Leucine-rich-α-2-glycoprotein 1 (LRG1) is considered as a potential biomarker as it is aberrantly expressed in various malignancies. However, there is limited information regarding its role in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). In the present study, we aimed to explore the expression pattern of LRG1 in HNSCC and its clinicopathological significance. We first analyzed LRG1 gene expression in HNSCC by investigating data obtained from the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) database. The results showed that LRG1 was downregulated in HNSCC tissues and its expression level was negatively related to tumor T and N stages and degree of malignancy. Then, we further tested a tissue microassay and clinical samples, respectively, by immunohistochemical staining and western blotting. Consistently, the results revealed that LRG1 expression was decreased in tumor tissues regardless of the grade of the tumor. Moreover, the protein level of LRG1 showed slight differences among four T stages or three N stages. In addition, there were no significant associations between LRG1 protein expression and other clinicopathological parameters such as gender, age, tumor location and clinical staging. These findings imply that downregulation of the expression of LRG1 is correlated with tumorigenesis but not with the development of HNSCC, indicating the potential clinical value of LRG1 in the early diagnosis of HNSCC.