On-Screen Style: The Hair Director Cut

While some movie stars stand out for their lack of highlights (Bruce Willis in die hardor Natalie Portman in V for Vendetta), elsewhere elegantly capped figures grace our screens in a range of styles. Here is our list of the best.

1. Long Lengths

Long hair is synonymous with fairy tales, whether on land or under the sea (if you want yours to stay silky and strong, a trip to Lux Hair Lounge is a must). When The little Mermaid was released in 1989, Disney originally wanted Ariel’s hair to be blonde, but looking too much like Daryl Hannah’s beach waves in Splashit’s been replaced with the iconic shade of red we know and love.

2. Little story

From making waves, to the new wave: Jean Seberg’s kid crop was perfect for the unique style of Breathless (Breathless), showcasing Seberg’s expressive features to equally dramatic effect. In the 70 years since its debut, the pixie cut has launched over a hundred imitations (see also: Audrey Hepburn in roman holidays and Winona Ryder in girl interrupted).

3. Unusual hair

In terms of avant-garde directors, there’s nothing stranger than Luc Bresson, whose goofy cast of characters in 1997’s The fifth Element all sported various particular styles (including Chris Tucker’s bleached futuristic banana and Mila Jovovich’s orange alien locks. Notable mentions go to the set star wars Trilogy, and just about every Tim Burton character.

4. Squared Beauties

There’s just something about a bob that screams chic: whether it’s vamp Uma Thurman dancing with John Travolta in pulp FictionLiza Minelli’s razor-sharp (and aptly named) bowl cut Cabaret or Audrey Tautou’s soft and jerky bob in Ameliesome haircuts are made for the big screen, and the bob is definitely one of them.

5. Super natural

While historically the treatment of afro-textured hair on screen leaves much to be desired, a more inclusive approach is (slowly) emerging. Iconic looks include Pam Grier’s Afro in crafty brown and Grace Jones’ androgynous flattop in A view to kill. Most recently, Zoe Kravitz wore micro braids in Hulu’s remake of High fidelitya look inspired by the role of his mother (Lisa Bonet) in the original film.

6. Twist of Fate

Curls and romantic comedies go together like coconut cake with chocolate sauce (as long as it’s on the side). The 90s were a golden era for comedic curly girls: from Julia Roberts’ strawberry mane to A pretty woman Andie McDowell’s brown curls, and then there’s Meg Ryan. While Ryan’s blonde crop has become a crowd favorite, her head full of blonde curls in When Harry Met Sally was perfect for the eternally optimistic (albeit slightly finicky) Sally Allbright.

7. All colors

When Clémentine by Kate Winslet quips, “I apply my personality in paste” in Michel Gondry Eternal sunshine of the spotless mindit’s a terrible disservice: flawed, nuanced, and entirely relatable, Clem isn’t a superhero (unlike Ramona Flowers in Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World), but she has more than enough personality, her hair changing with the seasons from spring green to icy winter blue.

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