It eats combs for breakfast.
"You have such sensible hair."
Characters have unkempt, shaggy, or unusually long
hair, and often beards
— usually dark, though it may have gray in it — to show that they are close to nature
, possibly the Nature Hero
. Often occurs for the Mountain Man
. Indicates that the character can handle himself in a wilderness, and such skills as tracking
. On the other hand, he is often Not Good with People
. Poor social skills aside, a character sprouting this hairdo tends to be good
. Chaotic Good
, but heroic nonetheless.
Part of this is that keeping your hair neat and short is a lot easier in civilization than out of it. As a consequence, characters who have spent some time in the wild may come back looking like this, though generally not picking up the character traits.
Part of this is to show that they (like Mad Scientist
with his Einstein Hair
) don't think like other people. Despite the similarity in appearance, other than this, Einstein Hair
has completely different
In visual media, usually manages to be still quite attractive. The Jungle Princess
, however, is more likely to have Rapunzel Hair
, however improbably.
of Messy Hair
. Compare and contrast Unkempt Beauty
. See also Braids of Barbarism
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Anime & Manga
- Alucard of Hellsing. Especially noticeable as Vladycard.
- Mikoto Urabe in Mysterious Girlfriend X.
- Sousuke Sagara from Full Metal Panic!, back when he was a young Guerilla. His hair was very long, and rather unkempt. Definitely to emphasize how he's a wild, violent survivalist that didn't care that much about maintaining a nice haircut. Interestingly enough, he's shown to be the spitting image of his mother when he had long hair. In The Second Raid, he started growing it out again, only to receive an Important Haircut from Kaname.
- Domon Kasshu from G Gundam, likely as an indicator of his tough and isolated upbringing, which mostly consisted of training to fight.
- Ishikawa from Ghost in the Shell probably has the most magnificent hair and beard ever seen on a Japanese character (possibly from having Ainu among his ancestors). He is actually the main combat technician and codebreaker of the team and the least likely to get into any fighting. However, as member of Section 9 he's still a huge badass.
- Age of Heroic Age had long, unkempt hair due to his time alone on a ruined planet, kept company only by a dilapidated ship AI he calls 'mother' and his sentient sand-swimming squid friends. He receives a semi-Important Haircut sometime after arriving to the Argonaut not to help him adjust with people, but to help people stop being scared of him. After all, you'd be afraid of a giant, planet-tearing space monster yourself, right?
- Envy from Fullmetal Alchemist.
- Senri◊ from + Anima. He doesn't talk much.
- In Dragon Ball Both Yamcha and Gohan had this on occasion, usually after a long period Training from Hell. Goku might count, but it's hard to tell if it's Wild Hair or just plain weird.
- Kiba from Wolf's Rain has unkempt black hair in human form, on account of being the only wolf who hasn't lived in a city at all.
- In the second season of Darker Than Black, Hei seems to have been taking less care of his hair and facial hair, giving him wilder, longer hair.
- Yusuke from YuYu Hakusho dramatically and suddenly goes through some serious hairstyle change — from his usual slick-back style to this — during his one-on-one fight against Sensui, with tattoos displaying on his body as well, which also turn up during the hairstyle transformation.
- Akabane from Get Backers usually has his hair underneath his fedora, but when the hat comes off, his hair is all over the place.
- In Yu-Gi-Oh!, Ryou Bakura and his Yami both sport a long, ruffled mane of shaggy white hair. Bonus points to Yami Bakura for having some serious spiney sharp bangs of doom develop when he takes over. Combine this with high winds atop a speeding train/blimp/ship in a storm and it's like a leathal weapon.
- El Dorado gives us Joey, whose hair leads Mississippi to compare her to "a Mustang in need of a comb."
- John Rambo has varying degrees of long hair. In the first two movies it wasn't so long, just really thick. However, in Rambo III he was sporting a mane of curly black hair.
- In Manon of the Spring (Manon des Sources), title character Manon spends most of the movie with unkempt, long blonde hair. She hides from the nearby village residents and spends her days alone in the hills, playing a recorder and herding her goats. Despite all this, she is well-educated and enjoys reading, and is known by the villagers that have caught a glimpse of her as being very beautiful.
- Taken to extremes in French prehistoric comedy RRRrrrr!. Then again, part of the plot revolves around the invention of shampoo.
- Radagast the Brown in The Hobbit has hair so wild and unkempt that he even lets birds nest in it. And doesn't bother to clean up after them.
- Wolverine's distinctive hairstyle is usually drawn as being somewhere between this and Anime Hair.
- Nude wild girl Pyrénée in the French graphic novel has voluminous waist-length red hair.
- Played for laughs in episode one of season three of The Big Bang Theory, where the characters return from their trip to the North Pole. Leonard, Howard, and Raj trudge in the apartment lobby with unkempt hair and full beards that seem to fuse together. Then Sheldon walks in with a neat goatee and mustache and no significant changes to his hair.
- Played straight in BBC children's drama Cavegirl. Set in prehistoric times (though with prehistoric analogues of modern conveniences showing up occasionally), ALL the characters in the series really did have wild hair.
- Rousseau on LOST, due to being stranded on the island for sixteen years, and Bernard in the season 5 finale.
- And now Claire in Season 6.
- The titular Grizzly Adams, who combined a thick mane of hair with an epic beard and moustache. He sometimes looked more hairy than the grizzly bear that he hung around with. But check out the careful feathering in his beard...Every mountain man has a hair dryer.
- If dreads count, Ronon Dex from Stargate Atlantis fits this trope to a "T". (Not that T, that's the other series.)
- Speaking of the other series, the race of Space Amish called The Nox from Stargate SG-1 had hair so wild and unkempt, they even had ferns and leaves in them.
- In Fraggle Rock, Mokey's hair is perpetually unkempt.
- Cole in Power Rangers Wild Force was basically a Tarzan expy, complete with unkempt hair. It got cut shorter by the other rangers at the end of the second episode.
- Reverend Jim Ignitowski from Taxi had wild hair. In one episode, he was given a comb and it literally got stuck midway through his hair!
- Abby from Primeval got this when she spent a year in the Cretaceous. While she does use a hairband after returning, the hair otherwise remains unkempt.
- Heavy Metal musicians tend to either have this kind of hair or Rapunzel Hair.
- Steve Bays, the lead singer of Hot Hot Heat, has a head full of ginger curls, much to the delight of his numerous fangirls.
Religion & Mythology
- Older Than Dirt: This was in The Epic of Gilgamesh. Enkidu, the wild man the gods sent to Gilgamesh, was said to have wild hair reaching down past his waist. When they brought him to civilization he got a haircut.
- This is often how John the Baptist was depicted while he was living in the wilderness in the New Testament.
- Onryo are often depicted with long, unkempt hair.
- In the second act of the musical Spring Awakening, the original Ilse (Lauren Pritchard) had wild hair. Though in modern productions the bob seems to be the new standard for Ilse, most understudies (since it's more practical for them to have long hair so it can be braided for other roles they cover) sport this look in the second act also.
- Jekyll & Hyde often has neatly combed hair for Jekyll on one side and long, messy hair for Hyde on the other.
- Solid Snake has had it since Metal Gear Solid 2. His hairstyle was mercilessly mocked at first, because of its resemblance to the infamous mullet.
- Iji, after being in a coma for six months. And the setting sure is as dangerous as a jungle.
- Blanka from Street Fighter, who grew up in the wild and appears more beast than man.
- Feral child Gau from Final Fantasy VI has green unkempt hair. They found him living on his own in the Beast Plains.
- Sarutobi Sasuke from Sengoku Basara, who legend says was raised by monkeys. While his backstory isn't touched upon much, and he certainly doesn't live wild, he tends to keep to himself and, being a ninja, spends a lot of time outdoors.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy chieftain Gorath from Betrayal at Krondor has long, unkempt slate black hair shot with grey.
- Textual implications in Neverwinter Nights 2 suggest that Elanee has never heard of a 'brush' or a 'comb' or even a 'bath'. Textual implications also indicate her unkempt appearance actually adds to her sex appeal.
- In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Toph is shown to have this kind of hair when she lets it loose◊.
- Splatter Phoenix, a Mad Artist villainess from Darkwing Duck, has a long, shaggy mane.
- Princess Merida and Lord Macintosh from Brave.
- Something of a running gag on Time Warp Trio was that Sam and many of his family members have wild hair. Sam's is just messy, black blob, his Great Granddaughter, Samantha has hair that is styled in a series of wavy bun-like things across her head (although judging from the background characters in the future episode, weird hair seems to be par for the course in the year 2105 where she hails from, even if the other main protagnist from the future avert this), and Sam's ancestor from Russia has a crazy, unruly beard he used to hide things in and his refusal to shave it almost got him executed.
- Lazerette from Skysurfer Strike Force