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Regal Ringlets

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Also known as drill hair, corkscrew curls, sausage curls, and tube curls, ringlets are a hairstyle which a woman creates by wrapping her hair tightly around a vertical curling iron or rollers.

Ringlets date to ancient Rome, where they were a popular hairstyle among the aristocracy. That regal feel is still retained today, and when chosen for a character, they indicate that she is upper class or an aristocrat, or at least sees herself that way. This makes it a subtle type of Ermine Cape Effect.

The hairstyle is also time-consuming to create and difficult to maintain, indicating that the wearer is concerned with her appearance and is very feminine. It's also usually a youthful style, rarely appearing on women older than middle age.

A Super-Trope to Ojou Ringlets, where a high-class character has two curls in front of or directly behind the ear. A Sister Trope to Prim and Proper Bun.

Compare Mega Twintails (and can overlap), Girlish Pigtails. Contrast Tomboyish Ponytail.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • Sailor Moon:
    • Some depictions of Sailor Moon suggest that her overly long Girlish Pigtails are two giant barrel curls.
    • Sailor Iron Mouse wears two pigtails styled into ringlets.

    Comic Books 
  • Wonder Woman: Hera is queen of Olympus and wears her hair in tight ringlets that get relaxed into waves at the ends.

    Films — Animated 
  • Clara of Barbie in the Nutcracker has her hair magically turned into ringlets upon being revealed to be the Sugarplum Princess, complete with a sparkly pink dress and crown.
  • In Peter Pan, Wendy wears her hair in ringlets pulled back with a bow. While she isn't a "regal" character, the hairstyle does lend her a dignity that suits the motherly role she plays to the boys – not to mention setting her visually apart from Alice, who was also voiced by and modeled after Kathryn Beaumont.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In the 2005 film of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Veruca Salt, the spoiled little rich girl, wears her hair this way.
  • The daughter of a French marquis, Simone from the 1927 film Get Your Man wears her hair this way.
  • Scarlett O'Hara of Gone with the Wind sports these from time to time. America has never had an aristocracy or royalty, but the antebellum Southern gentry came pretty damn close, and it wouldn't be surprising if she chose the hairstyle deliberately.
  • Mary Pickford, who spent most of her wildly successful silent movie career playing innocent young girls and ingenues, wore her hair in long ringlets as a symbol of her innocence. The Poor Little Rich Girl and Tess of the Storm Country are just two of many, many examples. In her prime, she was known as "the girl with the curls".note 
  • In the movie Music From Another Room, Anna wears her hair like this. She is the love interest of Jude Law's character Danny but sees herself and her family as above him since they are well educated and he works as a delivery boy.
  • Esther Coleman from Orphan wears her hair in loose ringlets, often decorated with a bow.
  • Pickford's hairstyle was cited as an influence to child actress Shirley Temple, who became famous for this. She wore her hair in this style in almost all of her movies, where she was typecast as a sunshine and rainbows girly girl. One of her films was even titled Curly Top.
  • Milady de Winter in The Three Musketeers (2011).
  • In What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, Jane has this hairstyle, even as an adult, when not only has it long gone out of fashion, but also looks age inappropriate and creepy.
  • Princess Victoria and other noblewomen in The Young Victoria.

  • In Corsair, both Aura and Katarina Angraat have voluminous ringlet hairstyles.
  • Gender Inverted with Feyd-Rautha, heir apparent to Baron Harkonnen. He is described as wearing his hair in ringlets in the original Dune books. The film version went with his actor, Sting's '80s Hair, however and most subsequent adaptations have followed suit.
  • Belinda in Alexander Pope's The Rape of the Lock has symmetrical ringlets that fall down the back of her neck. And then one day they get cut...
  • Ascendance of a Bookworm: When the protagonist gets Adopted into Royalty (technically nobility), her new family includes a younger sister whose hair is arranged into thick ringlets that start about where the bottoms of her eyes are and have their tips resting on her shoulders.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Degrassi's Fiona Coyne wears her hair like this, as she is from a very wealthy family, for most of her time on the show.
  • Princess Violet from Legend of the Seeker sports these. As the name would suggest, she is very much an aristocrat.
  • The original Rich Bitch Nellie Olson from Little House on the Prairie has hair styled into ringlets that frame her face and cascade down her shoulders with a large bow at the crown. Karin Kanzuki of Street Fighter fame is supposedly based on Nellie.
  • In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Nth Degree", Dr. Crusher styles her hair into sausage curls to play Roxanne in a production of Cyrano de Bergerac.
  • In Young Blades, Queen Anne wears her hair like this since she's a young widow.

    Video Games 

    Visual Novels 
  • Elodie, the main character from Long Live the Queen, has her pink hair styled in this fashion. Fitting for the 'regal' part of this trope name, too, given her status as the Crown Princess of the land of Nova (where your job is to ensure she survives to her formal coronation as Queen).
  • Regina Berry from Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Justice For All, suitable for someone with a name that means "queen".


    Western Animation 
  • Nanette Manoir of Angela Anaconda wears her long blonde hair in multiple ringlets, speaks with a stereotypically "rich girl" French accent, and is a complete snob. She's very obsessed with her looks and considers herself extremely beautiful.
  • Steven Universe: Rose Quartz' hair consists of long, beautiful pink ringlets that reach all the way down to the backs of her legs.
  • Diaspro from Winx Club has these and is a princess. Bloom's biological mother, Queen Marion, has a much bigger and poofier version of these to go with her crown.

    Real Life 
  • Many depictions of Marie Antoinette (fictional likenesses and official portraits) show her with this hairstyle.
  • Already in use while the Flavians were the emperors of Rome (69-96 AD). The women would have loads of ringlets that were piled upon her forehead, not unlike a crown. This was, naturally, only something the wealthy could afford. Experimental archaeology has determined that to achieve some styles as depicted in Roman art (and the Romans were sticklers for realism), the hair would be sewn into place with thread, possibly made from the person's own hair to ensure the thread is invisible.
  • It was quite common for the upper class and royalty in Europe from the 17th century to try sport this hairstyle, either by using hot rollers or wigs depending on the fashion.