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Memetic Hair

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"Attention duelists! My hair is now an internet phenomenon!"
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Almost anything can become a meme, whether it be an outfit, a badass, or a picture of an animal doing something funny. Hairstyles are by no means immune to memification. Hair is a device creators often use to convey information about a character to the audience. For example, a girl with pigtails and a girl with a Mohawk are likely to be very different. In non-visual mediums, largely due to The Law of Conservation of Detail, it's seldom an arbitrary choice on the author's part to describe hair at all.

Sometimes somebody's hair is so stylish or unique that it becomes associated with that person or character. In fiction, weird hair can become so recognizable that to change it would be like losing part of his or her personality. In Real Life, a celebrity's trademark hair could even become a trend, even if was around long before they made it popular.

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See Hair Tropes. Note that Anime Hair is especially likely to be subjected to this. Einstein Hair is a subtrope.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Astro Boy: Astro's spiked hair is one of the most iconic haircuts in anime.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Super Saiyan hair - all three levels of it (spikey, spikier, and down-to-your-feet)
    • And of course there's Goku's omnidirectional spikes along with his Super Saiyan 1 hair and Vegeta's Villainous Widow's Peak.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • Envy has the Fan Nickname of "Palm Tree" (or sometimes "Aloe") for their default form's long spiky wild hairstyle. It’s also colored green in both anime adaptations.
    • The manga/Brotherhood version of Solf J. Kimblee is often compared to cockroach because of his Hair Antennae (and him being sleazy and unnerving.) Meanwhile his 2003 anime counterpart has a mullet ponytail instead, so he's often called Mullet Kimblee.
  • Hunter × Hunter: The climax of the Chimera Ant arc sees Gon sacrificing all his Nen for an Older Alter Ego Next Tier Power-Up with extremely tall, who-like hair. This is a Wham Episode, and is supposed to be the most major spoiler for those who haven't caught up with the series, but the hair's absurdity makes it even more It Was His Sled. It's even been used as a Late-Arrival Spoiler in some gacha game collaboration promotions.
  • Plenty to go around in Jojos Bizarre Adventure.
    • Polnareff, Dire, Whammu and later Koichi (for a short time) sport tall, prominent flat-tops resembling a column on their heads.
    • Kakyoin's hair has a single long dangling lock on his bangs, informally known in the fandom as a "noodle".
    • Giorno's blonde hair sports three distinctive donut-like loops at the front above his forehead.
    • Josuke has an enormous pompadour, and in fact is his Berserk Button whenever somebody insults his hair.
    • Perhaps most perplexingly, Jotaro's hair seems to merge directly into his hat: somewhat excusable in part 3 when he has a black hat and black hair, but less so when he switches to a white hat in part 4... and the hat still merges seamlessly. It has reached a point where it's a common in-joke or fanon joke, that Jotaro actually styles his hair to look like a hat.
    • Jolyne has two buns on top of her head resembling Mickey Mouse ears, as well as having bright neon-green bangs to contrast with her black hair.
  • Naruto:
    • Naruto's spiky blond hair is nearly as iconic as his orange jumpsuit. He had it even as a newborn. As an adult he cut it shorter but it's still spiky.
    • Sasuke's infamous "duck butt" hairstyle.
  • Sailor Moon: Usagi is the Trope Namer for Odango Hair.
  • Smile Pretty Cure! has Cure March with her fluffy pigtails and Cure Peace with her banana hair.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • The series has some of the most extreme cases of Anime Hair the world has ever seen. In the abridged series particularly amazing hair grants the owners special powers.
    • Kemo, as noted in the page quote.
    • As well as Seto Kaiba's original hair in the 1998 anime: "Screw the rules, I have green hair!"

    Comic Books 
  • Superman has his curl, which frequently gets poked fun at and parodied.
  • Tintin's "duckbill" bangs. Lampshaded several times in the 2011 animated film adaptation— no matter how many times he tries to flatten them down, they bounce right back.
  • Wolverine's twin peaked hairstyle and sideburns is iconic both in and out of universe.
  • SpiderMan's most infamous detractor and the chief editor of the Daily Bugle, J. Jonah Jameson (Jr.). Has his infamous flattop (with white or gray streaks) and Badass Mustache. Expect anyone who rocks that look in any medium to be referred to as good old J. Jonah as a reference or joke.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Seneca Crane's beard in The Hunger Games.
  • Star Wars:
    • Princess Leia's iconic cinnamon bun hair from A New Hope.
    • Rey's three buns from the sequel trilogy is probably a close second to Leia's.
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    Literature 
  • Discworld: Archchancellor Ridcully's uniquely-groomed beard with mustache.
  • Land of Oz:
    • Dorothy's Girlish Pigtails are iconic and it's rare to find a portrayal of her without them. Despite this, that hairstyle was only used in the first book. Starting with the third book, contemporary illustrations gave her a blonde bob haircut.
    • Ozma's curly brown hair, combined with her ringlet crown and Iconic Outfit, is a staple of the series. She's described as blonde in The Marvelous Land of Oz, but all illustrations darken her hair.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Both Spike and Angel's hair in Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Fourth Doctor's tangled, bohemian Seventies Quirky Curls, in universe as well.
      • The reason the starfield title sequence animation was changed between the Fourth and Fifth Doctor (the Fourth Doctor appearing out of stars, the Fifth with a Venetian blind effect) was said by Word of God to be because the Fifth Doctor had a boring hairstyle compared to the Fourth Doctor, so the stars were less interesting to watch.
    • The Sixth Doctor's yellow 80s perm, mostly because it'd be almost as hideous as the rest of his legendarily atrocious outfit if it wasn't so flattering on him.
    • The Eighth Doctor's glorious dark curls of kindness, which won Paul McGann the part and forced him into an uncomfortable, eyebrow-movement-restricting wig when he cut them all off before filming. The Big Finish audios give him an Important Haircut in which he slices his curls off, the results of which are seen during the Eighth Doctor's death in "The Night of the Doctor".
    • The Ninth Doctor's... lack of a silly hairstyle. Or hair, really. This is notable because the Doctor generally prefers longer hair, so a buzz-cut Doctor was a pretty large signal for where the series was going to go.
    • The Tenth Doctor's Britpop-influenced, slightly vain-looking gelled quiff and distinctive sideburns.
  • Rachel's hairdo in the early seasons of Friends. Jennifer Aniston was reportedly amused to learn that hairdressers were getting requests to give their customers "the Rachel", as she herself hated it.
  • Jon Snow's dark curls on Game of Thrones, so much so that actor Kit Harington's contract famously banned him from getting a haircut.
  • Shepherd Book’s hair on Firefly is a variation in that it’s not the style that became a meme, but a scene with the hair. Specifically when he had it loose rather than up in a ponytail and River was afraid of it. Fans love meme’ing the scene.
  • Bob Ross' perm on The Joy of Painting.
  • My Kitchen Rules: Contestant Ash's large, frizzy hair seems to be her most prominent feature. When she and Camilla showed up for an interview about their winning of the first People's Choice, even the interviewers got distracted by it.
  • Sherlock's hair in Sherlock stands out amongst most incarnations of Sherlock Holmes. It's very identifiable looking.

    Music 
  • A Flock of Seagulls. Mike Score's hair is often considered the epitome of '80s Hair.
  • In Brazil, a mullet can be downright called a "Chitãozinho & Xororó haircut" (though only the latter of this country duo still wears this hairdo).
  • Justin Bieber's "Bieber hairstyle".
  • Lorde's curly hair became memetic quickly after she became known for her song "Royals".
  • Commander Hawkins of The Protomen and his beard.
    • All of the Protomen and their beards really. Except lead-singer Panther, who can't grow one.
  • Brian May's gigantic, puffy hair, which holds the distinction of being the only hairstyle among any of Queen's band members to be unchanged since the band debuted in 1970. The hairdo's become so iconic that one of the stipulations for including Queen in LEGO Rock Band was that Brian's hair had to be accurately replicated on his virtual minifigure.
  • Skrillex actually helped revive the sidecut.
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic's long curly hair and pencil moustache. For a while after he shaved & got a haircut, he wore wigs & a fake 'stache for public appearances just so he'd look like himself, but eventually abandoned them (the hair is back, but the moustache isn't).
  • ZZ Top is known for their long beards almost as much as their music.
  • Michael Jackson's jheri curl in the 80's and the long, brunette hair he sported from the 90's up until his death in 2009.
  • Pretty much all of David Bowie's hairstyles have been subject to this trope, but the most prominent example would be the red-dyed beehive/mullet combo he sported from 1972 to 1974.
  • Morrissey's pompadour.
  • 1960's teen idol Lesley Gore wore a distinctive "flipped-up" hairstyle between 1963-65 which appears in much of her publicity shots and album artwork, as can be seen here.
  • Justin Timberlake's "instant ramen" hair back when he was still in *NSYNC.
  • Eminem, at the Turn of the Millennium, started a fad for young men cropping and bleaching their hair to match his, which he frequently referenced in lyrics, performances and videos. The video for "The Real Slim Shady" features an army of Eminem-like men with bleached hair and white t-shirts, the video for "Stan" begins with Stan bleaching his hair, and lyrics on various songs talk about the moral panic about 'kids with dyed hair and earrings'.
  • Bill Haley can be quickly identified by his Superman-style kiss curl. He originally adopted it to draw attention away from his lazy eye on the left, in which he was blind due to a childhood medical operation that went wrong.

    Video Games 

    Western Animation 
  • The Simpsons: Marge Simpson's trademark blue towering hive, and Bart's spiky hair (Which he referred to as "Bad Boy Spikes") for that matter. To a lesser extent, Lisa and Maggie's star shaped hair (the former called it her "Good Girl Points").
  • Star Wars Rebels: Agent Kallus and his amazing sideburns. His season 4 hair may also be becoming this, based solely on a brief appearance in the trailer.
  • The titular lead of The Legend of Korra spends the first three seasons with long hair. Despite this, she is most often associated with her Important Haircut from Book 4. This is mainly because that's the hair cut she had when she had her famous Relationship Upgrade with Asami.

    Advertising 
  • The TV ads for L'Oréal's brands of shampoos with beautiful women waving their long hair are so ingrained in popular culture that memes have been made with any human (or non-human) having long hair, such as Chris Hemsworth (here) or even Chewbacca (here).

    Real Life 


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