12 Athletes Who Cut Their Hair for Money

Nick Dimengo@@itsnickdimengoFeatured ColumnistSeptember 23, 2013

12 Athletes Who Cut Their Hair for Money

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    While still in college, one of my favorite things to do—besides getting hammered—was growing my hair out just for the hell of it.

    With no responsibility to look like an adult, it was great just rolling out of bed, running my hands through it and walking out the door.

    In sports, we've seen plenty of athletes who have some crazy hair, rocking either long locks or fantastic facial hair.

    But when they decide it's time for it to go, some are cool enough to donate it to charity—and these are just a few of them who either have, or have said that they would.

Matt Light (Former NFL Player)

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    If there was a man standing 6'4", weighing 305-pounds and looking like this in a room, I'd be a little terrified for my life.

    But when you talk to former offensive lineman Matt Light, you realize he's nothing but a big softy.

    He proved that when he scheduled a spa day a few years ago so he could get cleaned up by cutting both his locks and shaving his beard for his charity, the Light Foundation.

    See, there's more than just meets the eye.

Nick Swisher (MLB)

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    Although current Indians player Nick Swisher is generally looked at as one of the biggest bros in all of sports, when he grew his hair past his shoulders in 2007, it wasn't to try and prove how cool he was.

    In fact, it was to support cancer patients in hopes of cutting for donation—which he did over 10 months later before a game against the Giants.

    Swisher may be a bro, but he's a bro who knows a good cause when he sees one.

Luke Hancock and Stephan Van Treese (Louisville Men's Basketball)

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    While Louisville players Luke Hancock and Stephan Van Treese are best known for the hands they led during the Cardinals national title run this past season, the good deed they did to help cancer research following the win shouldn't be overlooked either.

    The two bearded men decided that instead of just taking a razor and ditching the whiskers in their dorm room, they'd go somewhere to shave it for a good cause, raising nearly $8,000 for the organization.

Johnny Damon (Former MLB Player)

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    At first glance, fans may have thought that Jesus Christ himself was actually donning a Red Sox uniform during Spring Training back in 2004.

    But after some careful examining, it was actually just former outfield Johnny Damon, who grew out his hair and beard out for the hell of it, before shaving his beard for charity in the middle of that season.

    Whether it was due to the resemblance to JC or not, the BoSox did end their 86-year championship drought that year, so some Boston fans might think a higher being was on their side.

Cam Newton (NFL)

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    There are a lot of opinions on Panthers quarterback Cam Newton. Most of them generally are negative.

    People call him a prima donna, a crybaby and an underachiever after all that he did in winning both the Heisman trophy and national title in final season at Auburn in 2010.

    While some of those might be true, he proved before last season that he's also a pretty kind dude, when he grew his hair out in order to cut and donate it to Wigs for Kids.

Scott Hartnell (NHL)

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    When a guy has hair as crazy as Flyers alternate captain Scott Hartnell has, it's only common for people to wonder what style he'll do to it next.

    Well it turned out that before the 2010 season, Hartnell thought trimming it off would be a good idea, doing so for Locks of Love.

    The ginger haired winger has since grown it back, making me wonder if he's got plans to donate it again sometime soon.

A.J. Hawk (NFL)

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    Packers linebacker A.J. Hawks' flowing blonde locks might not have been as famous as his teammate Clay Matthews III's, but as an Ohio State fan—where Hawk played college ball—his mane became a staple of his look.

    So it was a little surprising when A.J. decided he'd cut his hair. But probably not as surprising to hear that he was donating it to Locks of Love when he finally did go with the shorter look.

James Harden (NBA)

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    It might be hard for fans to imagine the Rockets' James Harden without his beardfar and away the greatest in the NBA these days—but if he ever does decide to go back to a smooth face, at least he'll have a good reason.

    Harden recently said that the only way he'll actually go back to the look he had during his rookie campaign would be if a charity paid him to do it.

    It must be nice to turn down $80,000 in order to keep gross facial hair, but Harden knows the value of his beard.

Jose Reyes (MLB)

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    A few years ago, shortstop Jose Reyes was perceived to be one of the most dangerous and dynamic players in all of baseball, displaying a keen hitting eye and stealing bases at an incredible pace.

    Then he cut his trademark dreads for charity, and it seemed to go downhill from there—kidding, of course.

    One can't blame Reyes' bad luck on chopping his hair, but I can't help but notice that he's had a bounce back season for Toronto now that he's growing his locks back out again.

Brett Keisel (NFL)

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    A beard that looks like it belongs to a Mountain Man who catches fish with his bare hands and builds log cabins in his spare time. It's a good thing that Steelers defensive lineman Brett Keisel decided to grow his scruffy beard back.

    Though you may not have even noticed that it was once gone, Keisel did actually shave the thing off for charity back in February of this year, which definitely made him a little less recognizable to some people.

    That thing is scary cool, so thank goodness he's got it back again.

Shaun White (Action Sports)

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    Before action sports star Shaun White lost his red mane, it might have been the one distinguishing feature for fans to bug him for an autograph.

    So one must understand if people did double takes when White opted for the clean cut look, donating his hair last December to Locks for Love.

    Even today, I still can't get used to him not have those flowing, fiery locks.

Troy Polamalu (NFL)

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    With the most famous of hairdos in all of sports—one which he had insured for $1 million—the Steelers Troy Polamalu has finally found a good enough reason to lose his curly, long hair.

    The Steelers safety recently announced that he was going to lose the length for charity and go with something a bit more subtle.

    While it will be weird to see him without his signature 'do, he'll probably be relieved that he won't be dragged down by opponents by it anymore.