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Matt Lauer explains why it was 'freeing' to cut off his hair

by Rebekah Lowin / / Source: TODAY

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On TODAY Friday, Alicia Keys showed up makeup-free for her interview with Savannah and Matt (and her performance on the Plaza), explaining the importance of revealing "who we are, as we are, in all of our beauty, depth and complexity" with the world.

And it wasn't just her fans who got inspired by her declaration.

The whole thing got to Matt Lauer in a pretty personal way. "This is gonna sound like a weird comparison," he revealed, "but when I cut my hair off, I never had to worry about covering the bald spot anymore... it was freeing."

Matt famously got a super-cropped haircut in 2002 after realizing he was losing his hair.

"I remember walking into the studio the morning after I cut it all off, and seeing the expression at Katie's face," he wrote in January 2015 during a chat with fans on TODAY's Facebook page. "She looked like she wanted to scream out laughing, but luckily controlled herself."

Matt Lauer
Matt Lauer in 1995 and nowGetty Images

RELATED: What would Matt and Al look like with full heads of hair? Just like this

Still, following his instincts proved to be a good decision. In the end, he wrote, "For me, it's the best thing I ever did."

Keys applauded Matt's honesty and said for her, not wearing make-up was "really empowering, really freeing," emphasizing the point that the "no makeup" movement she'd started wasn't about makeup at all. "I love makeup," she said. "I love my lipgloss, I love my blush, I love my eyeliner. ... At the same time, I don't want to feel beholden [to it]."

"You do what feels good for you, as opposed to what we think people want to see us like, or we think is ... 'If I show my bald spot, someone's gonna think I'm—' whatever! It's like, be who you are."

It's no wonder Matt could relate.

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