From pixie cuts to chrome domes, hairstyles are another part of iconic horror history.
Pop culture has an obsession with movies because so many trends come out of them, the idea to make a profit off their popularity cannot be ignored by clothing companies, big-box retailers and just about every Hot Topic mall clone you can think of. It’s just good business sense. I’ll refer you to Star Wars.
Horror movies may contribute to these corporate conglomerates, but they also allow local less-capitalizing vendors to get their hands in the bucket.
I’m speaking of hair salons. Yes, that may seem an unlikely place to cash in on a movie’s appeal, especially one filled with horrific scenes, but some more fashionable coiffures have led to shear profits in the salon business.
Ever since the beginning of mainstream cinema, the public has taken note of what characters are wearing in film, whether it be a tweak to costume design, a clever product placement, or yes, even follicular fashion.
Here are some familiar, and maybe unfamiliar hairstyles that we either wanted for ourselves or are iconic enough they stand alone.
Mia Farrow – Rosemary’s Baby
Mia Farrow’s pixie cut was not only her signature hairstyle at one point it was a popular cut that many wondered if they could “pull off”. The genderbending cut was once again made popular by Halle Berry in the 90’s re-starting the trend for a whole new generation of women who wanted to spend less time in front of the mirror every morning.
Sigourney Weaver – Alien
Well, young Gen Y and Z-ers, there was a time when society fell in love with the permanent. A chemical process that curls the hair in either loose or tight curls starting at the root.
In 1979, Sigourney Weaver played with gender norms becoming the sole hero in the action-horror blockbuster “Alien.”
Her loose perm may not have “caught on” because the “body wave” trend was already in full swing, but I bet nobody ever thought to couple the curls with a skimpy muscle shirt, panties, and a rifle.
Neve Campbell – Scream
Poor Sydney, embroiled in a murder mystery and constantly harassed by a ghost-voiced, ghost-faced killer.
The movie that ends with a bang also contains a few atop some of its character’s noggins. Initially, we see Drew Barrymore taking it on the chin in a blonde bob with bangs to her brow, but since she isn’t the focus of the film let’s turn our attention to Neve Campbell who plays the teenager in peril.
Her style also used bangs, but unlike Drew, her hair was just passed her shoulders depending on how sticky it got from blood spatter.
Maybe Sydney’s signature squint was due to the low-hanging strands getting in her eyes, but no matter, in the end her vision was clear enough for marksman accuracy.
Sigourney Weaver – Alien 3
Yes Ms. Weaver is on this list twice. Once for showcasing her chemically enhanced follicular beauty in the first Alien movie, and here taking the complete opposite approach by shaving it off completely.
Of course, there seems to be a common theme to some of these styles and that is actresses turning gender-norms…ahem…on their heads. What is traditionally looked at as a “man’s cut” or “man’s look” is used on female heroines, but it takes a good stylist with a great eye to see if an A-list actress can successfully make a trend.
Barbara Nedeljakova – Hostel
Not everyone on this list can be heroes and those of you who have seen Hostel know that Barbara’s character Natalya is nothing more than bait. But this beauty’s hair is flawless.
Using her charm to trap unsuspecting travelers into a torture den for an elite club for rich people to perform acts of horror on the human body, Natalya had to go for a more feminine look (even winning over a drugged-up latent homosexual!). That includes long, straight hair, perfectly conditioned and parted at the side to frame her siren song facial features to horny travel-worn men and women.
Although maybe less iconic than the others on this list, I added it because this type of style was prevalent 12-years ago and Natalya wore it to perfection.
Honorable mention should also go to Natalya’s BFF and partner in crime Svetlana (Jana Kaderabkova) who enticed the opposite sex wearing one of the millennium’s most popular styles, “The Rachel.”
Samara – The Ring
Another movie monster with signature locks is also a television star, well sort of. The Japanese ghost story “The Ring” made everyone laugh once the announcement was made that it would become an American remake.
I mean how ridiculous is it to have a story built around a cursed videotape in which the viewer has a week to live after hitting play. Silly right?
It happened to be one of the biggest grossing films of 2003 and has a Tomato Meter rating of 71%.
Of course, this Gore Verbinsky thriller may not have been as creepy had it not been for Samara the unkind-rewind ghoul who comes to gather you once your time is up.
Long, straight black, belly-length hair was the first thing you saw before you died, making this not only a nightmare for the viewer but bathtubs and sinks across the world.
Heather Langenkamp – A Nightmare on Elm Street
Nancy Thompson has a rat’s nest of a hairdo throughout most of Wes Craven Classic “A Nightmare on Elm Street” but who can blame her?
She’s been up for days downing dangerous doses of over-the-counter stimulants and coffee to stay awake to thwart the razor-gloved child molester Freddy Kruger who haunts her dreams.
But she does manage to go fashion forward for the second half of the film as a streak of gray hair magically appears in a layer around her face.
This probably didn’t become a trend because teenagers didn’t want to appear older and adults were trying to cover it up.
These are only a few examples of iconic cuts that I could come up with off the top of my head. So please feel free to add more in the comments section below.