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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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    Anime & Manga 
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Kakuriyo: Bed and Breakfast for Spirits has Tsubaki's camellia hairpin 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.
  • Nanoha Takamachi and Fate Testarossa exchange hair ribbons in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha once they become friends.
  • 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.
  • Naruto:
    • Once Naruto becomes a member of Team 7, he stops wearing his goggles in favor of a headband. After he becomes Hokage at the end of the series, Naruto forgoes his headband, as well.
    • Sakura starts properly using her headband when she decides to give her fullest in her fight with Ino, who does likewise. Downplayed in that this only applies to their fight, as, afterwards, they switch back to wearing their headbands on their hair and belly, respectively.
    • The Akatsuki members seem to have a tradition of giving their headbands a horizontal scratch upon joining, showing that they no longer profess allegiance to their home ninja villages.
    • Sasuke naturally no longer wears the Konoha headband upon leaving Konoha. His headband, which is given a horizontal scratch like the Akatsuki members, is currently kept by Naruto after their fight at the Valley of the End. This persists even after he rejoins Konoha at the end of the series since Sasuke is now considered a "Shadow Hokage", as he secretly protects the village, as opposed to Naruto who handles the job openly. As mentioned above, Hokage normally don't wear headbands.
  • Pictured above: In Negima! Magister Negi Magi, 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.
  • 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 Orange, Naho gets a hairclip from Kakeru as payback for making him lunch every day - she treasures it a lot, since she thinks future Naho didn't manage to get it.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Changing hair decorations becomes important for the character development of Madoka and Homura.
    • At the start of the series Madoka asks her mother what color ribbons she should wear to school that day. By the end of the series, Madoka gives them to Homura as a memento right before Madoka Ascends to a Higher Plane of Existence thanks to her wish to rewrite the entire Magical Girl system which required her to be erased from the normal world. Homura, in turn, wears them in her own hair as a keepsake, being the only one who remembers her in the rewritten world.
    • Homura herself used to wear ribbons in her hair during her backstory when she wore her hair in braids, prior to her "Groundhog Day" Loop when she was still a Shrinking Violet. Her decision to do whatever it takes to avert Madoka's fate to either die or turn into a Witch is accompanied by her pulling off the ribbons keeping her braids intact alongside a case of The Glasses Come Off.
    • Come the end of Rebellion, Homura gives her ribbons up back to a now-amnesiac Madoka whose memories as being the Law of the Cycle have been erased following Homura's Face–Heel Turn and betrayal to trap her in the new new world where Madoka doesn't have to do any of the Magical Girl crap. Homura gives them back as she now believes they will inevitably become enemies because their differences in goals are irreconcilable, a symbol of Homura's rejection of the world Madoka had provided via the Law of the tragic as it is and as reluctant as Homura may feel about it.
  • Resident Evil: Heavenly Island: Yuuki gives Tominaga her headband, and he wears it for the rest of the series.
  • 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 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 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.

    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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Pokémon Crossing: During the Dewford Town arc, Holly buys a purple flower hairclip at a store. When she comes out as a transgender girl, she starts wearing the flower in public.

    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.

  • In Cerberus High's Underworld Arc, Blanc removes his black hair tie as a sign of him no longer holding back and places it inside of his deceased girlfriend Xiomara’s hands.
  • All the girls of the Community in The Giver wear long hair with ribbons at the ends until the Ceremony of Nine, where the ribbons are removed and all the children are given bikes. (The next year they all get their hair cut short.)
  • Violet wears a hair ribbon whenever she is deep in concentration in A Series of Unfortunate Events.

    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.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

    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.
  • In The Owl House episode "Wing it Like Withes", Willow wears a flower hair clip to symbolize her newfound confidence after she and Amity become friends again.
  • There's a purple-haired Emo Teen named Trudy in Scooby-Doo: Camp Scare who sweeps her hair back so her whole face shows (although she wears tinted glasses).