Country Throwback: Willie Nelson Once Chopped Off Signature Braids and Didn’t Tell Anyone

by Emily Morgan
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Willie Nelson’s long braids are forever associated with the outlaw country star’s legacy. However, Nelson shocked fans after cutting them off in 2010.

While on vacation in Hawaii, Willie Nelson switched up his haircut without giving fans any warning. The former Highwayman debuted his new look when he joined his youngest son’s band, The Reflectacles, onstage. Nelson made a guest appearance during their set at Charley’s in Maui on May 22, 2010. 

Even though Willie Nelson appeared to give fans a musical surprise, attendees seemed to pay less attention to the music instead of focusing on the braid-less bob. Soon after the performance, pictures from that night went viral online. The fan’s disbelief prompted Nelson’s publicist, Elaine Schock, to explain that Nelson didn’t want to make a big fuss over the updates look, saying, “There’s a lot of maintenance.”

In 2007, Nelson commented on his iconic blonde braids during an interview with Stuff Magazine. 

“There have been a couple of times I’ve run into people who have requested that I cut my hair, but I’m not going to do it. Not for a movie or anything. You know, I might decide I don’t like it one day and cut if all off, but I wouldn’t do it just because that’s what somebody wanted me to do.”

Willie Nelson Lives Outlaw Spirit By Chopping Off Braids

The country legend lived up to his outlaw nature when he proved he didn’t just sing about being a rebel; Nelson lived it when he decided to take the chop. 

However, Nelson’s shorter ‘do didn’t last long. He began growing his hair back out, and at age 86, Nelson continues to sport the braids today. 

Even though fans were heartbroken about his cut, Nelson’s lengthy career in the country music world proves he’s much more than his hairstyle. 

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