Robot Hair

"I gave you hair! (ROBOTIC HAAAAIR)"
The Megas, The message from Dr Light.

Robots are curious beings. They may vary in lifestyle, behavior, design, intelligence... even gender. Indeed, they come in a myriad of ways. But a particularly curious thing about them, humanoid ones in particular, is that no matter where they come from, no matter how they appear, they may have some form of a trait found most commonly on mammals. By which we mean... hair.

The hair in question could be a wig made to resemble normal human hair (or at least attempt to) or it could just be a series of mechanical parts (functional or not) which resemble a hairstyle. Either way, (as with Alien Hair and Non-Mammalian Hair), the main purpose of this trope is to show the audience a humanlike robot either by making it seem more human (since hair on the head is a very specifically human trait, especially for entities that are meant to appear female), or by emphasising a more human-like robot's mechanical nature (by making the "hair" look stiff and unnatural or having an Implausible Hair Color). A variation of the latter often appears in theatre and low budget live action movies with android characters; the actor's hair is fixed with hairspray and a combination of careful trimming and makeup is applied around the hairline (so there's a clear line) to make it look synthetic.

Only list animal examples which clearly have parts designed to resemble a particular feature, like a mane. Cyborgs also count, but only list examples with hair that is actually synthetic (rather than their original hair). Robots and cyborgs who are indistinguishable from normal humans shouldn't be listed unless their hair fits the "makes them look artificial" variation. Humongous Mecha which have styles resembling their pilots' also merit a mention.

A common feature of any Fembot (for which it can serve as Tertiary Sexual Characteristics) and more or less mandatory for a Robot Girl, although masculine robots are not exempt. A Robot Me will have this trope by necessity (unless it's a copy of someone bald, of course). Naturally, other Hair Tropes can be applied to the "hair".

Compare Weird Beard and Sci-Fi Bob Haircut. Sister trope to Robot Antennae.

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

     Anime And Manga  

  • Overman King Gainer has King Gainer, the only mech with hair. It's even called "The Overman with hair" in-series.
  • Eriya and Neriya's guymelefs, Teiring, in The Vision of Escaflowne. Each has hair in the same colour and style of their pilots'.
  • Skydolls in Sky Doll have a bald heads, with helmet-like, very synthetic, wigs (some of which resemble normal hair and some which don't).
  • The Nadleeh Gundam in Mobile Suit Gundam 00 has long red cables of some sort at the back of its head, which move around like long hair. It resembles a longer version of its pilot, Tieria Erde's, hair.
  • Chachamaru of Mahou Sensei Negima! has hair which is pastel green. It's a synthetic material which functions as her heat sink, but only the color visually distinguishes it from normal hair.
  • The Genesic GaoGaiGar has big red hair of the synthetic variety. Galeon himself's normal form is a Lion with a mechanical mane facsimile.
  • Full Metal Panic!: Gauron's Armslave has a long blond topknot making it resemble an armoured samurai.
  • Drossel from Fireball has absolutely gigantic pigtails. They can transform into a rocket engine to enable her to fly.
  • The Operator androids in Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex and Real Drive all have synthetic hair to help them closer resemble humans. People who opt to switch over to prosthetic bodies also have bio-synthetic hair, even though they're now cyborgs instead of being complete robots. In the later category, The Major is unusual for selecting an unnatural colour for her hair.

     Comic Books  

  • In Joss Whedon's run on X-Men, the Danger Room developed sapience and (after creating a body from an old Sentinel) became Danger. "She" has cables coming out of the back of her head that resemble hair.
  • Jocasta from The Avengers. She's a robotic copy of Janet Van Dyne, and thus has a head shaped like her hairstyle.
  • Platinum from Metal Men is the only Fembot of the six Chrome Champion robots and, naturally, is the only one with "hair". In the New 52 incarnation, Gold is reimagined as a self-aggrandizing narcissist, and so has stylish, wavy "hair"; Platinum still has hers, don't worry.
  • Sung "Girl One" Li of Top 10. She can control its color and project patterns on her hair (and on her body).
  • Warlock from the New Mutants was technically a "techno-organic" alien, but his cable hair fits this trope in spirit. His own series saw his appearance change to a more humanoid form.
  • In the Archie Comics Megaman series, Doctor Light calms down a distraught Megaman, in a conversation that is almost a word-for-word quote from the refrain of The Megas song The Message from Doctor Light.

     Film  

     Literature  

  • Justified with the PICAs in David Weber's Safehold novels. They are built to be a perfect replica of a specific human being. The hair is usually "grown" from ingested organic materials (ie food that the PICA "eats").
  • Some of the more human-like robots (including Freya the protagonist) in Saturn's Children by Charles Stross have hair.

     Live Action TV  

  • Ambassador Magma (aka The Space Giants): Magma/Goldar is a "living giant" forged from gold with long gold hair. His normal-sized, human-looking wife and son are also behaired, but it's less unusual on them.
  • Kryten (previously bald) dons a toupée in the last episode of Red Dwarf VI.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation has Data, and his brothers, who are androids designed to be superficially similar to human beings in many ways. Their hair is made to look artificial by heavy application of gel, and keeping Brent Spiner's hairline sharply trimmed.
  • In the Doctor Who story "The Robots of Death", the robots have hair that resembles wavy, combed-back male hair with a widow's peak, as a solid block as part of the stylised head. (The general aesthetic of the robots is Raygun Gothic and they borrow heavily from art deco sculpture.) Notable in that when Taren Capel reveals his identity to the Doctor, he has actually waved and styled his hair in such a way as to resemble the robot hair.

     Music  

  • The Megas called attention to this rather memorably in "The Message from Dr. Light":
    Dr. Light: I gave you hair! (ROBOTIC HAIR!)

     Video Games  

  • Fulgore in Killer Instinct is a robot who has a red/brown, ponytail-like protrusion coming from the back of his head.
  • The Lin Kuei robots in Mortal Kombat had a set of cables on the back of their heads which resembled pony tails.
  • Most reploids from the Mega Man series (although the eponymous character hides his under his helmet most of the time). Mega Man ZX justifies the trope by explicitly saying it was an attempt to "making humans and reploids closer to each other to make better peace":
  • Emeralda in Xenogears. Of course, since she's entirely made of nanomachines, it sort of makes sense that she can make them into hair if she wants to. She also uses it as a weapon in some of her attacks.
  • In BlazBlue Nirvana has a crest on "her" head in the shape of her hair when she was still Ada Clover. Occasional joke character Mecha Tao has a metal version of Taokaka's hair. The Prime Field Devices including Noel Vermilion all have normal looking blonde hair (although it's not stated if they're Ridiculously Human Robots or Artificial Humans).
  • In Cave Story, both the protagonist and Curly Brace respectively have black and blonde hair, making them stand out from other, less humanoid robots.
  • Candy Diamond, Kula's "sister" from The King of Fighters 2000, slides from one type into the other. In her intro with Kula, she's shown to have regular hair, but then sheds her disguise to reveal her true robotic form, which has metallic hair.
  • In Mass Effect 3, EDI's robot body sports a bob made out of steel. When it was masquerading as Dr. Eva Core, is was most likely made out of synthetic fibers that were burned away in the explosion. Notably, while it looks solid, it can be switched to a mass of hair-like fibres, making it both variations of the trope at once.
    EDI: ...and when it gets wet, I can't do anything with it!
  • In the Fallout 3, there is a side-quest to retrieve the Declaration of Independence. In it, you will eventually encounter a Protectron that due to a malfunction believes himself to be the real Button Gwinnett and wears a powdered wig.
  • Scrapland's main character D-Tritus has hair made of optical fibers, tied in a tuft in the back of his neck. There's also Betty with a thick piece of purple metal over her head and face, designed to look like a bob cut with a bang over her eye.

     Webcomic  

  • Homestuck
    • Jade Harley, Dirk Strider, and Andrew Hussie all have robots of themselves complete with matching hair that appear to be carved/shaped out of the same metal used for the body.
    • Aradia Megido's soulbot has synthetic hair that is the same long, curly hairstyle that she had when she was alive.
    • The herd of robotic Maplehoofs have the same mane as their living counterpart.

     Webvideo  

  • Kara has a Ridiculously Human Robot who is designed to appear human in just about every way, including a head of short brown hair (which is seen being installed on her significantly more obviously mechanical-at first-body).

     Western Animation  

  • Jenny from My Life as a Teenage Robot has metal pigtails.
  • Any Fembot that appears in Futurama tends to have some sort of hair-like structure on their head, notably Bender as Coilette.
  • Arcee, the goto Fembot in Transformers generally has a helmet-like structure on her head which resembles are haircut.
  • In the Family Guy Star Wars parodies, Cleveland "plays" R2-D2 by having an afro on the robot.
  • Beast Machines: Blackarachnia's robot form sports what appears to be a long mane of something that evokes the appearance of long hair. In Beast Wars she had a headpiece which more resembled a helmet or bob cut instead.
  • While she isn't a robot (no matter how much she acts like one) Peridot from Steven Universe looks the part, and yet she has a triangular hairdo that look so much like a helmet that Word of God had to specify which it was.