Close-Call Haircut

Well, at least she didn't break a nail...
"My hair! He shot my hair! Son of a bitch!"
Princess Vespa, Spaceballs

In either a gunfight or a sword battle, sometimes the bullet or blade gets just a bit too close for comfort, and you often see a Close-Call Haircut with a few cut strands of hair blowing around to indicate just how close the character came to getting hit. May also mark the point in the battle when the gloves come off, especially if one or both of the fighters are female and it suddenly becomes personal as soon as the female character's beauty is involved.

A common variation involves a bullet passing through a female character's hair, creating a gaping hole that's sometimes magically repaired by the next scene (see Hair Reboot).

May overlap with Important Haircut or Traumatic Haircut in some cases. See also Slipknot Ponytail and Hat Damage. Compare Losing a Shoe in the Struggle when the same effect is achieved with a minor article of clothing instead.

The trope was popularized during the Renaissance, when sword-wielding folk moved away from large and cumbersome cutting tools to lighter weapons that allowed additional finesse. Trimming an opponent's moustache or removing buttons in a declared order was a way to demonstrate one's superior fighting skills whilst simultaneously humiliating your opponent, culminating in the famous 'slice your initial in your opponent's clothes without actually breaking his skin' maneuver made famous by Alex Thoth's Zorro.

Example subpages

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    Fan Fiction 

    Live Action TV 
  • Happens to Peter Petrelli in Heroes, during his first encounter with Sylar.
  • On MythBusters, Adam once got a bit too close to an exploding ball of fire. "Am I missing an eyebrow?"
    • Not to mention an incident that begins with Grant adjusting a spring-loaded guillotine and ends with said guillotine zooming past him close enough to tear his shirt.
  • Daryl Dixon in The Walking Dead gets one when he is grazed by a sniper shot in the second season

     Web Video 
  • Kakyoin and Polnareff are on the receiving end from Death 13's scythe a few times during the Death 13 arc in Vaguely Recalling JoJo.
  • In RWBY, this trope is Yang's Berserk Button. Do not mess with her hair.

    Video Games 
  • In Kingdom Hearts II: Final Mix+, there is a scene in which Xaldin hurls a lance at Axel's head; there is a visible puff of red hairs that fly off when the spear hits about three inches to the left of Axel's face.
  • The introductory cutscene to The Witcher has Geralt doing this to a Striga.

    Real Life 
  • At the battle of Fredericksburg during The American Civil War, Confederate cavalry general J.E.B Stuart had a lock of hair cut off by a bullet, and three more bullets passed through his clothes, while he left the battlefield unharmed.