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c. 1963

Mick Jagger gets his hair done

Warning: (slightly) long hair

Terry O'Neill/Iconic Images/Getty Images

For those of you of a nervous disposition, please be warned—these pictures feature very very slightly long hair, on the head—gasp—of a 21-year-old man. 

The young man in question may be familiar to you. He is reprobate Mick Jagger. But before you press the panic button, be reassured—Jagger’s hair is being cut.

The Stones had, at this point in their decades-long career, been around for less than a year. They played their very first gig only in July 1962. Bassist Bill Wyman became a permanent member later that year, and Charlie Watts, drummer, didn’t take his place behind the kit until early ’63.

But believe it or not, The Stones were initially presented as being as squeaky clean “boy-next-door” types to rival The Beatles. However, manager Andrew Loog Oldham reversed that strategy 180 degrees. As he put it, the band would instead be “a raunchy, gamy, unpredictable bunch of undesirables.” Which meant, obvs., long(ish) hair.

Here, we see Mick Jagger’s hair being prepared for a BBC TV appearance. In 1963, this length of hair was seen as close to insurrection. But as you can see from some of these shots, Mick was far from happy to be snapped his coiffure managed—it undermined his carefully managed cool.

Mick may have changed that view if he could look into the future. Little did Jagger know that the young man behind the camera would go on to be one of the greatest photographers in rock history—one Terry O’Neil.

A quick smoke.
Terry O’Neill/Iconic Images/Getty Images

The Stones in 63. Just look at that length..
Chris Ware/Keystone Features/Getty Images
The appalling length of Jagger’s hair.
John Hoppy Hopkins/Redferns
Check that fringe.
Terry O’Neill/Iconic Images/Getty Images
Combing out the length.
Terry O’Neill/Iconic Images/Getty Images
Jagger takes matters into his own hands.
Terry O’Neill/Iconic Images/Getty Images
A salon assistant produces a smile.
Terry O’Neill/Iconic Images/Getty Images
Jagger has had enough.
Terry O’Neill/Iconic Images/Getty Images
The Stones appear on television that year.
Getty Images
The reason for the trim—The Rolling Stones perform on the TV show “Ready Steady Go!”
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

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