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L - R, top to bottom: Coco Nebulon, Sinestro, a Minbari, Worf, a togruta, and a Brute.
"Really, other than their hair, the Kazon aren't too scary."
Robert Picardo on Star Trek: Voyager, Starlog #231
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When humanoid aliens in visual fiction have hair, it almost always falls into one of the following styles:

  • "Generic Humanoid" Hair—almost always included a recessed hairline to show off the rubber forehead, which on female characters meant to be attractive is usually only slightly bumpy. Also almost always assumes that Aliens Have No Eyebrows, as is frequently the case in Star Trek and in Babylon 5. If this type of alien does have eyebrows, they will be unusually shaped (probably swept-up Romulan-style). The hair can be and frequently is any color.

  • "Klingon" Hair—varies from long and thinning (Malons from Voyager) to long, full and luxuriant (Worf, Green Skinned Space Babes from TOS) to long, full and mangy or unkempt (Martok, other Klingons, Nausicaans, Kazon). Again, the hairline is recessed to show off the craggy forehead ridges. Almost always brown or black hair. May or may not come with eyebrows and/or facial hair.

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  • "Romulan/Vulcan" Hair—typical of Space Nazis and Space Communists. Varies from the near-human looking hair of Vulcans to the super-sleek-and-shiny wigs of Next Generation-era Romulans. Often comes in a bowl cut, or slicked back. Cardassian hair is an example of this. Almost always black hair. Rarely comes with facial hair, unless it is a goatee. Usually look like wigs, and often are. Ditto Aliens love this style.

  • "Wookiee" Hair—covers the entire body. Usually a rubber suit alien, but more increasingly represented by Muppets or Serkis Folk. Can be expensive to pull off well. Usually varying shades of brown.

  • "Tenctonese" Hair—bald… at least on the head. Usually accomplished by a shave or a bald cap (for example, Babylon 5's female Centauri), often with a pigment pattern or odd texture, and frequently (but not always) are complimented by enlarged craniums suggesting superior intelligence. Again, this is an alien hairstyle that does not often come with eyebrows. The Greys are entirely hairless with an enlarged cranium.

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  • Not-hair-at-all hair—if the writer (and the budget) allow for aliens who don't have hair but have something else on their heads that they wear like hair. Feathers, scales, or even flowers or vines for Plant Aliens can make for a creative physical difference.

  • "Predator" Hair—not actually hair, but bundles of head tentacles/antennae that look like dreadlocks. Usually placed on the head in the same pattern as the Klingons, back from the forehead. Most famously used on the title species of the Predator franchise. Some writers have gone so far as to posit that this hair substitute contains unique sensory organs or is a symbiotic species. Quarren from Star Wars don't count because they are generic "squidheads."


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Recessed Hairline 

Comic Books

  • Jewelius Blak, the Green Lantern who trained Thall Sinestro, has a hairline so recessed it starts on the back of her head. She also has odd thin eyebrows, the distal ends of which sweep up her forehead to where a human's hairline would start.

Film

  • Star Wars: Weequay, like Jedi master Sora Bulq, have textured dark hair and a very recessed hairline by human standards. In the expanded universe, the Zabrak (Darth Maul's species) have dark hair that only grows on the back of their heads, while the front has several small horns.

Live-Action TV

  • Star Trek: Voyager: Malons have textured hair and a recessed hairline by human standards.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: Worf had long textured hair with his hairline behind a large ridged forehead which pushed it back from a normal human hairline.
  • Doctor Who: Ogrons are humanoids and have a hairline that starts behind their ears, as well as facial hair which only grows to the sides of their mouths.

    "Romulan/Vulcan" Hair 

Live-Action TV

  • Star Trek: Vulcans like Spock keep their hair in very simple straight cut uniform styles.

Film

  • Galaxy Quest: The Thermians appear to be pale humanoids with very uniformly cut smoothed down black hair, though they're using appearance generators to hide their actual tentacled appearance.

    "Wookiee" Hair 

Comic Books

  • A couple of the freedom fighters on Kossak's slave ship in Superboy (1994) are covered in hair from head to toe.
  • The Green Lantern G'nort is covered in hair, though he looks like a bipedal humanoid dog under most artists' pens. So too is "Agent Orange" Larfleeze, though his hair is shorter and his face is usually more modeled on a twisted boar/baboon combo. The two were eventually revealed to be the same species and distant relatives
  • Wanderers team member Dartalg is a bipedal hair covered alien. He shows up in Legion of Super-Heroes stories from time to time.

Film

  • Wookies from Star Wars are a bipedal species entirely covered with hair.

    "Tenctonese" Hair/Aliens are Bald 

Comic Books

  • A few of the Event Horizon frequenters in Superboy and the Ravers are relatively humanoid save for their odd skin tones and lack of any hair. They're all from the same planet of origin.
  • One of Kossak's slave girls in Superboy (1994) has no hair and four tentacles in place of arms, and another is a shapeshifter who can make herself appear to have hair in order to mimic someone who does, but is bald naturally.
  • The natives of Stoneworld, like the Green Lanterns Aa and Kworri, look like well built human men with pale grey or dark purplish brown skin and no hair. They have no sexual dimorphism.
  • Sinestro: The noble who was the winning bid for the Korugar survivors at the slave auction had a very tall, seemingly hairless head. It's unclear if the small curly thing atop it is a hair substitute or a hat of some kind, but it appears to be decorative rather than part of her biology.
  • Wonder Woman (1987): The unnamed ace pilot of Wonder Woman's Space Pirate Revolutionary crew is a bald orange skinned woman in her base state.
  • Green Lantern Xrill-Vrex is a hairless pale orange skinned woman in her base state.

Film

Live-Action TV

  • The Minbari in Babylon 5 have this is well as "Tenctonese" hairstyles: they are bald with a bony crest that the females have carved and shaped.

Other

  • The Sith species from the Star Wars Legends had a variation of this with regards to facial hair- instead, they had bony spurs that looked like eyebrows and beards, and two small cheek-tentacles.

    Not-hair-at-all hair 

Anime and Manga

  • The titular Squid Girl has a series of prehensile tentacles for hair.
  • Ika-chan from Oddman 11 has a pair of Girlish Pigtails that are actually octopus tentacles, combined with two googly eyes attached to the sides of her head that make it look like she's wearing an octopus on her head.

Comic Books

  • Superboy (1994):
    • One of the beautiful slave girls in Kossak's harem has long rounded feather like "hair" which starts further back than a normal human hairline, continues onto her back and the backs of her arms and doesn't reach the sides of her head.
    • Kon-El comes across an alien girl with strange branching blue stuff that looks sort of like flat bunches of grapes which grows on her wrists and ankles in addition to on top of her head.
  • Green Lantern:
    • Green Lantern 2-6-8-1-7-9-5 ("Two-six") and her people have five tentacles with finned tips in place of hair.
    • Green Lantern Feska of Zarox and her people have a crest striped with black instead of hair.
    • Deeter's "hair" does not have individual strands, and despite being shaped like a human haircut is more like smooth shaped growth, plus his "mustache", and both look like they could have been popped out of a jello mold and glued to his head.
    • Medphyll of Sector 586 is from a species of one-eyed humanoid Plant Aliens who have a mass of leaf covered vines in place of hair.
    • Orange Lantern Clypta has two large smooth tentacles sprouting out the sides of her head rather than any hair.
    • Nax of the Sinestro Corps has no hair, but she does have two thin tendrils dangling from the back of her head.
    • Sinestro Corps members Kiriazis and Scivor have both got needle-like spikes and horns in place of hair.
  • The New52 Lobo has been seen lounging around with an alien woman whose head is covered with large light-grey tentacles with a layered texture.
  • One of Diana's space pirate revolutionaries from Wonder Woman (1987) has a bunch of mildly prehensile tube-like tentacles in place of hair, another has a large boxy lump on each side of her head which seem to be in place of ears as well as hair. One of the races seen most often on the Sangtee Empire's slave planets is a greenish blue-skinned people with pointed ears and symmetric coral-like growths instead of hair.
  • In the Marvel Universe, the humanoid Shi'ar have feathers instead of hair.

Fan Fiction

  • Mei's hair is replaced with squid tentacles when she uses her incomplete Sage Mode in Son of the Sannin. The author makes a joke about her turning into an Inkling during the end of chapter omake after its reveal.

Live-Action TV

  • Doctor Who: The Ood have no hair but the mass of dangling tendrils they possess in place of mouths is reminiscent of a beard.
  • Farscape: Luxans like Ka D'Argo have approximately eight tentacles called "tenkas" on the backs of their heads in addition to one on their chins. Their distant cousins the Ilanic have two tenkas on their foreheads and two on their chins. Tenkas have no musculature and merely hang but are sensitive to touch.
  • An alien who otherwise looks nothing like Cthulhu might have tentacles, like the unnamed green-skinned Mulder and Scully analogs from the B5 spinoff Crusade.

Tabletop Games

  • Genasi from D&D 4th edition have crystals (Windsoul, Stormsoul) or fire (Firesoul) in place of hair, other are simply bald (Earthsoul, Watersoul)

Video Games

  • Argonians, the most "alien" of the playable races in The Elder Scrolls series, have just about everything but hair treated like hair. Horns, spikes (both flexible and rigid), scales, fins, feathers (particularly females), etc.
  • Mass Effect has the asari and their "hair-tentacles" (or so Joker describes them), which are basically cartilaginous crests that grow in a vaguely curvy conic direction towards the back of the asari's head. Quarian evo-suits designed for men also have a bundle of cables connected to the top of their helmets to evoke a long braid. The Angara have in place of hair a cobra-like hood.
  • Most of the characters in Splatoon are Apparently Human Merfolk that retain their beastly bits as hair resembling the aquatic creatures they take after.
    • When the Inklings switch from squid to humanoid form, they retain part of their squid forms as their "hair". This is even more noticeable and alien with the Octolings, who have a mass of tentacles for hair styled in a bouffant.
    • Annie, the shy anemone girl who runs the headgear shop, has a big anemone afro with Moe the clownfish inhabiting it.
    • Spyke is a sea urchin (and street urchin) whose hair is a mass of spikes with only a sliver of his face showing through.
  • In Hearthstone, intelligent murlocs are shown wearing their distinctive crest of spikes like hair. One female murloc even has hers done up in a ponytail. This is averted in World of Warcraft proper, where murlocs always keep their spikes straight up even while wearing a hat (although, this is more likely due to model limitations, and the fact that non-hostile clothes-wearing murlocs are exceptionally rare in the canon game).

Film

  • Star Wars: Twi'leks (such as Bib Fortuna, or Aayla Secura) have two tentacles growing out of the back of their heads, called "lekku". A few other species have similar hair-substitutes, most notably the Togruta (such as Shaak Ti and Ahsoka Tano), who have hollow horn-like "montrals" at the top of their heads and three lekku extending downward from them. In both species, rare individuals will have four lekku instead of the normal number. The amphibians Nautolans, such as fan favorite Kit Fisto, have several tentacles for hair.

Western Animation

  • Decapodians from Futurama have bald heads and tentacles for mustaches.

    "Predator" Hair/Tendrils and Cords 

Comic Books

  • A handful of aliens Kon-El encounters and frees on a slaver's space ship have thin brown tentacles/antennas instead of hair.
  • Sinestro: The Yellow Lantern who gets his neck snapped by Mongul after he's freed from the Paling has a mass of cord-like things growing on his head behind his crest adorned forehead instead of hair.
  • Velosians have a sort of orangeish fringe skirting the back of their heads which is very visible against their turquoise skin. Or they did before they and their planet were destroyed by Yuga Khan. The only known survivor, Wonder Woman's elderly ally H'Elgn who was on a slave of the Sangtee Empire when Velos was destroyed, has a white fringe instead.
  • Female Ungarans have dark thin cord like things on their heads that look sort of like thin braids though some artists just can't seem to keep from drawing it like regular hair. Males, like Green Lantern Abin Sur, are generally completely hairless.

Film

  • The Na'vi have tendrils growing out of their head, but in a twist they have hair growing on top of all this over the neural cables.
  • The titular aliens of Predator have dark cords in place of hair.

Literature

  • Nnedi Okorafor's Binti: The title character is human, but the Meduse Starfish Aliens replace her hair with a set of their translucent blue okuoko tentacles to enable her to communicate with them. She has mixed feelings about them, not least because her hairstyle was an important link to her family and culture.
  • Lilith's Brood: The Oankali have short, anemone-like sensory tentacles where humans would have hair and eyes, as well as in smaller patches elsewhere on their bodies. They help the Oankali breathe, see, hear, and taste, and can also deliver a deadly sting. Their version of making eye contact is to point their tentacles towards a person, which takes most humans a long time to get used to.

Video Games

  • The Protoss of Starcraft naturally have a long bundle of cable-like nerve cords growing out of their head like a ponytail; Dark Templar crop theirs to sever their connection to their race.


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