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Short Hair with Tail

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...How did she grow that tail in two years?

In character design, there is the crucial question: short hair or long hair? Short implies that the character is practical, independent, and strong. For women, long hair means that she's feminine, beautiful, even regal, but it may also be regarded as decorative or impractical. So, with these two opposing hair philosophies, will the creator choose the practicality and ease of a short cut, or the awesomeness of hair that goes fwish for dramatic effect?

You need never choose between the two again. A woman who has Short Hair with Tail has the spunk and practicality of Boyish Short Hair with all the elegant drama of long, luxurious hair. A man who has Short Hair with Tail has the stereotypical, short male haircut at the front and gets to be a long hair or Long-Haired Pretty Boy at the same time.

Characters with this hairstyle simultaneously rock the short and the long styles—they're just that awesome. Distinct from Hime Cut in that hime cuts have mid-length side tresses to frame the face, and all long in back, while Short Hair with Tail is quite obviously a short style all around with a noticeable tail.


This is a character design trope, subtrope of Anime Hair. Convenient for accommodating No Flow in CGI — both the short hair and the long braid are easier to animate than long, flowing hair. Compare with Anime Hair, for the general likelihood of actually seeing these styles walking around, and Hime Cut, when the short hair is only in front to frame the face.

Not to Be Confused with a character with short hair and a literal tail.



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    Anime and Manga 
  • Soi-Fon (the captain of Squad 2) in Bleach has two. If Short Hair with Tail is any character indicator, the short cut says she can kick some serious butt with the rest of them, and the long hair is in keeping with the dramatic, showy side of her personality and how girly she gets around Yoruichi.
  • Macross Frontier has Ozma Lee, whose hair is short clipped and tousled all around with a ponytail down his back. This man has no mullet—he has pure awesome growing from his scalp.
  • Tenchi Muyo! has Princess Ayeka. You'd hardly know she had the long hair without all that dramatic wind that keeps blowing. But she still has an adorable helmet-hair bob and some seriously long twin tails.
    • Also Tenchi himself—cropped cut all around, rat tail in back. And he usually manages some butt kicking.
  • From Negima! Magister Negi Magi there's Kaede. short part in a straight bob, long part of her hair in a ponytail at the back.
  • Sailor Moon: All three Sailor Starlights have this hairstyle. Though considering their rather particular situation with varying canon, the male/female character implications of the hairstyle might change. Regardless of canon and gender confusion, they're all very pretty and they all kick butt.
  • Ginza from Speed Grapher has very short hair, with a rat tail and two little side locks.
  • Makoto from Idaten Jump.
  • Asta, at least in the Trinity Blood anime. From the front, it looks like a short cut. From behind, it's about as long as her Badass Longcoat.
  • Micaiah Chevelle from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha ViVid.
  • There's Rei and Gordo in Bakuten Shoot Beyblade. In Rei's case, it's a full head of long hair he has tied up. In Gordo's case, he has a mohawk and only a very small area of hair is grown long. How long depends on the shot: sometimes its waist-length, other times ankle-length.
  • Possibly inverted with Laharl from Disgaea: Hour of Darkness, since his super-long tails are on top rather than on the underside.
  • Mew Lettuce from Tokyo Mew Mew, in twin braids for everyday and in a wrapped tail as a Mew-Mew. You actually see her twin braids down in episode 6, and that was a lot of hair.
  • Makimachi Misao from Rurouni Kenshin.
  • 25 year old Mukuro from Reborn! (2004) let his medium-short hair grow, and chose to keep his long hair in an equally long ponytail. Behold (note: fan coloring). He's also undeniably badass.
    • Uni in the same series also notably has this kind of hairstyle.
  • In Saint Beast, Luca's hair looks like a normal short cut from the front but has a very long wrapped ponytail at the back.
  • Hikaru in Magic Knight Rayearth has short hair with a long thin braid. Lafarga from the same series has short blond hair and a long ponytail.
  • Musubi from Sekirei has this.
  • Code Geass: Akito the Exiled: Multiple:
    • Akito Hyuuga (pictured here), with this hairstyle (the tail in question being a braid).
    • Ashley Ashura also has this style.
  • Komachi/Cure Mint from Yes! Pretty Cure 5, a Shrinking Violet and the Barrier Warrior of her team.
  • Yui Kusanagi from Kamigami no Asobi sports this style, with the long hair tied back. It is perhaps to suggest a samurai-like image, considering she practises iaido.
    • Loki also has this style, with a braid.
  • Chifuyu Orimura from Infinite Stratos sports a variation in that she only ties her hair to resemble this hairstyle.
  • Chris Yukine from Symphogear sports this during main storyline. She has this style in six large strands forming twin-tails (three each).
  • Seraph of the End: Crowley has short red hair with the rest tied in a long braid.
  • Peorth from Ah! My Goddess wears her hair like this, in contrast with the main three goddesses' more traditional long hair.
  • In Fate/Apocrypha, both Ruler and Rider of Black wear their hair this way.
  • Mashiro from Engaged to the Unidentified wears her hair like this.
  • Tsukumo from Nanbaka was a popular actor of ninja movies before he was incarcerated for trespassing.

    Comic Books 
  • Rachel Summers as Mother Askani usually rocks a variation on this look, with a long, thin ponytail following from short cropped hair.
  • Hopey and Maggie from Love and Rockets have had rattails and variations thereof at different points in the series.
  • The 40 Worst Rob Liefeld Drawings describes Shatterstar's early look:
    Bill and B: Oh mercy, I just realized that the guy has a semi-short haircut everywhere, but has a real long ponytail, and then ALSO has two long braids coming out of like the back of his neck somewhere. Can you imagine how hard you would elbow your friend if you saw a dude with three ponytails? You would elbow the shit out of them.
  • Wonder Woman (1987): Once Diana frees the Daxamite nicknamed Julia from the Sangtee Empire "Julia" styles most of her hair in a choppy bowl cut style, save just enough hair kept long in back for her to wrap it in a long tail.

  • The Padawan cut from Star Wars is cropped all around, except for one very long, thin braid. Unlike most examples of this trope, the braid grows behind the ear rather than the back of the neck.
  • Some artwork for Mulan, which shows her in the outfit she wore when fighting Shan Yu at the end of the film, instead has her hairstyle drawn in a way so it now includes a ponytail.
  • Eddie Murphy's character, Akeem, in Coming to America has this until he gets the tail cut off at a barbershop.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Babylon 5, the female cut for the Centauri could be considered this—shaved bald except for the long, long ponytail.
  • Red Dwarf: Lister usually wears his hair this way, keeping it short over most of his scalp (or outright shaved on the sides) but with a prominent ponytail of dreadlocks at the back of his head.

    Video Games 

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY: Emerald wears her hair in a short bob with two tendrils going halfway down her back. In a flashback, she is shown to originally have had very long hair tied into two, thin tails, partly resembling her current style.
    • May Marigold has short, spiky hair in the front and extremely long hair in the back bandaged up into a single tail that goes past her waist.
    • As of Volume 7, Ren has a spiky fringe with the rest of his hair bound up in a tight braid.

  • Soli of The Meek has this. She used to have long hair all around, but at some point she cut it.
  • Homestuck:
    • The Handmaid: Neck-length hair, except for two bangs framing her face which reach almost to her feet.
    • Later, Meenah is seen with two braid-thin tails that touch the floor behind her.
  • In Drowtales, Agneya'mukhi Balvhakara has the bangs and sides of a Hime Cut, but this trope in back. (Seen here in the last panel on the right)
  • As seen on this page of El Goonish Shive, Noah actually has shoulder-length hair with two waist-length tendrils coming out of the back of his head protruding out from underneath it. He usually ties his hair up to make it look like he just wears a long ponytail, though...

    Western Animation 
  • One episode of King of the Hill has Bobby idolizing a garage-band punk rocker with a buzz cut and a rat-tail. His attempts to do the same doesn't take off.
  • If baldness can be taken for "short cut", then Prince Zuko had one in the first season of Avatar: The Last Airbender.
  • Crazy Stunts in Skysurfer Strike Force.
  • Kimiko Tohomiko from Xiaolin Showdown sports this hairstyle in two episodes: "Journey of a Thousand Miles" and "Hannibal's Revenge", though for the latter, her hair is depicted black, her default hair colour than blonde from the former.
  • Krolia in Voltron: Legendary Defender.

    Real Life 
  • Attempted with varying degrees of success and failure by mullets. Rarely do they reach a considerable length with the long parts, rarely is the long hair badass, and rarely do mulleteers go for the all around short with a single long ponytail—but there are some occurrences.
  • Rat Tail and Duck Tail are also Real Life examples of attempts at this style.
    • The former was especially popular in the mid-80s, worn by pop singers like Aimee Mann and the men in Tears For Fears.
  • A traditional Manchu hairstyle forced on the Chinese during the Qing Dynasty involves having the head mostly shaved bald except for an area in the back of the head which is grown long and braided into a tail. It's called a "queue" - not to be confused with the thing you stand in to wait for something. The Manchus executed any Chinese who cut their queues or grew out the rest of their hair.
  • Ukrainian Cossack chupryna/khokhol is not too dissimiliar to the aforementioned queue, although the remaining hair is usually on the peak of the head and not braided.