Sammy Hagar Is Unrecognizable After Shaving His Beard

Former Van Halen frontman Sammy Hagar shocked fans this weekend when he posted photos of himself without a beard. The rock legend shaved his face clean and posted pictures of the new look on social media. He racked up plenty of comments from fans who were surprised, amused or even disappointed.

"Grow it long, shave it off! It's been a long time but the beard had to go for the holidays. Started looking too much like [Santa Claus]. Now I know what's under there," Hagar wrote with a nervous-looking emoji. He included the hashtag "beard be gone." The photo showed him sitting on a piece of driftwood on a sunlit beach wearing a light t-shirt and swim trunks but also a fleece jacket against the cold. The photographer was visible in the reflection from his sunglasses, and the rocker had a red baseball cap pulled low against the sun as well.

"With or without a beard, Sammy, you will always be handsome and [cool]!" one fan responded. Another wrote: "You could have just trimmed and manicured it, but I like facial hair on men," while a third added: "Looks like 1974 again!"

Hagar rose to prominence in the 1970s as the lead singer of the band Montrose, which spawned his solo career for just over a decade afterward. He was acclaimed not only as a performer in his own right but as a prolific songwriter, known for writing hit songs for other singers including "Everything I've Done for You" by Rick Springfield. His best-known solo song is arguably "I Can't Drive 55," released in 1984.

Even today, Hagar is likely best remembered as the frontman of Van Halen from 1985 to 1996, when lead singer David Lee Roth left the band. He was selected in no small part because Eddie Van Halen was a huge fan of Montrose – specifically the first two albums on which Hagar had been the singer. During this period, fans often referred to the band as "Van Hagar."

In the years that followed, Hagar took on a number of musical projects both big and small, including solo ventures with different backing bands, a Van Halen reunion in 2003 and a side project with other rock stars called Planet Us. His most recent bands are the supergroups Chickenfoot and Sammy Hagar and the Circle, both of which are still touring and putting out music.

At some point in there, a beard became a consistent part of Hagar's image – not a particularly long or bushy beard, but a distinct, full-face one nonetheless. Fans have become especially used to it since Hagar has been so active on social media in recent years, posing with fans and giving looks at his private life on Instagram. It may take his followers some time to get used to the clean-shaven face again.