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Don't get too close, or you'll stab yourself!

"Oh no! My hair's in a mess. Ah -- but it always looks like this."

Specific case of Anime Hair, that happens often in Shonen series. One or more of the characters, usually a protagonist, have a specific hairstyle -- their hair is always in a mess, bulges out on all sides, and often looks kind of spiky. This hairstyle often comes with Hot Bloodedness and/or a nature somewhere between rebel, free spirit and Chaotic Good. Somebody could assume it's supposed to symbolize the hero's disrespect for existing rules. Or his dislike for hairdressers. Generally, it looks like our hero doesn't put any effort in his hairstyle and just goes as they are.

This is the kind of hairstyle that people suffering from Public Medium Ignorance think all male anime characters have. The Distaff Counterpart stereotype for female anime characters is Rapunzel Hair, or Twin Tails.

Examples of Shonen Hair include:

Anime & Manga

  • Dragon Ball has the Saiyans, especially Goku in his "base" (non Super Saiyan) form. Everyone else is mostly normal. There's some guys in mohawks, but that's it.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann - while Kamina's hair is this trope played straight, Simon is an interesting example - his hairstyle becomes more and more like this each time he Takes A level In Badass.
  • Naruto, and a few his friends, like Kiba.
  • Bleach.
    • Ichigo Kurosaki, the Espada Grimmjow Jaggerjack, Captain Kenpachi Zaraki of Squad 11.
    • Averted with other characters. Nnoitora Giruga is just as confrontational, but has neat, straight hair - closer in style to Ishida than Ichigo. In addition, when Grimmjow releases, his hair actually gets straighter (probably due to becoming longer.) Conversely, Hitsugaya's hair is a lot like this, but he's a rather serious character who usually isn't quick to fight.
  • Monkey D. Luffy from One Piece, who can hide it when he wears his straw hat.
    • Aside from never having hat hair, Luffy's hair is actually pretty normal looking.
  • Jotaro Kujo from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure was revealed to have this when he lost his cap.
    • An even better example is Joseph Joestar, his grandfather. When he was young, that is.
  • Both Tetsuya Tsurugi and Kouji Kabuto from Mazinger Z and Great Mazinger.
  • At least one kid from each Digimon series. Typically the one with the goggles (but not always!)
  • Loads of characters in Pokémon.
    • There's even a popular icon that has a picture of Ash Ketchum, stating that "His hair can poke people's eyes out".
  • Iki from Air Gear.
  • Shobu Kirifuda from Duel Masters.
  • Practically a staple of the Yu-Gi-Oh universe:
    • Yugi/Yami from first Yu-Gi-Oh - yes, his hair just looks like an eccentric hairstyle... until it's hinted it's natural.
      • To the point where flashbacks show baby Yami as having the same hairstyle. In Ancient Egypt. Meanwhile, his dad has straight, black hair like a normal Egyptian. Makes you wonder what his mom looks like.
      • Oh she had perfectly normal, long black hair, for the single panel of the manga that she appears in.
    • GX has many of them - Manjoume, Sho, Amon and Jim to name a few. Protagonist Judai actually averts this with a hairstyle that's plausible in real life.
    • 5D's - Yusei (pictured above), possibly one man with weirder hairstyle than Yugi. There's a reason he's called 'Crabhead' among the fandom. Jack keeps boasting that he's a King and then take into account his hair looks like a crown.
      • Take a long look at a group pic of Team Satisfaction and see if you can match up these names: Crabhead, Sea Urchin, Broomstick, and (after his second appearance) Sephiroth.
  • Battler Ushiromiya from Umineko no Naku Koro ni, despite the fact that it's not a shonen.
  • Main character from Yaiba.
  • Most of protagonists and villains in Saint Seiya.
  • In the author's notes on Rurouni Kenshin, Nobuhiro Watsuki explicitly mentions that Yahiko's character design is that of the archetypical wild-haired Shonen Protagonist, and Sano's hair is so crazy he gets called "Rooster-head" In-Universe. (Interestingly enough, as the series progresses, Kenshin's hair grows progressively less wild. Art Shift that doubles as a sign of Character Development!)
  • Several characters from Eyeshield 21 have hair like this, including Sena, Monta and Hiruma. The series lampshades the trope: Sena's hair is a cross between Goku's and Astro Boy's. Sena looks exactly like Astro Boy with his hair gelled down and his dad has the same hairdo. Hiruma actually has normal hair but styles his hair this way to add to his rebellious image. As for Monta, he's simply copying the hairstyle of his hero, who has a less cartoony version of the haircut.
  • Joshua Christopher from Chrono Crusade, although it's much more toned down than some of the other examples on this page. (He pretty much fits the personality for this trope to a T.) Chrono might count, too, although he's got a long braid at the base of his neck in addition to the spiky hair on his head.
  • Almost all of the male cast of ~D.N.Angel~. Particularly notable because this is a Shojo manga, not shounen (although it certainly mixes in tropes from that genre).
  • Chris in Superbook.
  • Spike Spiegel in Cowboy Bebop has hair that sticks out all over the place, but it's more curly than spiky. (Faye at one point describes it as "fluffy".)
  • The Hitachiin twins in Ouran High School Host Club. Seems to be intentionally Invoked by the twins -- flashbacks show that before they joined the Host Club they had identical bowl cuts instead of the wild, spiky haircuts they have in present day, and they're considered the "Devil" type in the host club and are supposed to be a little wild.
    • This fits better for the anime. Their hair looks much more natural and isn't quite as poofed out in the manga, although it's obvious they usually style it with hair gel.
  • In Blade of the Immortal, which is fairly realistic and features normal haircuts for almost all of the main and supporting characters, Anti-Villain Magatsu Taito looks like he's carrying a porcupine on his head. We're talking foot-long spikes. It doesn't go unnoticed. At one point, somebody mentions In-Universe that hair like that will be popular in a couple hundred years.
  • Goh and Mannen in Prétear.
  • Tamahome and Tasuki from Fushigi Yuugi, as opposed to just about everyone else. Bonus points because Tamahome keeps his hair in a ponytail anyway. Of course, that was before the you-know-what involving Suboshi in the middle of the series.
  • Yo-Jin-Bo has Jin, whose hair is extremely messy. He's a Hot-Blooded Redheaded Hero, though, so we can forgive him for forgetting to brush it occasionally.
  • Soul and Black☆Star from Soul Eater.
  • Another Jin, this time from Zettai Muteki Raijin-Oh, has this. Apart from his two other classmates Akira and Yoppa, the rest of the main cast sport more or less normal hairstyles.
  • Hayato Kazami, Naoki Shinjyo and Johji Ohtomo in Future GPX Cyber Formula have these.
  • Touma Kamijou from To Aru Majutsu no Index. In a bit of a subversion, Touma actually deliberately styles it that way with hair gel.
  • Fairy Tail: Natsu, Gray, and Gajeel all have this hairstyle.
  • A lot of characters in GetBackers; most notably the two protagonists, and especially Ban (though being drenched leads to his hair becoming completely tamed...for a while).
  • Hiei of Yu Yu Hakusho has this to a T. He looks like an emo Super-Saiyan.
  • Suite Pretty Cure has a rare female example with the side character Waon Nishijima.
  • Hamlet from Manga Shakespeare has this.
  • In Saint Beast, unlike most of his counterparts who have unnatural hair colours, Goh just gets a very spiky haircut.

Comics - Books

  • Possibly Wolverine from the X-Men—he is generally portrayed with particularly feral hair and sideburns that look a bit like horns, especially in earlier renderings.
  • Beast was potrayed with something similiar until he turned into a cat.


Live Action TV

Newspaper Comics

Video Games


 "Where's the punk with the spiky-hair?"


Web Animation

Web Comics

Western Animation

  • Danny from Danny Phantom, at least to some people.
  • The Teen Titans version of Robin. Some episodes lampshade and parody this trope.
    • In "Mother Mae-Eye", Robin is shown styling his hair. In "Divide and Conquer", during an argument with Cyborg, the latter points out that he stinks of hair gel.
    • In "Date with Destiny", after being yelled at by Starfire, his hair turns into what seems to be its natural state - a "good boy" style. Also a Mythology Gag- it looks exactly like how Robin's hair was drawn in the Golden/Silver Age comics.
    • On another occasion, he gets drenched, and swipes his hand over his hair in a blur, and it is promptly restored to its standard form: bing!
  • Kenny from South Park has blond Shonen Hair, although we rarely get to se it.
  • The Rowdyruff Boys sport this after Him brings them back to life, which the Girls immediately mock them for (calling it "mean hair").