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Hair Reboot

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"Don't you love a 'do that always bounces back?"

A character whose potentially complicated hair is drenched, burnt, or otherwise misshaped merely has to shake their head to return it to the proper shape and volume. In extreme situations, this requires a few seconds of combing.

Happens in live action, but usually done with a cut-away.

Subtrope of Rapid Hair Growth. Either the supertrope to or the positive version of Stubborn Hair. Contrast with Important Haircut, Expository Hairstyle Change, and Close-Call Haircut. Compare Reset Button and Beauty Is Never Tarnished but just for hair. May involve Compressed Hair, which depending on the scenario may or may not be realistic. May enforce Hairstyle Inertia, where a character's hair remains exactly the same throughout their life. Compare Improbable Hairstyle Sequence.

Not to be confused with a hypothetical Continuity Reboot of Hair, nor with the hair of characters from ReBoot.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Dragon Ball, Goku's fight against Tao Pai-Pai had a chunk of one of his hair spikes cut away, which promptly returned in a few panels. In the Cell Arc this trope is seemingly averted: Vegeta says a Saiyan's hair doesn't grow after they're born. The Funimation dub adjusted this "change shape".
  • Gintoki in Gintama gets exploded in one of the later volumes (as if it only happens once), giving him a poofy afro. Sa-chan pleads with the writer to give him back his normal hair within a panel. Out of spite, perhaps, his hair stays that way for the next page.
  • Many a Close-Call Haircut in Dragon Ball Z has a Hair Reboot. Justified in that it's almost always Saiyan hair in question, which has different properties from human hair, supposedly. Either that, or it's Rule of Funny in action. One particularly memorable (and grievous) example is in Movie 12, when Janemba manages to cut a huge chunk of Goku's hair off... and it's back within the next couple frames!
  • Parodied in Soul Hunter. Taikoubou and Suupuushan are shocked by an electric-based opponent, causing them to develop an afro and blonde curls, respectively. They stop in the middle of their fight to shampoo and blow-dry their hair back into its proper shape — in ancient China.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi:
    • The eponymous Negi has occasionally has his Hair Antennae sliced off in a Close-Call Haircut. It is back in the next panel.
    • It seems Evangeline's immortality extends to her hair as well. When Secundum destroys a bit of her hair together with her arm, both arm and hair are restored to normal in no time.
  • Subverted by Bokuto no Ryu in Shaman King. The guy gets a Close-Call Haircut near the beginning of the series and his hair spends the rest of the story adopting more and more bizarre shapes as it slowly re-grows and gets cut again. It does not regain its original shape until very late in the story.
  • In My Bride is a Mermaid, the top of Nagasumi's head actually gets cut off. He's fine right afterward though.
  • Jessie from Pokémon tries to capture a Seviper in one episode. She does badly... until Seviper bites off a piece of her hair. After Jessie gives it a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown, her hair returns to normal in a few seconds.
  • Somewhat averted in Soul Eater — Black Star routinely gets his ridiculous main hair-spike cut in two, messed up or cut off. It generally stays that way for the length of the scene, but is always back to normal by the next episode at least.
  • A late episode of K-On! has Yui accidentally chop her bangs very short while trying to trim them, and they go back to their usual length in the next episode. However, a bonus episode that chronologically took place shortly after this incident shows her with her hair still cut short.
  • In the official Doujinshi Anthology of Ace Attorney, main character Phoenix Wright (who is known for having had Anime Hair ever since he was born, despite not using hairgel or the likes) is shown with wet hair in two instances, which reveals that he's literally an "Instant Bishounen, Just Add Water". How to get his hair back to its usual shape? Shake his head twice and apply the hairdryer for approximately two seconds. A very dumbstruck Edgeworth compared it to "Shape Memory Alloy".
  • In Eureka Seven, Eureka lost a significant amount of hair in episode 19 and eventually has her hair grown back in an instant by Sakuya in episode 41. She even reverts back to her very original hairstyle by the final episode.
  • In Bleach, Tsukishima cuts off the majority of one of Riruka's very long pigtails in a Close-Call Haircut. The next time she is seen the entirety of the ponytail is back and in pristine condition. It's actually a Justified Trope: she had been wounded by Tsukishima as well but Orihime healed her, and Orihime's powers work in such a way that she can easily make cut hair grow back to its original length. (Which she had already done to herself after Tsukishima attacked her.)
  • In Fairy Tail, Juvia (who has shoulder-long hair) and Freed (whose hair reaches his lower back) both cut their hair short — Juvia when she joins the title guild and Freed after the Fighting Festival (in order to atone). When Freed is seen again one arc later, his hair is suddenly very long again. When Juvia finds out, after the Edolas arc, that Edo-Gray was in love with Edo-Juvia, she suddenly grows her hair long again (she apparently thought it was her hairstyle that he was in love with). Possibly justified given that Lucy has a summon spirit named Cancer who specializes in giving haircuts, and can even grow people's hair back, which is something Lucy had him do for Wendy after the Tartaros arc.

    Comic Books 
  • This is a side effect of Wolverine's healing factor.
  • While her hairstyle is very simple, the same goes for X-23, as well. Highlighted in All-New X-Men when she's completely bald after escaping torture by the Purifiers, then over the next few panels of the following issue it visibly regrows to its normal length.
  • Justified with Impulse. After he shaves his head, his hair grows back faster than normal due to his accelerated metabolism (though it's negated because he continues to shave it for a while)
  • Rapunzel, in Fables, due to her magical nature. She has to cut it constantly and she can't leave Fabletown for long periods of time, unless under a spell that prevents her hair from growing.
  • Happens with the mustache of General Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross. It disappears when he transforms into his superpowered form, and instantly grows back when he reverts to his human form.
  • In W.I.T.C.H., Hay Lin ends up lopping off her usual long twin-tailed hair to impress a boy in one story. However, when she ends up ultimately rejecting him, her hair ends up growing back quickly, which surprises her mother.

    Comic Strips 
  • Get Fuzzy averts this when Rob accidentally uses shampoo mixed with hair removal cream. His hair goes from gone through stubby to normal length again in real time.
  • A Zits strip has Sara drag Jeremy to a hair salon for an unkempt look that the former finds attractive. After they walk out, Jeremy ruffles his 'do with his hands, instantly reverting his hair back to its previous—and neatly parted—look.

    Films — Animation 
  • The Little Mermaid (1989): Ariel's hair manages to stay pretty much perfectly styled when she goes topside.
  • Happens in The LEGO Movie with Emmett waving the brush in front of his bedhead and his hair instantly becoming perfectly neat. Granted, this is one of many, many limited animation gags because they are supposed to be minifigs.
  • Similarly in The LEGO Batman Movie, whenever Batman takes off his cowl, his helmet-hair spontaneously poofs itself into style. As an extra touch, it goes from the hairpiece used for Bruce Wayne in The LEGO Movie (slicked back) to a spikier style based on Ben Affleck's appearance in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The liquid-metal T-1000 gave itself a Hair Reboot in a scene late in Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
  • In Austin Powers in Goldmember, Foxxy Cleopatra's hair goes from a fairly flat style from being wet to her full-out afro after she shakes her head.
  • Played for laughs in spoof spy movie OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies, where title character OSS 117 (a suave superspy played half Connery-era James Bond, half Inspector Clouseau) wakes up with brushy head, then passes his hands in his hair, which is instantly and perfectly styled as a result.
  • Likewise in the spy parody Top Secret!, when the female character gets off a motorbike with an instant cut to her with perfect hair.
  • Parodied in The Naked Gun, Frank Drebbin falls through a ceiling landing in a room full of thugs, dirty and hair messed up. As he stands, he idly puts his hands up to his head, as if to just brush a little of the dirt away. One jump cut later and he is totally clean and not a single hair is out of place.
  • In the movie Bring It On, Kirsten Dunst's hair goes from wet to dry (and styled) very quickly during the carwash scene.
  • Dragonball Evolution has a scene of Goku's hair gel only working a few seconds before it reverted to Anime Hair. Although drawing attention to it was hardly a good idea.
  • Played with in Back to the Future Part II, as in the future, all clothes come with in-built hairdryers.
  • A deleted scene in Bruce Almighty has Bruce Kick the Dog by setting his rival's head on fire (after a Humiliation Conga that did make it into the film). Later, he made amends by regenerating the hair.

  • Harry Potter got this once as a kid overnight, as a result of a particularly bad haircut and accidental magic.
    • In general, throughout the series, it's mentioned that his hair sticks up in the back no matter what he does. In the fifth book, Mrs. Weasley tries and fails to flatten his hair with a wet comb, much to her frustration.
    • Justified in Goblet of Fire. Hermione uses a lot of magical hair care product to make her normally-frizzy hair sleek, straight, and shiny. It wears off by the next day and she doesn't bother with it again, since it's too much trouble.
  • The manga version of Maximum Ride applies this to the Flock; they all get new hairdos as an attempt to disguise themselves, but by the end of the next volume all but two of them go back to their original 'dos (Fang and Nudge being the exceptions). It's justified by the amount of time that passes in between.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Scrubs:
    • Avoided when J.D. shaves off his hair to show solidarity with a patient, but the next episode quickly skips to a month later when it's regrown, and does show a number of flashback scenes of his time without it.
    • Appears somewhat in a later series, where Dr. Cox has a mysteriously shaved head in "My Night to Remember", only for his hair to be reset to normal in the next episode, three episodes before he eventually shaves his head onscreen in "My Long Goodbye".
  • In Out of Jimmy's Head the title character's hair sure stays perfectly neat in the movie despite having a brain transplant.
  • First lampshaded and then subverted in The Colbert Report; after Stephen Colbert got back from the USO shows in Iraq, he first wore an over-the-top fake wig and since got increasingly blacker stubble.
  • In the Red Dwarf season 8 two-parter "Pete", Rimmer and Lister lose their hair while trying to cheat at spud duty. They get it back a few scenes later when Kryten uses a time digitizer. Note that this subplot is the least silly part of this episode.
  • In one of the movie parodies on The Carol Burnett Show, after swimming, Carol Burnett wraps her soaking wet hair in a towel, and seconds later pulls the towel off to reveal completely dry, perfectly styled hair.

    Video Games 
  • In Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening, during the first fight with Vergil, it's raining and Vergil's normally spiked-back hairdo looks more like Dante's. After you "win", he makes a motion with his hand to slick back his hair with his hand and his hair goes back to normal.
  • In Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy, Jak's Super Saiyan-esque antigravity hair flops down when he enters water (even if his head doesn't actually go below the surface) and immediately springs back up as soon as he leaves it.
  • Always Sometimes Monsters: Belinda may opt to try a new hairstyle. If she doesn't like it, she flips out and tries to force the hairdresser to fix it for a Justified hair reboot.
  • A strange variant in Pokémon X and Y: Trimming and restyling Furfrou's fur will cause it to look as intended for exactly 5 days, after which it instantly rearranges itself back to how it was when you first obtained Furfrou. You can also revert Furfrou's fur instantly by putting it in storage.
  • A cutscene in Kingdom Hearts II shows Sora in the water at the beach, and his hair gets soaked. All he has to do is to shake his head once or twice and his hair not only completely dries out, but also turns to its original shape.
  • Athena's wish in her ending from SNK Gals Fighters, so that she can pass an audition—only to be told to cut it back down. The version of her used in the game is based upon The King of Fighters '99, in which her hair was at its shortest at the time, neck-length (2001 gives her a pixie cut).

    Web Animation 
  • My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Rainbow Rocks:
    • In "Player Piano", Rarity's hair is a mess after having pushed the wheel-less piano for a while. When she "vamps up" to call for the Diamond Dog Boys' help, though, it gets back to perfect just by smoothing it with her hand.
    • In "A Case for the Bass", the Flim-Flam Brothers' hair (and mustache) are blown straight by Applejack's guitar solo, but they get it back to normal just by shaking heads.
  • A Walk In The Park has Amy Squirrel emerge from the shower and inspect herself in a mirror. Disliking her unruly hair, she shakes her head vigorously back and forth, until ta-da! it settles into a pristine '80s Hair style. "Bet you wish your hair could do that," she taunts The Fourth Wall.

  • Mocked in the webcomic Friendly Hostility. Fox has to shave his head and face after a lice outbreak at his job. His hair stays gone and takes a long while to grow back, but he realizes that his goatee grows back just the way it was within seconds of being removed. He spends a strip doing nothing but shaving his goatee off repeatedly, watching it grow back, and giggling like an electrocuted heron.
  • Lampshaded in Antihero for Hire. Shadehawk actually chooses his hairspray on the requirement that if he's suddenly drenched, it'll dry off instantly. Commercially-available Applied Phlebotinum at its finest.
  • Ozy and Millie has a Running Gag of every so often removing all of Ozy's (or, on rare occasion, Millie's) fur. After the shaving story arc, the following strips usually has a fully fluffy fox.
  • Averted in Air Force Blues, when Barbie's hair is removed entirely by the careful addition of hair removal cream to his shampoo. His hair grows back in real time but seems to stop once it reaches "buzz cut" length. This is Lampshaded eventually after a trip to a secret airbase when it is revealed that he was a human guinea pig for an experiment.
  • The current page picture is one of the few times where Medium Awareness makes an appearance in Least I Could Do.
  • Justified in The Order of the Stick, when Haley uses a magical hair growth treatment.
  • Subverted in El Goonish Shive, when Nanase's hair turns straight and black after a magic burn-out. Even after regaining her magic, she still keeps her hair the way it changed.

    Western Animation 
  • Johnny Bravo, from the series of the same name.
  • Happened a few times to Robin on Teen Titans, but a quick headshake fixed things.
  • An episode of Martin Mystery had Diana end up totally bald due to a bad dye job. By the next episode, her hair is back.
  • When Darkwing Duck gives himself an exaggerated corkscrew pompadour for a big date with Morganna McCawber, Morganna offers to "fix his part", then sweetly uses her magic to intentionally put his feathers right back to normal (after briefly turning him into a yak by accident).
  • This trope is parodied in an episode of Family Guy, when Peter's hair is shaved down to a mohawk. He says, "Good thing my hair is made out of Play-Doh." and squeezes out more hair like one of those Play-Doh crazy-hair toys, and styles it back to normal.
  • King of the Hill:
    • Avoided when Luanne's hair is burned off in a propane explosion: it gradually grows back over the next several episodes.
    • When Hank's cousin Dusty Hill gets his beard trapped in the safety belt of Cotton's Cadillac being used in a demolition derby, Hank cuts it off to free him. It is fully grown by the next scene.
  • In an Amiga cartoon by Eric Schwartz, he has Amy the Squirrel come out of the shower and, after inspection in a mirror, simply whips her full-bodied hair around to dry it and style it perfectly in less than 3 seconds. She then breaks the fourth wall to lampshade it saying to the viewer, "Bet you wish your hair could do that!"
  • Averted in The Venture Bros.. Brock loses his signature mullet to a car explosion in the season 1 finale, and he's still lacking it in the season two premiere. His hair grows back over the next few episodes.
    • Justified since the Season 2 premiere takes place over eight months.
  • The Angry Beavers sometimes used this, but also plays around with it a little. In one episode, the beavers get shaved like poodles, and before heading out to get their revenge, Norbert dashes into the closet, comes out with his fur completely restored, and tosses Daggett a replacement fur coat for him, too. In another, Norbert gets repeatedly electrocuted, and every time he has less and less fur as a result, which stays like that throughout the episode.
  • Inverted in Total Drama, where Heather's hair is shaved at the end of the first season and she remains bald throughout the entire second season. This is unrealistic for the opposite reason: after several weeks pass, she really should have at least some hair again. Then again, she mentioned that her hair had been growing in, just "patchy and uneven". She probably re-shaved her head until the TDA special, where it's finally even.
  • In My Little Pony 'n Friends, during "The Glass Princess" story, a few of the ponies are captured and their manes are cut off. The hair grows back instantly, making the mooks who cut it off goggle in amazement. (This was done because the writers were aware that the animators couldn't be relied on to draw the ponies with their manes cut for the rest of the serial.)
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Occurs after Rarity chops off most of her tail. In this case, instead of growing back instantly, it only reverts to its normal length after invoking The Power of Magic.
    • Similarly, Princess Cadance's ragged, unkempt mane becomes smooth and flowing once she and her fiancé invoke their magic.
  • On Jimmy Two-Shoes, Jimmy gets his hair cut off thanks to a deadly rollercoaster Lucius had strapped him into. The next scene it was back.
  • Justified on The Fairly Oddparents: After Timmy rips his hair out in frustration, his fairies poof it back on.
  • Danny Phantom:
    • Happens to Jack Fenton: he has part of his hair ripped out by one of his ghost-hunting inventions in the first episode while his children are at school, but it is back to normal in the next scene he appears, which is set during that same day in the early evening.
    • Happens a few times to Danny due to how often he gets zapped. An offhand sweep of one hand is usually enough to get it back to its standard improbable spikes. He lampshades this once, when his human form gets helmet hair. After he transforms, his hair spikes back to normal.
      Danny: Well, at least the hair's better.
  • In Futurama, there's a robot you can call to make new hair when you lose yours.
  • Averted on The Powerpuff Girls with Sedusa. Her hair is cut off in "Something's a Ms." and it doesn't grow back until 4 seasons later in "Aspirations" when she gathers some magical artifacts.
  • Ruffnut cuts her hair in the Dragons: Riders of Berk episode "Free Scauldy" to use it to tie up a splint to help save the title character. By the next episode, it's back to its original length.
  • In the short film A Gentlemen's Duel, after Weatherby (the English suitor) musses his mustache with a Glove Slap, Dubois (the French suitor) somehow wills it back into place.
  • In one episode of The Simpsons, Homer shaves his Perma-Stubble, only to have it rapidly grow back as soon as he turns away from the mirror.
  • Ultimate Spider-Man's version of Doctor Octopus lost his hair during the Season 1 finale, yet come the Season 2 premiere, he once again has the long locks he sported. In Season 4, he sported a version of his Ends of the Earth look, only to be purified after the Carnage symbiote bonded to him and was removed, restoring his earlier look, complete with long hair.
  • In The Amazing World of Gumball episode "The Burden", Principal Brown waxes himself to impress Miss Simian, but the hair grows back in only a few seconds after he rips the old hair out.
  • The pilot of Tangled: The Series centers around this trope, not only with Rapunzel's hair returning to its original length and color, but with the added effect of it becoming completely indestructible. The episode "Beginnings" reveals why this happened: When Rapunzel touched the black rocks, part of the Moonstone's powers which infested them were transferred to her hair so she can be protected.
  • In Star Wars: The Clone Wars Obi-Wan Kenobi's hair and beard were shaved off in order for him to disguise himself as criminal Rako Hardeen for an important undercover mission. His hair and beard have fully grown back in the episode following the story arc.
  • PAW Patrol: In "Pups Save An Underground Chicken", Ryder gets soaked by a water cannon and his gelled hair flops down. He dries it for about two seconds, and it spikes back up (either his hair is naturally poofy or that is some strong hair gel).
  • In Trollz, troll hair in general seems to have this quality, rebooting no matter how badly it's soaked or burned.