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Important Hair Accessory

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A character (almost Always Female) either gets or removes a hair accessory to symbolize her Character Development.

One of the most common variants involves a shy girl sweeping her bangs back under a headband, allowing us to see her full face and symbolizing her newfound self-confidence. Because girls are more attractive with self confidence.

Can also apply to hats, goggles and certain other forms of headgear. If it's removing a hairpiece that's significant, it may be accompanied by a Hair Flip.

Sub-Trope of Expository Hairstyle Change. Sister Trope to Important Haircut.


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Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Codename: Sailor V, Minako starts using a red hairbow when a boy she likes tells her it looks good on her. When the boy turns out to be an enemy and she has to fight him, she decides to keep using the bow anyway because she does like how it looks on her.
  • Haruhi Suzumiya originally changed her hairstyle every day, increasing the number of places it was tied off as the week continued (0 on Monday, presumably 6 on Sunday). After Kyon speaks to her for the first time, asking her why she did that, she sticks with the yellow hairband with matching ribbons she was wearing the day he asked.
  • Nanoha Takamachi and Fate Testarossa exchange hair ribbons in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha once they become friends.
  • Naruto:
    • Once Naruto becomes a member of Team 7, he stops wearing his goggles.
    • Sakura starts properly using her headband when she decides to give her fullest in her fight with Ino. Who does likewise.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: Asuka has a pair of "nerve clips" that are part of the Unusual User Interface for her Humongous Mecha, which she uses as barrettes and almost never takes off to symbolise her utter devotion to her career as a pilot. It also, tragically, symbolises how little she has in her life except piloting.
  • In One Piece, all of the Straw Hat Pirates except Luffy have different outfits when they reunite after two years of separation. Among the changes related to the tops of their heads: Usopp loses his sniping goggles and replaces his hat with a clean white one; Franky shaves his pompadour into a buzz cut, though he can regenerate the pompadour at any time; Chopper now wears a thick baseball cap instead of a top hat; and Sanji's hair, which once covered his left eye, now covers his right eye instead.
  • In Saint Beast, Judas makes a hair tie for Shin to keep his hair out of the way when he plays harp. It's important because it shows their growing bond and he never goes without it after that.
  • In Senki Zesshou Symphogear, Chris Yukine initially didn't wear any hair decoration, after her Heel–Face Turn and officially joining the team, she begins to wear reddish frilly scrunchies on her hair tails. They disappear when transformed.
  • In Spirited Away, Zeniba has Chihiro's companions make a new hair tie for her, replacing her previous one. It's still in her hair when she returns with her parents to the normal world, proving that the experience was not All Just a Dream.
  • In Bleach, Orihime uses hairpins that were a gift of her dead brother, and has vowed to never stop using them. After the Time Skip she's too old to wear them in her hair but, in keeping with her promise, she continues to wear them as lapel accessories. In the Thousand Year Old Blood War, when Urahara gives her and Chad a sort-of makeover before they re-join Ichigo, she puts the hairpins back on.
  • Pictured above: In Mahou Sensei Negima!, Asuna wears small bells on her Girlish Pigtails. Her First Love Takamichi gave them to her when she transferred into Mahora, and as she explains it she takes the bells off her hair.
  • DARLING in the FRANXX: Ichigo's hairclip was given to her as a child by Hiro, and she's worn it every day since. After she loses it in a fight, she's given a replacement by Goro, which he'd wanted to give her for years.
  • Kaguya-sama: Love Is War:
    • Kaguya ties up her hair with a red ribbon, which she started doing after initially falling in love with Shirogane. It's removed during The First Kiss Never Ends arc when Kaguya (Ice) takes control, and gets replaced with a white cloth from Shirogane's Christmas present at the end of the arc after she and Shirogane confess their feelings before going back to the regular ribbon.
    • Hayasaka keeps her hair bunched up with a blue scrunchie that was originally gifted to her by Kaguya when they were children. After her Important Haircut during the Class Trip arc, she instead starts wearing a hairpin with a star and a crescent moon on it, representing how she's no longer hiding her relationship with Kaguya (stars and the moon are their respective motifs). She still has the scrunchie, but she now uses it as a wristband.
    • Kashiwagi wears a red hairpin that she originally got because she wanted to mimic her best friend Maki. She still keeps it on despite Maki having long since changed her hairstyle.
  • In Ai no Wakakusa Monogatari, Jo loses her tomboyish ponytail and sells her hair to help pay for Marmee's trip, and it looks pretty cute. Jo, however, breaks down in tears when she is alone in bed. Later she gets a red headband from Beth.
  • In Orange, Naho gets a hairclip from Kakeru as payback for making him lunch everyday - she treasures it at lot, since she thinks future Naho didn't manage to get it.
  • Resident Evil Heavenly Island: Yuuki gives Tominaga her headband, and he wears it for the rest of the series.
  • Kakuriyo: Bed and Breakfast for Spirits has Tsubaki's camellia hair pin given to her by Ōdanna. It is made out of rose quartz and resembles that of a real flower by blooming. When the bud does bloom in full, Aoi's time limit to pay the debt will have expired.
  • Several examples in Masamune-kun's Revenge:
    • Yoshino's hair clips change position from being on separate sides of her head to being right next to each other when she's plotting a new scheme.
    • Kanegutsu starts wearing a cat hairpin after her lie is exposed by Masamune and she stops disguising herself as a guy.

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 
  • In Doing It Right This Time, Asuka makes the important decision to stop wearing her neural connectors as barrettes, to symbolise the fact that being an Evangelion pilot isn't all of who she is anymore. And then a few scenes later she discovers a practical advantage; a long ponytail makes it possible to do a proper Hair Flip for emphasis when making a dramatic gesture.
  • In chapter 1 of Neon Genesis Evangelion: Genocide, Misato gives Asuka her neural connector hair-clips back as she offers her to be reinstated as a pilot. In chapter 2 she wears them again, but she doesn't know if she's delighted or sad because they remind her of her failures. She eventually stops wearing them and even throws them into the trash after she seriously injures Keiko, which is very indicative of the despair and guilt she is feeling at that point. Her starting to wear them again afterwards is an indicator that She's Back.
  • A Knight's Tale as Inquisitor: Arturia wears at all times a blue ribbon which was a gift from her First Love Guinevere, and is the only thing she has left of her former wife/queen.
  • Kara of Rokyn: Kara adds a headband to her costume to make "an equality statement, since men were traditionally only headband wearers", but after a while she decides it just looks stupid and ditches the headband.
  • Infinity Train: Blossoming Trail: Chloe Cerise always kept her hair in a braid made by her mother held by a pink flower scrunchie. When the Train arrives to take her away, the wind from its entrance blows it off, symbolically Letting Her Hair Down as she embarks on her Journey To Find Herself. Goh then finds it as evidence and a Tragic Keepsake.
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    Films — Animation 
  • In Arrietty, the titular character gives her little clothespin hairclip to Sho/Shawn before they go separate ways in the ending.
  • Violet Parr from The Incredibles wears the common shy girl variant, in which she sweeps her bangs back under a headband in the middle of the film, allowing us to see her full face and symbolizing her newfound self-confidence.
  • Mulan is given a distinctive floral hair comb before her disastrous appointment with the matchmaker. After making her decision to take her father's place in the army she swaps his conscription notice for the hair comb before disguising herself as a man so she'll be accepted into the military.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • A male example in America America, which is An Immigrant's Tale of a young man's epic journey from central Turkey to the USA in the 1890s. When Stavros's ship comes within sight of Long Island, Stavros chucks his Turkish fez into the ocean, vowing to get an American-style straw boater hat. His Mrs. Robinson lover gets him one just as the ship is docking.
  • As the opening to Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is A Minor Kidroduction, young Indy spends the bulk of it without his signature fedora. When he's forced to give an artifact back to the looters who first found it, their leader (who's come to view young Indy as a Worthy Opponent), says, "You lost today, kid. But that doesn't mean you have to like it." He then gives Indy the hat he was wearing — which just so happens to be a fedora. Age Cut to an adult Indy, twenty years later, on the trail of that same artifact.

    Literature 

    Visual Novels 
  • Komari from Little Busters! wears stars and ribbons in her hair to symbolise her wishes. At the end of the game, she gives Rin one of them to express their friendship.

    Web Comics 
  • Emily from Misfile wears a headband at all times to cover her widow's peak. Ash tells her she's beautiful without it, but she's not ready to give it up just yet.
  • Played with in this Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal strip.
  • Gunnerkrigg Court: Kat starts wearing a hair bow in her short hair to look more feminine when rumors start that she is a lesbian. She stops wearing it when she realizes she is bisexual.
  • In El Goonish Shive, Dan has a younger Susan wear a hairband during the flashback sequence showing what happened in France to emphasize her innocence at the time.

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Fire Nation crown is in the form of a hair accessory. It's a spiky gold flame and gets stuck in the owner's topknot. There is also drama surrounding an important antique hairpiece in season three, associated with Iroh's revelations about the family. It's also, obviously, a big deal at Zuko's coronation. Its many differences from his father's (smaller, red robes, integrated audience, crowned by the Avatar instead of a Fire Sage) are very important, but the crown and the standing up are ritually essential and stay the same.
  • There's a purple haired Emo Teen in Scooby-Doo! Camp Scare who sweeps her hair back so her whole face shows (although she wears tinted glasses).

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