Chip Gaines Has Thrown Down a Challenge, and This Time His Hair Is On the Line

Operation Haircut: It may be time for a trim for Mr. Gaines but, in this case, there could be a big payoff benefiting a worthy cause. 

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Take a picture, it'll last longer . Chip's new look, with long mane and shaggy beard, may soon be a thing of the past.

Photo by: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo A

Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo A

Take a picture, it'll last longer . Chip's new look, with long mane and shaggy beard, may soon be a thing of the past.

Yes, it's true. Chip Gaines has bowed to public pressure, it would seem, and according to an announcement on his Instagram page, has declared he may (repeat, may) shear off his much-talked-about and newly grown-out locks.

A number of you may be rejoicing over this news. Others not so much. Either way, it's something being touted with the hashtag #OperationHaircut and, what's more, you are invited to participate. Even better, if you do, you'll be helping out St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital in the process. Is that a deal or what?

How Did We Get Here?

So Chip's latest look — with long locks, scruffy beard and frequently sighted up-high man bun — has not been without its share of controversy. It's definitely a different look and, from fans' perspectives, it seems to be a love-it-or-hate-it kind of a thing.

You may have seen it in the Gaines's recent appearances on daytime talk shows. We've made note of it in teasers for the upcoming Fixer Upper season, leaked out a few pics ourselves, even offered up a montage video wherein Chip's new 'do essentially plays the starring role. HGTV.com contributor Lauren Oster recently even put together a timeline of Chip’s hair demarcating the milestones in the evolution of Chip's coif — leading up to the phase currently visible which she termed "Totality."

Almost cut my hair; It happened just the other day…
But I didn't and I wonder why; I feel like letting my freak flag fly
David Crosby

And what has been the fan reaction over Chip's bold new look? Let's just say it's gotten mixed reviews. In fact, to borrow from today's politi-speak, it's been downright polarizing.  Some folks just love the rustic, outdoorsy-boho, quasi-paleo look. (I personally think it's pretty cool. Like Robert Redford in Jeremiah Johnson.) Others most assuredly — and very vocally — do not.

As seen on Fixer Upper, Chip Gaines behind-the-scenes at the Jackson home reveal. (Behind-the-scenes)

Photo by: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo A

Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo A

If you line up on the "cut it all off" side of the debate, and long for Chip to return to his more familiar clean-cut, nicely groomed (well, sometimes) Captain America persona, well, has he got a deal for you.

So What Now?

It started off as a bit of a mystery, with a cryptic message on Chip's Instagram account on Wednesday stating in bold script: "Fine, I'll cut my hair if you..." Following the ellipsis, there was merely an invitation to return the following day to find out more. And so the suspense mounted.

“Some of the worst mistakes in my life were haircuts.” 
Jim Morrison

But true to his word Chip returned the next day with a message giving all the details. “It’s come to my attention that most of you hate my current hairstyle,” he begins, “but how MUCH do you hate it? Now’s the time to put your money where your mouth is.”

Turns out Chip and Jo are travelling to Memphis the week of November 6 to visit with families at the Target House with St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. "Donate to @StJude through the link in my profile," says Chip, "and the more money we raise over the next four days, the shorter my hair goes.. And, who knows, maybe if you really exceed my expectations...I'll buzz it all off."

On Thursday, word went out on Chip and Jo’s Magnolia Market website and via their e-newsletter.

Let the Samson Jokes Begin

Fan responses so far have been split. On the "cut it" side of the fence, Insta user cottagechic keeps it short and sweet: “Thank you!”  Heavensent56 adds “And shave the beard!!!”  On the “let it grow” side, rorsebud7841 says “Keep the hair!! Love the man-bun!!”  And quoth 17mego: “Leave that mane of lushness alone, Chip.”

Regardless of how you really feel about Chip’s coiffure, consider donating to St. Jude to support Chip and Jo’s efforts. It’s a winning proposition, no matter your stance on the shaggy look. And if you’re eager to see a return to the boyish, clean-cut Chip, well, it’s a win-win as the saying goes.

And by the way, did Chip use the phrase "buzz it all off"? I won't speculate on how much crossover there is between Fixer Upper devotees and fans of professional wrestling but, in wrestling parlance, throwing down a challenge like that is known as a "hair match." It's all happening in just a few short days, ladies and gentlemen. And come Monday, Mr. Chip Gaines, you better be there!

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