Perhaps in rebellion to the 80's big hair bands, rock combos of the 1990's looked to other haircare alternatives. Fans grew tired of long flowing locks on ostensibly male guitarists and drummers. The cost of Aqua Net consumed much of the profit generated by big hair world tours.

Jon Bon Jovi would not be deterred. He considered his options. He schemed and calculated. He mixed colorants in his palatial basement in Deal, New Jersey. He moonlighted at barber colleges in Trenton. Unsubstantiated rumors persist: perhaps JBJ even obtained a hair dresser's license and actually practiced his trade at a Weehawken strip mall.

Bon Jovi's diligence eventually paid off. He finally settled on a hair presentation strategy that would become wildly popular in the Pacific Northwest and would come to be known as grunge. He simply instructed his proteges to perform no hair care whatsoever. He eschewed all manner of pomades, potions, and perms. Grunge hairstyles led to grunge clothing, which also looked like it needed a trip through the washer and dryer. Once again, John Francis Bongiovi had saved rock and Roll from itself.


Rock and Roll may owe a debt of gratitude to the hair cutting skills of Jon Bon Jovi.

Note: Regardless of the career arc experienced by John Francis Bongiovi, he has in no way been responsible for the many hair styles of Justin Bieber, Rod Stewart, or Prince. Even Jersey boys have some standards.


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    • dallas93444 profile image

      Dallas W Thompson 7 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      Rockers let their hair down... or shave it off. Great hub!

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 7 years ago from Ohio, USA Indeed, thou dost rock!

    • Springboard profile image

      Springboard 7 years ago from Wisconsin

      When it comes to these guys I think of two things. I don't care what you look like. I don't care what you're politics are. Just sing.

    • billyaustindillon profile image

      billyaustindillon 7 years ago

      I must admit I was never really into the hair bands - but I have to admit JBJ has stayed the course and seems as big now as then. I actually think he is a pretty good actor in the work he has done.

    • Tom Whitworth profile image

      Tom Whitworth 7 years ago from Moundsville, WV


      It's too bad Jon Bon Jovi wasn't born and singing in the 1960's he could have performed, "Wooly Bully"!!!!!!!

    • drcrischasse profile image

      drcrischasse 7 years ago from NH/Foxboro

      Went to kid rock and Bon jovi saturday night.

    • profile image 7 years ago

      Whoah, the style's half way there, whooaah livin on our hair! Take my coiffure and we'll style it I swear, whooaah living on our hair!!!

    • zzron profile image

      zzron 7 years ago from Houston, TX.

      I think long hair on men really went out of style in the 80's. It is still around to some degree today but not considered the trendy style. I think more men today enjoy looking like men and find it more appealing to women.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 7 years ago from south Florida

      Wow, nicomp, the stuff I learn from your hubs. Bon Jovi invented grunge? And here I thought it was just the result of very poor, unsanitary and unhygienic hair care.