Most Infamous Horror Movie Hair
As we officially enter Autumn, it is hard to believe that the tenth month has come around again. In all honesty, October is one of those months that often offers few surprises.
The days will shorten, the temperatures will drop and the rainfall will invariably increase. Thankfully, at the tail end, there is one shining beacon of unpredictability on this drab horizon - Halloween.
A celebration that Americans have long gone to town on, Halloween has been rapidly becoming a more significant celebration on our shores. Gone are the days where a few door knocking, Haribo craving young scallies with a bit of fake blood were the only ones partaking in festivities.
These days parties, pumpkin picking sites, club nights and even immersive night time experiences are all regular parts of the Halloween package. And as the celebrations become more elaborate and varied, so too do the costumes and looks.
When I was a kid, about ninety percent of us headed out on our trick or treat route as either a ghost, vampire or witch. Nowadays you’re as likely to see a Chucky, a rabid bloodied animal or even Boris Johnson padding the streets. Inevitably, the barber in me is always intrigued to see the array of mad hair styles that come with such creations.
All of this lead me to consider what are the most infamous horror movie hairstyles. Here are some of my picks.
Jack Nicholson - The Shining (1980)
Nicholson’s performance as Jack Torrance; a recovering alcoholic writer rapidly losing his sanity; in Stanley Kubrick’s iconic horror is legendary.
In one of the great moments of horror cinema, Nicholson’s clammy face appears through a hole in the door that he’s just shattered with a pickaxe before mouthing “heeeere’s Johnny”.
His hair is perfectly in-sync with his deranged character. Balding on top, there is a hint of some previous formality with the evidence of a side part but the rest is, well, mad.
It’s longer through the sides but not long enough that it sits behind the ears, meaning that it pokes out erratically. There are waves at the neckline, meaty sideburns and a heavily receded hairline that becomes an ever-increasing island when Torrance’s haphazard behaviour causes him to perspire.
All-in-all it’s a ‘do that is fit for a madman.
Micheal Keaton - Beetlejuice (1988)
Keaton plays the titular character in this cult Tim Burton comedy horror flick. Beetlejuice is hired by a recently deceased couple to scare away the new occupants of their former residence.
It’s a strange role in a strange film, but Keaton nails it. Beetlejuice is a long dead, obnoxious and rude “bio-exorcist” who has the smarminess and confidence of an estate agent and the decorum of a farmyard pig. He makes your skin crawl.
His hair sort of follows the same thread as the aforementioned Jack Torrance - receding at the front, long and extremely wayward on the back and sides - but on steroids.
It’s bright green, back-combed to within an inch of its life, matted and generally pretty hideous looking. Jack’s sideburns have even been replaced by some sort of lesions.
It is no mean feat to achieve a hairstyle as eccentric as this character, so it’s no wonder that the movie won an Academy Award for Best Hair and Makeup.
Gary Oldman - Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)
In Francis Ford-Coppola’s adaptation of the classic novel, Oldman plays the infamous Count Dracula. For this role he has to juggle two distinctly different looks (and hairstyles).
The suave and charismatic daytime Dracula looks almost Johnny Depp-esque in grey top hat and tails. He sports dark, lustrous and wavy shoulder length hair, a neat moustache and a soul patch.
By night The Count is an entirely different beast. He appears to age at an alarming rate, his skin going from taught to loose and leathery as he swaps the dapper suit for some sort of sheeny, Asian style kimono meets smoking jacket. There are echoes of Hugh Hefner on a very, very bad day.
For this look the hair is arguably even more bizarre than Drac’s fashion sense. It is brushed back tightly and parted in the middle before apparently being held in place by a low bun at the back (and, I imagine, and incredible amount of Elnett). Think part elaborate wedding hair-up, part love heart. Not one we get asked for too often in the shop, thank goodness.
Bill Skarsgård - It (2017)
The remake of Stephen King’s supernatural horror ‘It’ was a big hit at the box office. Skarsgård was chosen to play the evil, balloon clasping, sewer dwelling villain Pennywise The Dancing Clown.
This character is so creepy that I imagine career clowns everywhere must curse the day King put pen to paper back in 1986, as the kid’s party bookings dwindled faster than Topman stores in the pandemic.
And if there’s one thing that this list has taught us, then it’s that there is a hairstyle for this level of creep. Yep, you guessed it - receding through the front, mental on the back and sides.
This iteration is vivid ginger, swept back and sculpted into horn shapes on the sides. Teamed with bright white make-up, blood red features and piercing demonic eyes, it’s enough to make me avoid storm drains for a while.
Johnny Depp - Edward Scissorhands (1990)
There are some that would question whether the second Tim Burton flick in this list even falls into the horror category. However, there are two reasons why I’ve included it:
- There are definite Gothic horror undertones - the gloomy setting, the moment the townspeople turn on Edward etc.
- The hair
Depp has had some incredible roles over the years, with a hugely varying array of hairstyles a a result. From sharp and classic as John Dillinger in “Public Enemies” to loose and long in “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape”. However, few will be as striking as Edward Scissorhands.
The gentle, misunderstood Edward sports a gravity defying barnet of varying lengths which protrudes from his head in all directions. There is an air of early noughties scene kid, a sprinkling of punk and more than a passing resemblance to Robert Smith of The Cure.
So, if there are any lessons to take from all of this in preparation for your own Halloween hair creation (not endorsed by Ruffians) then it could be to go big on the sides, reach for the hairspray and embrace the receding hairline.