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Also known as drill hair, corkscrew curls, sausage curls, and tube curls, ringlets are a hairstyle which a woman creates by wrapping her hair tightly around a vertical curling iron or rollers.
Ringlets date to ancient Rome, where they were a popular hairstyle among the aristocracy. That regal feel is still retained today, and when chosen for a character, they indicate that she is upper class or an aristocrat, or at least sees herself that way. This makes is a subtle type of Ermine Cape Effect
The hairstyle is also time-consuming to create and difficult to maintain, indicating that the wearer is concerned with her appearance and is very feminine. It's also usually a youthful style, rarely appearing on women older than middle age.
of Expository Hairstyles
A Super Trope
to Ojou Ringlets
A Sister Trope
to Prim and Proper Bun
Compare Mega Twintails
(and can overlap), Girlish Pigtails
Contrast Tomboyish Ponytail
, Tomboyish Sidetails
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Anime and Manga
Film - Live Action
- In the 2005 film of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Veruca Salt, the spoiled little rich girl, wears her hair this way.
- In the movie Music From Another Room, Anna wears her hair like this. She is the love interest of Jude Law's character Danny, but sees herself and her family as above him since they are well educated and he works as a delivery boy.
- In What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, Jane has this hairstyle.
- Princess Victoria and other noblewomen in The Young Victoria.
- Milady de Winter in The Three Musketeers (2011).
- Esther Coleman from Orphan wears her hair in loose ringlets, often decorated with a bow.
- Scarlett O'Hara of Gone with the Wind sports these from time to time. America has never had proper "royalty" as such, but the antebellum Southern gentry came pretty damn close, and it wouldn't be surprising if she chose the hairstyle deliberately.
- Mary Pickford, who spent most of her wildly successful silent movie career playing innocent young girls and ingenues, wore her hair in long ringlets as a symbol of her innocence. The Poor Little Rich Girl and Tess of the Storm Country are just two of many, many examples.
- Pickford's hair style was cited as an influence to child actress Shirley Temple, who became famous for this. She wore her hair in this style in almost all of her movies, where she was typecast as a sunshine and rainbows girly girl.
- In Corsair, both Aura and Katarina Angraat have voluminous ringlet hairstyles.
- Belinda in Alexander Pope's The Rape of the Lock has symmetrical ringlets that fall down the back of her neck. And then one day they get cut...
- A rare male example, Feyd-Rautha, heir apparent to Baron Harkonnen, is described as wearing his hair in ringlets in the original Dune books. The film version went with his actor, Sting's '80s Hair, however and most subsequent adaptations have followed suit.
Live Action TV
- The original incarnation of the Archer unit in Disgaea: Hour of Darkness and Phantom Brave sported these. She was later upgraded to Mega Twintails, more suiting of her combination of girliness and Action Girl.
- Regina Berry from Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Justice for All, suitable for someone with a name that means "queen".
- The Fairlions, otherwise known as Gothlolions of Super Robot Wars Original Generation 2 are Humongous Mecha with these. They were custom-built for an actual princess and her best friend, but come on. Oh, and the curls fire lasers.
- In a flash back in Persona 3 FES's The Answer, Mitsuru has Girlish Pigtails that are curled like this. They're not thick enough to qualify as Mega Twintails, and the personality is all regal.
- In Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, the female main character, Rosa, has them when she plays a princess in the "Mystery Doors of the Magical Land" movie trilogy.
- Misha from Katawa Shoujo has huge pink drills.
- Ginrei from Senran Kagura: New Wave has large grey ones.
- Nanette Manoir of Angela Anaconda wears her long blond hair in this style, and speaks with a stereotypically "rich girl" Valley Girl accent and is a complete snob. She's very obsessed with her looks and considers herself extremely beautiful.
- Lulu Moppet from Little Lulu.
- The Simpsons: Taffy in the "Homer Scissorhands" subplot.
- Eden and Catherine in Barbie in A Christmas Carol wear ringlet hair, plus one of the girls in the orphanage.
- It's more evident on the boxart and the toys than it is in the cartoon, but this is how the Flutter Ponies' manes are in My Little Pony.
- Rarity from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic sports this style. Her tail is one giant ringlet.
- Darla Dimple from Cats Don't Dance wears her hair this way as part of her sugary public image. She makes great use of her electric curling chair during her Villain Song.
- Diaspora from Winx Club has these and is a princess.
- Many depictions of Marie Antoinette (fictional likenesses and official portraits) show her with this hairstyle.
- Already in use while the Flavians were the emporers of Rome (69-96 AD). The women would have loads of ringlets which were piled upon her forehead, not unlike a crown. This was, naturally, only something the wealthy could afford.
- It was quite common for the upper class and royality in Europe from the 17th century to try sport this hairstyle, either by using hot rollers or wigs depending on the fashion.