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Shonen Hair

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Don't stare too long, now. You'll put your eye out.

"Oh no! My hair's in a mess. Ah — but it always looks like this."
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Specific case of Anime Hair, that happens often in Shōnen series. One or more of the characters, usually a protagonist, have a specific hairstyle — their hair is always a mess, sticks out on all sides, and often looks kind of spiky. This hairstyle often comes with Hot Bloodedness and/or a nature somewhere between rebel, free spirit and Chaotic Good. Somebody could assume it's supposed to symbolize the hero's disrespect for existing rules. Or his dislike for hairdressers. Generally, it looks like our hero doesn't put any effort in his hairstyle and just goes as they are.

This is the kind of hairstyle that people suffering from Public Medium Ignorance think all male anime characters have. The Distaff Counterpart stereotype for female anime characters is Rapunzel Hair, or Girlish Pigtails.


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Examples:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Blade of the Immortal: Despite being fairly realistic and featuring normal haircuts for almost all of the main and supporting characters, Anti-Villain Magatsu Taito looks like he's carrying a porcupine on his head. We're talking foot-long spikes. It doesn't go unnoticed. At one point, somebody mentions In-Universe that hair like that will be popular in a couple hundred years.
  • Bakuman。: Orihara Ichiriki, one of Mashiro's assistants, has messy spiked hair. A bit of a Non-Standard Character Design, as he looks like he comes from a Hot-Blooded, action-y shonen manga while Bakuman is a more realistic series. Of course, Bakuman has plenty of hot-bloodedness anyway, so he doesn;t look too out of place.
  • Bleach
  • Captain Kenpachi Zaraki of Squad 11 in a rare case actually styles his hair like that instead of the usual case of it just being so.
  • Averted with other characters. Nnoitora Giruga is just as confrontational, but has neat, straight hair - closer in style to Ishida than Ichigo. In addition, when Grimmjow releases, his hair actually gets straighter (probably due to becoming longer.) Conversely, Hitsugaya's hair is a lot like this, but he's a rather serious character who usually isn't quick to fight.
  • Chrono Crusade: Joshua Christopher, although it's much more toned down than some of the other examples on this page. (He pretty much fits the personality for this trope to a T.) Chrono might count, too, although he's got a long braid at the base of his neck in addition to the spiky hair on his head.
  • Cowboy Bebop: Spike Spiegel has hair that sticks out all over the place, but it's more curly than spiky. (Faye at one point describes it as "fluffy".) Ed has the more stereotypical spiky hair.
  • D.N.Angel: Almost all of the male cast. Particularly notable because this is a shojo manga, not shounen (although it certainly mixes in tropes from that genre).
  • Digimon: At least one kid from each series, usually the protagonist, who'll be hot-headed and immature, and also wear useless goggles. In Digimon Tamers however, it's Rika that sports this kind of hair and hot-headed personality, while the others have hairstyles more plausible in reality.
  • Dragon Ball: The Saiyans have Shonen Hair as a genetic trait to the point that a pure-blooded Saiyan's hair literally never changes from the day they're born. All too fitting for a barbaric race of space-faring cavemen.
  • Fairy Tail: Natsu, Gray, and Gajeel all have this hairstyle. However, whenever Natsu is in the middle of a hard battle, his bangs go down because of the damage he takes. During the Tenro Island arc, he even uses his Fire Dragon Slayer Magic to heat up his hands to style his hair to its usual style.
  • Kill la Kill: Sanageyama's hair seems to get more spiky with every new iteration of his uniform. By the time he gets to wearing Blade Regalia: Secret Unsealed, he's practically a Saiyan.
  • My Hero Academia:
    • Both protagonist Midoriya and deuteragonist Bakugo have typical messy shonen hair, but in different styles that reflect their personalities. Midoriya, being friendlier, has softer, more wavy-looking hair, while the more aggressive, Hot-Blooded Bakugo has more stiff, jagged Spiky Hair (that also fits with his ability to generate explosions.)
    • Side character-turned-Breakout Character Kirishima has spiky red hair that rivals both Midoriya's and Bakugo's hairstyles, and it fits his Hot-Blooded, manliness-obsessed personality. However, it's actually invoked since he dyes his hair red (his natural hair color is black) and uses gel to spike it up.
  • Naruto:
    • Naruto has had spiky hair his entire life because he was born with it. He inherited it from his father. As an adult, Naruto cuts his hair short, but it still naturally spikes up.
    • Naruto's son Boruto in Boruto inherited his naturally spiky hair.
    • Kiba has had spiky hair his entire life. As an adult, he ends up combing it back.
  • Ouran High School Host Club: The Hitachiin twins. Seems to be intentionally invoked by the twins — flashbacks show that before they joined the Host Club they had identical bowl cuts instead of the wild, spiky haircuts they have in present day, and they're considered the "Devil" type in the host club and are supposed to be a little wild. It's more obvious in the anime. In the manga, their hair looks much more natural and isn't quite as poofed out, although it's obvious they usually style it with hair gel.
  • Panzer World Galient: Jordy Volder has messy, spiky, blonde hair.
  • Saint Beast: Unlike most of his counterparts who have unnatural hair colours, Goh just gets a very spiky haircut.
  • Saint Seiya: Most protagonists and villains. Seiya's helmet seems to have trouble keeping his hair's spikes from jutting out. The villains tend to combine shonen hair with Rapunzel Hair for maximum fabulousness.
  • Samurai Champloo: Mugen has wild hair that sticks out all around his head. He has a similarly wild personality.
  • Parodied in one episode of Yo-Kai Watch. Eddie says that "static hair" is the new trend amongst boys. Nate (who already has spiky hair) and his friends try to make their hair spiky after they overhear Katie saying she likes boys with that hairstyle:
    Eddie: Yeah, the static boys are way in—Boys who are so charged up with static electricity that their hair stands on end.
    Nate: What?
    Bear: That's both idiotic and uncomfortable.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: 5D's - Yusei, possibly one man with weirder hairstyle than Yugi. There's a reason he's called 'Crabhead' among the fandom. Jack keeps boasting that he's a King, and then take into account his hair looks like a crown.

    Comic Books 
  • Wolverine from the X-Men; he is generally portrayed with particularly feral hair and sideburns that look a bit like horns, especially in earlier renderings.

    Comic Strips 
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    Fan Works 
  • We'd Fly Away Together: Lampshaded when Tara makes fun of the spiky haircut Dick had as Robin. She says that he could have poked someone if he'd charged at him like a buffalo.

    Films — Animation 
  • Sanjay from The Book of Life, has 4 spikes that make his hairstyle.
  • Hiro Hamada from Big Hero 6 has what could best be described as what happens when Disney does Shonen Hair (to go with its anime-inspirations). His hair is spiky and messy, but in his case it's been confirmed that he styles it that way.

    Video Games 
  • For the most part, the characters from the Tekken series have relatively normal hairstyles. However, Lars Alexandersson fits this trope to a tee, with a dash of Sentai. Special mention goes out to the Mishima clan, as well.
  • Kingdom of Loathing, parodying Final Fantasy:
    • The Protagonist has spiky hair. As a justifying drop, his super-spiky hair gel gives this effect to the player: "Your hair is seriously spiky. It looks good, and it could put an eye out — the eye of your foe." A specific Protagonist appears as a Quest NPC: Mist Angst.
    • His Burly Sidekick also has a spiky mohawk sharp enough to weaponize.

    Visual Novels 
  • Yo-Jin-Bo has Jin, whose hair is extremely messy. He's a Fiery Redhead, though, so we can forgive him for forgetting to brush it occasionally.

    Web Comics 
  • Isaac from Paranatural has hair like this, which is "spiky all on its own".
    Isaac: Don't laugh, it's serious. Like, what am I gonna do when this hairstyle goes out of fashion?
  • Rick from Luminary Children counts.
  • Hikaru from Blitzcrafter has a haircut that consists of three to four back spikes that are sometimes drawn as big as their face, three frontal spikes, and a spiky ponytail. Yeah.

    Western Animation 
  • The Teen Titans version of Robin. Some episodes lampshade and parody this trope:
    • In "Mother Mae-Eye", Robin is shown styling his hair. In "Divide and Conquer", during an argument with Cyborg, the latter points out that he stinks of hair gel.
    • In "Date with Destiny", after being yelled at by Starfire, his hair turns into what seems to be its natural state - a "good boy" style. Also a Mythology Gag- it looks exactly like how Robin's hair was drawn in the Golden/Silver Age comics.
    • On another occasion, he gets drenched, and swipes his hand over his hair in a blur, and it is promptly restored to its standard form: bing!
  • The Rowdyruff Boys sport this after Him brings them back to life, which the Girls immediately mock them for (calling it "mean hair").

Alternative Title(s): Shounen Hair

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