Stories Collage

By Tautahi Subritzky

If you’re reading this, there’s a high probability that you’ve heard of Arnold Schwarzenegger. You’d kinda have to be living under a rock to have not heard about the man who's enjoyed a well-established career as a ‘pumped up’ professional bodybuilder, businessman, action hero, and California state governor.

Arnold Schwarzenegger has definitely entered the sphere of icon who exists in our consciousness like a planet—ever-present and enormous. With his fingers in multiple pies and with his success and fame being tied to the physical mass of his muscles, what was going on at the top of his head?

Arnold’s career has spanned many eras and his hairstyle choices reflect this. Let’s take a look at ‘Arnie’s’ life in looks.

Born in the idyllic village of Thal in Austria, here’s a wee 6-month-old Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger. “I grew up in the middle of all these farms. There was a house that was 200-plus years old, and we lived on the top floor. In the summer it was beautiful and green, flowers everywhere, the cows were out and sheep were roaming and horses were running around. Just really, really beautiful.”

A young “Art”-nold painting in his classroom in Thal. It was only a couple of years after this that Arnold would pick up his first barbell.

The year Arnold received his first bodybuilding victory at the age of 18, winning the ‘Junior Mr Europe’ competition held in Graz, Austria. Entering this competition while in military service, Arnold knew that he would never be granted official military leave. Despite the risks, he went AWOL. After returning home victorious, instead of being appreciated for the achievement, Arnold had to spend a week in prison.

Arnold competed in and won the Mr Universe Amateur competition in London at age 20, becoming the youngest person ever to receive the title. A young Arnold adopted a side parted hair look typical of men's hair in the 1960s.

A young Arnold ‘seated and suited’ next to his future wife, Maria Shriver.

Showing off ‘the pump’ for Muscle Magazine.

Arnold giving full Venice Beach vibes in the 1970s.

Arnold clad in a turtleneck and loafers flopping his hair around on the dance floor.

Arnold trained with a ballet instructor in order to add grace to his bodybuilding routines.

Flexin’ with Sally Field, who starred alongside him in Charles Gaines’s screen-adapted film ‘Stay Hungry’, where Schwarzenegger won a Golden Globe for ‘Best Acting Debut in a Motion Picture’ as the character Joe Santo.

Like many of his celebrity comrades at the time, Arnold was a frequent visitor to the infamous Studio 54, and similarly to most of the club's guests, Arnold became the subject of a series of Polaroids by Andy Warhol.

A nude from ‘After Dark’ magazine 1977.
A feature article in the February 1977 issue of ‘After Dark’ magazine, titled "Musclebound for Glory", contained photos of bodybuilders including two nude shots of Arnold. The feature was an in-depth look at bodybuilding as "one of the most fascinating (and least explored) subcultures in America."

Arnold in L.A talking biz on his car phone.

Arnold serving length as ‘Conan the Barbarian’

Arnold serving pie.

Arnold receiving his American citizenship with Maria Shriver by his side.

Arnold on set for James Cameron’s ‘The Terminator’. The floppy hair Arnold donned throughout the 70s starting to become the spiked-up look that he adopted during the 80s and 90s.

Arnold as John Matrix in the movie ‘Commando’.

A brief return to a “floppy hair” look, but this time it’s an 80’s wet look version.

Arnold on his wedding day to Maria Shriver.

Arnold and his long-time friend Grace Jones on his wedding day.

Arnold stars as Ivan Danko in Red Heat with a very clean flat top.

Slicked back Arnold as Harry Tasker with co-star Jamie Lee Curtis (Helen Tasker) in True Lies.

Arnold went bald and blue as Mr Freeze in Joel Schumacher’s Batman and Robin.
Schwarzenegger adamantly wanted to take home one of the Mr Freeze costumes he wore in the film. According to an interview with the film’s producer, Peter MacGregor-Scott, Arnold agreed to “rent” the costume out for $1 per year, a fee he has presumably been paying ever since.

Whether you agree or disagree with his political views, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, an Austrian-born professional bodybuilder turned action film star turned politician couldn’t be more of an example of the “American Dream” ideal.

The Arnold of today keeping the grey hair at bay.

More for you...