Thu
Apr 28 2011 4:23pm

Cosmic Coiffures: 6 Unforgettable Hairstyles in SFF

Lady Gagas crazy sci fi hairWe wish we could tell you that we’re all lustrously locked here at Tor.com, but we probably don’t pay attention to our haircuts as much as we should. Nevertheless, we appreciate a great head of hair just as much as the next person.

We appreciate it even more when an SFF character is sporting a futuristic do, or is sporting a modern look but makes it seem like an effortless part of a bizarre world. (Honorable mention goes to those who currently walk among us but act like they live in the future, like Ms. Gaga, pictured here using her hair as a hat.)

Though SFF has given us some great bald heroes, we’d like to pay tribute to a few of the dos we’d love to run our hands through.

6. Christopher Reeve’s Superman Curl (Superman)

Best science fiction hairdosThe curl at the center of Superman’s forehead has been an integral part of the character right from the start. In the 1978 Superman film even Marlon Brando’s Jor-el has the curl. What makes it so great? Being the most wholesome alien ever isn’t easy, and arguably the curl makes Superman even more of a goody-goody. But we think there was something sort of tough about the way Reeve rocked the curl, like when the curl came out it, Superman meant business.

 

5. Grace Lee Whitney’s Janice Rand Beehive (Star Trek)

Best science fiction hairdosWhen you think of the 60s and science fiction hairstyles, the first image is probably Rand’s beehive hair, and with good reason. Not only is her hair piled entirely on the top of her head, but the patterns also resemble something of a woven basket. In a book written with her father, Lisabeth Shatner reminisced that as a small child she imagined playing checkers on Rand’s head. In any case, we think Rand could give the B-52’s a run from their money.

 

4. David Bowie’s 80’s Attack (Labyrinth)

Best science fiction hairdosEvery decade influences science fiction in aesthetic ways, but when we talk about 80s hair, you all know what we’re talking about. And though Daryl Hannah’s Priss in Blade Runner had some of the best 80s hair ever, we think David Bowie is more iconic. To call Labyrinth a beloved cult classic is like call calling the moon a big rock that controls the tides. You already know. But this movie would be nothing without Bowie’s iconic hair. So few movies can claim to be reliant upon follicles that stand on their end, but this is certainly one of them.

 

3. Iman and the Shape-shifting Featherhead (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)

That’s right, we think Iman beats her husband in the crazy SFF hairdo department. Sure, the shape shifting Martia isn’t as widely remembered as Bowie in Labyrinth, but she is certainly more interesting. I mean, we’ve never really seen bird feather hair like this before or since. Martia was a Chameloid and could make herself appear however she wanted, but chose to look like a lithe woman with feathers for hair. Or maybe, the Chameloids actually have feathers in their natural state. Either way, the shapeshifters on Deep Space Nine certainly could have taken some hair fashion tips from Iman.

 

2. The Doctor’s Timeless Hair (Doctor Who)

While not all the incarnations of our favorite Time Lord have had solid hair (sorry Seven!) most of them can almost be defined by it. From Troughton’s mop-top to the curls of Pertwee and then the EPIC CURLS of Baker, early Who put hair in your face in a big way. The tradition never really wavered, with current Doctor Matt Smith having hair that we are all extremely jealous of. However, as a personal Tor.com favorite, we have to say that Tenth Doctor David Tennant wins for us hands down. On some occasions the 10th Doctor actually made his hair even crazier than normal (like in “Smith and Jones”) and occasionally it appeared to be a straight-up homage to Morrissey’s pompadour. Like Rose says in “Turn Left,” he has “Great hair...just, really great hair.”

 

1. The Princess and the Cinnamon Buns (Star Wars)

While Princess Leia Organa’s retroactive mom Padme had some pretty over-the-top and intricate hairstyles, we’ve got to say, without the original cinnamon buns, SFF hairstyles would be nowhere. The great thing about the Leia buns is how they exist outside of the 70s styles that pervade A New Hope. Luke and Han both have sort of a dry feathery 70s look going on, but Leia stands out as truly looking like she’s from another planet. This is pulled off pretty simply, too. Leia’s hair isn’t silver, it doesn’t light up, and she doesn’t have antennae sticking out of it. Instead, she just does her hair in a way that no one on Earth had done before.

 

Honorable Worst Hair Mention: Londo from Babylon 5

The main problem with getting people to watch Babylon 5 and take it seriously is this guy. And though the distinguished and tragic ambassador from Centari Prime might be a wonderful multi-dimension character, it’s tough when casual viewers only see him as “the guy with the hair.” We guess that maybe alien cultures might think this is cool, or their scalps have some kind of anti-gravity generators, but really...you can’t take anyone (even in space!) seriously with kind of thing going on.

 

We managed to gather quite a list of hairstyles but ended up leaving a lot of it on the cutring room floor. (One staffer argued that Captain Janeway should be included solely on the basis that he never took her character seriously until her early seasons bun disappeared...) Anything we should have kept?


Stubby the Rocket is the voice and mascot of Tor.com. Stubby is in the market for a Rocket-Perm.

16 comments
Pellegrina Stoat
1. Pellegrina
You forgot Servalan!! Sleek short black hair never looked so good. And Tom Baker's curls are far more memorable than Tennant's accident with the gel pot.
WebCudgel
2. WebCudgel
Add to the list of Worst hair, Terl (John Travolta) in Battlefield Earth.
Danny Bowes
3. DannyBowes
Bowie's hair was great in The Man Who Fell To Earth, too.
Bridget McGovern
5. BMcGovern
@DannyBowes: Let's face it...Bowie's hair is always great. He's the only man in the universe who can pull off a kool-aid-colored mullet and still look completely suave :)

Also, I'd like to give a shout out to Auntie Entity, if I may:

Tina Turner basically stole Ricardo Montalban's Wrath of Khan
'do and ran it through a lawnmower. And that's awesome.
Evan Langlinais
6. Skwid
Jeffy called it in #4. Super Green!
WebCudgel
7. D Ray
I was fortunate to work with GLW (she preferred "Lee") on a couple of our ST conventions in the late 70' and early 80's; she's a great lady and a wonderful guest to work with. And Lando; I actually thought his hair added to the character as time went on. Even when the emperor had the "short 'do'" late in the series. Lando was a traditionalist if nothing else.
WebCudgel
8. mirana
Oooh, yes Ruby Rod! Although, it's hard to call out for Rod without mentioning co-star Gary Oldman's plastic Zorg 'do.
Kristi Jenkins
9. midwinter
What about Sting in David Lynch's Dune? (Feyd Rautha)
René Walling
10. cybernetic_nomad
I can't believe Magenta (from Rocky Horror) didn't make the cut
Rammy Meyerowitz
11. m5rammy
@ #8 I second that

Zorg's hair in Fifth Element was the FIRST thing I thought of for "Unforgettable Hairstyles".

Not Best or Worst though, just memorable.
Ian Gazzotti
12. Atrus
I can't wrap my head around the idea that Londo's hair would make anyone stop watching B5. If anything, the hair, the clothing and the attitude is what absolutely sells me the Centauri as the court of Louis XIV in space. It's just perfect.

Superman's curl, on the other hand? Makes me want to threaten him with a comb.
Emmet O'Brien
13. EmmetAOBrien
Let us not forget Lex Luthor chaffing Clark Kent for supposedly plucking his eyebrows "Superman-style", in All-Star Superman, while not acknowledging that he pencils in his own even when one of them gets wiped off; Superman's fashion influence in the DCU, curl included, is a topic yet to be mined in depth.
WebCudgel
14. Lesley A
Janice Rand's hair was okay, but as a child in the sixties I always wanted Sharon McCready's hair from The Champions (and her special abilities, of course).
WebCudgel
16. Frum
@15. Since like 1992. They have a daughter.

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