Hair Metal? This is probably one of the hardest categories to define. Is it just any guitarist with long hair? Is it a guitarist with long, blonde hair? Hair metal began in the late 70's and carried over to the 80's. It is primarily recognized by big hairdo's, make-up, and power ballads. They became immensely popular in the mid 80's. Even classic rock bands began to appear as hair bands since they were so popular and it sold records (see Aerosmith). Many of these bands were not the most talented musicians, but they knew how to write a catchy hook and the aforementioned power ballad. However, there are many hidden gems among the many hair bands of the era. Some amazing players are still to be found. In fact, one or more of those appearing in this list, may also appear in my overall favorite list.
While researching these guitarists, I noticed that several appear in other lists on the 'net that I will not be including in mine. I do not see Ozzy Osbourne, Van Halen, or Aerosmith as hair metal bands nor Ted Nugent as a hair metal guitarist. Yes, they all had big hair at some point, but they all had established careers before and after the hair metal era and were known more for their music than for their look.
Here's my list of my top 10 favorite "Hair" Metal guitarists (read more):