Power Makes Your Hair Grow
His barber just had a coronary.
So Kakashi, do you think Sasuke has gotten any stronger? Kakashi:
Can't you tell; his hair is longer. Naruto:
What has that got to do with anything? Kakashi:
Hello... Dragon Ball Z
So, your hero has just powered up and you need a way to get this change across visually to your audience. How do that? Well let's see... We have glowing with power
. Check. Ground quaking. Check. Muscle mass increased by 300%. Check. Rapid air displacement
. Check. We've got all the cliches
, but there's still something missing... Ah! Of course! Let's make their hair grow out as well!
This is the essence of Power Makes Your Hair Grow.
Now however silly this may seem at a glance, most people will immediately understand that they should now be wary of your hero. It's probably because the sudden appearance of long, unkempt hair can make your hero appear rather feral
which may be related to therianthropes
since they have a habit of growing lots and lots of hair while becoming far more powerful. Also because even if a character can't see the aura of power
, and everything else signalling that the hero just got stronger, longer hair is a little hard to miss.
Sometimes "justified" with a Slipknot Ponytail
This is primarily an Anime
specific trope, but there are a few non-anime examples out there. Magical Girls
are known for this.
Subtrope of Anime Hair
and Rapid Hair Growth
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Anime & Manga
- Dragon Ball Z: Trope Codifier, Super Saiyan 3. The first two levels change hair color and add lightning bolts to your aura, respectively. The third level increases your hair volume ridiculously. Lampshaded by Babidi when Goku shows him and Buu the first two levels of Super Saiyan: "So your hair got bigger, what's the big deal?" This has drawn a lot of jokes questioning what a Super Saiyan 3 Raditz (who already has ridiculously big hair) or Nappa (bald) would look like. Running consensus seems to be that Super Saiyan 3 Nappa would look like a Viking.
- Parodied in VG Cats.
- Also parodied near the end of Excel♥Saga, where powering up causes various characters to grow Funny Afros.
- Subverted in the Battle of Gods movie, where Super Saiyan God, a new form that is beyond even Super Saiyan 3, simply gives Goku his normal hairstyle (except it's red).
- Even characters who don't have hair at all see shades of this trope, such as Super Buu, whose big... floppy... head... thingy just kept growing longer and longer each time he absorbed someone.
- Inverted in Date A Live. When Kurumi activates her powers it removes her Peek-a-Bangs, making her left eye visible.
- YuYu Hakusho: Near the end of the Sensui arc, Yusuke awakens from near death as a half-demon and has long, unkempt hair down below his waist, among other cosmetic changes.
- Notably, it happened around year before the SSJ3 in Dragon Ball was introduced.
- SHUFFLE!: When Asa finally uses her magic to save Rin's life in the final episode. It shows her later with her hair braided down to her hips.
- Revolutionary Girl Utena: in the movie version, Utena's hair suddenly grow quite long from her usual boyish cut during duels. This isn't actually hair growth: the character art designs imply that her hair is braided up. This sets aside the question of how you could actually braid all that hair into the given space...
- Kamichu!: Extreme example. The main character goes from a sort of pageboy cut to somewhere past Rapunzel when using her goddess powers.
- Kyo Kara Maoh: In the anime only, when Yuri taps his Demon powers, his hair suddenly grows and he seems to gain a more mature air. It reverses back to his boyish mop once the effort is done.
- Ichigo's Saigo no Getsuga Tensho form, which quite possibly made temporarily him the strongest character in the entire series, also gave him the longest hair out of any character we've seen so far.
- Also Aizen after his third hogyoku fusion and beyond.
- From the same series we have Grimmjow, Nnoitra, and Ulquiorra's release forms.
- Power Mullets have practically become a meme in the Fandom due to how much Tite Kubo abuses this trope.
- Mahou Sensei Negima!: Negi Springfield during his lightning-god form. His hair becomes as long as he is tall... sort of, as it turns into energy/lighting about halfway down.
- In Naruto, all of the characters with a Cursed Seal have their hair get at least slightly longer when they go into Stage 2, except Jugo, which is funny considering the Cursed Seal comes from him. Jugo's psycho persona has a considerable amount of control over his transformation; considering there'd be no actual benefit to changing hair, it doesn't. By comparison, the others have to essentially give in to the seal to actually use it.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! is somewhat of an example. Bakura's hair becomes much 'poofier' when he becomes his evil alter ego. When Marik goes evil it his hair stands straight up. Yugi/Yami is a smaller example, with some of his yellow bangs spiking up. He also gets more 'points' and more layers to his hair.
- In Hellsing, Alucard's hair grows and retracts according to his power levels (it's fairly short in normal situations, but well past waist-length when dealing with the likes of the Valentine Brothers).
- In every season of Pretty Cure, whenever the Cures transform, most of the time their hair grows and changes color. Not only that, but they also get different hairstyles (for instance, Tsubomi's red pigtails become an extra long pink ponytail whenever she transforms into Cure Blossom). Transforming into a Super Mode can then make a Cure's hair grow a second time. Smile Pretty Cure! goes even further, as the girls get one instance of hair growth when transforming, a second when changing into Princess Form, and a third when changing into Ultra Form.
- In Hunter × Hunter, Gon's hair grows when he becomes ultrapowerful to defeat Pitou. Afterwards he loses his Nen abilities completely as a side effect, but his hair remains long. It might be worth nothing that not only Gon’s hair grows but his whole body. Before he had the stature of a child and afterwards he has the body of an adult. Neferpitou assumes that what Gon did is age himself to a point where he can defeat him so that’s presumably why his hair grew.
- In Angel Sanctuary, Jibril's hair grows back as soon as Sara's soul left her body, a sign that Jibril has regained her power (albeit in a coma).
- When Ushio of Ushio and Tora uses the power of the beast spear, it usually results in him growing hair past his legs. Should he draw on a remarkable amount of that power? Bring a comb (seriously, it's the only way to bring him back).
- Sailor Moon
- While Usagi already had Rapunzel Hair, in the manga it grew to absolutely unmanageable lengths after she became the Moon Princess for the first time. She locked herself in her room for several days as a result, and the Senshi had to cut it short for her
- Also Lampshaded later on by Mistress 9 after she takes full possession of Hotaru while complaining about how inconvenient super-long hair actually is. Note that her hair invariably trails off-panel in every shot she's in. In the anime, however, not only does she not complain about her hair being inconvenient, she ties her enemies up with it.
- Happens to Yuuki Cross from Vampire Knight, after her vampire powers are unsealed by Kaname.
- While this happens in Yozakura Quartet whenever Akina uses his tuning ability, it's not as drastic as some of the other examples here.
- Rio of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Vivid has her short, tomboyish hair growing all the way down to her waist whenever she accesses her combat form.
- In Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Madoka's hair falls to just below the shoulders when it's let out of the pigtails. As Goddess!Madoka, however, she has Rapunzel Hair.
- In Crimson Spell, one of the ways you can tell when Prince Vald's transformation into his Super-Powered Evil Side is more advanced than usual is when it causes his hair to grow out. He has to re-do his own Important Haircut after such a transformation in the third volume of the manga.
- In Pokémon Special, when Caitlin loses control over her powers, her hair grows drastically in length and starts attacking people.
- Both Hakkai and Goku support this theory in Saiyuki when they remove their power limiters.
- In Pretear, Mikage's hair grows well past floor length while she's floating when she transforms into the Princess of Disaster. It is shown in a later scene that she is actually quite short in proportion to Sasame. The hair all disappears in the finale when Sasame dies and she returns to her normal human-Takako form.
- In Umi Monogatari, both Marin and Urin get this when transformed. Kanon just gets Idiot Hair and a different color/shape to her hair.
- Tomoe in Kamisama Kiss normally has a short pageboy style hair cut. But when the power limiter Mikage placed on him is removed his hair grows to the point that it is draped over his shoulders and going down most of his back.
- In Il Sole Penetra Le Illusioni this is the main physical effect of transforming. There are some other changes, mind, but getting much bigger hair is both universal and the most striking effect.
- AKIRA has Tetsuo, whose hair gets longer the more uncontrollable his powers become. However, at the end of the manga and the movie, it's inverted when he turns into a giant bloblike creature due to his powers becoming so great that they need a larger form to manifest themselves.
- A common side effect of Gamma Radiation in the Marvel Universe:
- Doc Samson of Hulk Comics has long hair every time he gets into his power phase.
- It also seems to happen to She-Hulk — since with her height increase her hair would have to be floor-length in her petite normal form otherwise. Definitely applies in the 90s cartoon, where normal Jennifer has bobbed hair.
- Of course, there's Doctor Banner himself . In the Bronze Age, the Hulk had a shaggy mop and Banner's hair was usually neatly trimmed. In the Modern Age, the reverse is often true: Hulk is often crew-cut, and Banner occasionally drifts close to Mad Scientist Hair, particularly when he's in The Madness Place.
- In an unusual an amusing reversal, the RED Hulk has a mustache in his unpowered form, which vanishes completely when he powers up. Originally, of course, this was to keep his identity a secret from the readers.
- Anytime Jules activates her powers her pigtails grow from barely reaching her ears to all the way to the floor and then some. It's not just for show as she can use her hair to attack, or wrap around her enemies.
Films — Animation
- Inverted in Tangled. Rapunzel grows out her hair because her hair would lose its powers if she cut it.
Films — Live-Action
- In Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Todd's psychic powers make his hair spike when in use. Upon losing them for violating his veganity (long story), his hair sinks back down over his head, limply.
Live Action TV
- Happens a couple of times in Charmed:
- Paige's shoulder-length hair grows down to her waist when she is turned into a wood nymph.
- Phoebe's hair turns blonde and goes down to the floor when she is turned into a Greek Goddess (based on Aphrodite).
- Phoebe's hair goes blonde again and becomes longer (though it's up in a bun) when she is turned into a genie. It's meant as a Shout-Out to I Dream of Jeannie.
- Again when Phoebe becomes a banshee her hair becomes waist length and white.
- When Wyatt turns into his evil future self, his short hair grows to shoulder length.
- Leo's evil self has longer Spiky Hair while Chris's evil self has a ponytail.
- In Infinity Game when Hai An transforms into a paladin his hair grows extremely long. This only happens to him and nobody has any idea why.
Mythology and Religion
- Inverted in the story of Sampson. He was blessed with super strength so long as he continued to grow his hair out and lost his divine powers once it was cut.
- Dr. Dude's hair gets noticeably larger after his transformation.
- Sonic the Hedgehog: It's not exactly "hair", per se, but the quills of Sonic act like this when he transforms into his Super Form (or Hyper Form, or Darkspine Form, or...), as do those of any other characters that end up transforming into such forms. It's a direct homage to the Dragon Ball Z example.
- Taboo Sho Minamimoto in The World Ends with You.
- Giana of The Great Giana Sisters grows a punk hairdo when becoming super.
- Koujaku from DRAMAtical Murder when his Super-Powered Evil Side takes control of his body. In the bad end, his hair even changes color.
- Pokémon: When Ampharos Mega Evolves, it gains gorgeous white flowing hair, giving it the nickname "Amphabulous".
- Lucario doesn't get hair, but he gets a gigantic fluffy tail.
- A strange case with Mega Mewtwo Y, who doesn't get hair but it's tail moves to the top of it's head, looking like hair.
- El Goonish Shive
- Susan's hair grew to knee-length when her magical power and angst received a major spike. She cut it later back to its usual length, presumably with Justin's help.
- It also seems to be happening to Nanase. Despite having burned out her magic, her hair is growing back rapidly as compensation.
- This also happens to anyone who is zapped with the V5 beam.
- The Fan has Pete, a character with short trimmed hair. His hair grows to ridiculous lengths and turns gray (along with his skin turning brown) when his earth-based powers are activated. When he reverts back to normal, he simply sheds it.
- In The Order of the Stick, Vaarsuvius' hair grew from a bob to waist-length after s/he made a Deal with the Devil in exchange for temporary ultimate arcane power. It stayed that way afterward, and s/he now wears a ponytail.
- This happened to Anne Onymous of The Wotch when she sees Robin critically injured and goes into an Unstoppable Rage.