Some would have it that Hollywood distorts life by offering up an airbrushed and impossibly idealized version of reality.
These people have obviously never seen some of the hairstyles this motley crew have been forced to endure, all in the name of cinema.
So, with a heavy heart and fulsome apologies for the absurd spectacle that follows, we offer for you the 50 worst haircuts in the history of moving pictures.
Are there any we’ve missed? You can have your tuppence worth below the line. Don’t get mad, get typing…
(Images: All Star)
Frank T.J. Mackey (Tom Cruise)
Men, listen up and think of the wisdom we’re about to impart as some unofficial eleventh commandment: thou shall never look good with a pony tail. Even if you’re as really, really good looking as Tom Cruise.
Ernie McCracken (Bill Murray)
Sometimes the sum of two things can exceed the constituent parts. So, imagine if you will a lurid combination of Bobby Charlton’s iconic comb-over and Donald Trump’s bouffant. Not a hairdo; more a hairdon’t.
David Kleinfeld (Sean Penn)
Film: Carlito’s Way
Such was Penn’s dedication to getting the hair of Carlito’s sleazy lawyer just right (or wrong) he shaved his head – to give the appearance of a receding hairline – and permed the rest. The result was a ghastly, spaghetti-hooped, mess. Rather memorable though.
David Wooderson (Matthew McConaughey)
Film: Dazed And Confused
He might be responsible for some of the film’s best lines (sample dialogue: ‘That's what I love about these high school girls, man. I get older, they stay the same age’ and ‘The older you get, the more rules they are going to try and get you to follow. You just gotta keep on livin', man. L-I-V-I-N.’), but Woody Wooderson’s hair just resembled an overgrown page boy’s unforgiving barnet. With added tache. Not cool.
John Baxter (Donald Sutherland)
Film: Don’t Look Now
Don’t Look Now is one of the most psychologically torturous films of all-time. And not just because of the script. Donald Sutherland’s luxurious, none-more-Seventies perm looks like something you’d rather lay on in front of a log fire than have on top of your bonce.
Bobby Pellitt (Colin Farrell)
Film: Horrible Bosses
If movie hairstyles are designed to be shorthand for a character’s persona, Bobby Pellitt’s greasy comb-over is spot-on. His hair is that which only a tool could be proud of. Bobby Pellitt is a tool.
Randall Hertzel (Dermot Mulroney)
Film: About Schmidt
Although many men fight the urge – yep, Alan Shearer we’re talking to you – when their hair starts to thin, it’s best just to get rid. Unfortunately Randall Hertzel seems to side with the BBC’s most insightful pundit’s skewed thinking, combing it back and hoping no one will notice amid the dreadful Village People handlebar moustache. No such luck, Randall.
Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren)
Film: Rocky IV
Looking towards Rocky movies for style inspiration is obviously a no-no from the outset, but Ivan ‘I Must Break You’ Drago’s fearsome hedgehog spike was suitably ridiculous. Especially, when it flopped like an inebriated pensioner’s willy after his bout with Rocky.
Simon Phoenix (Wesley Snipes)
Film: Demolition Man
From the entire 1998 Romanian football team to Mark Ronson via Jared Leto, men should never ever bleach their hair blonde. The temptation to try out some surfer dude aesthetic might be overwhelming, but in reality it just looks as though you’ve been hanging out in a pub snug in the Seventies getting properly nicotine stained. Such was Wesley Snipes’s fate in the otherwise forgettable Demolition Man.
Drexl Spivey (Gary Oldman)
Film: True Romance
Another hair warning: white men with dreadlocks. You have been told. For further proof see John Travolta in Battlefield Earth.
Sara ‘Sway’ Wayland (Angelina Jolie)
Film: Gone In 60 Seconds
And women, consider yourselves given a, ahem, head’s up too. Dreads on white women are pony. Look, even Angelina Jolie can’t pull it off. The bleach don’t help much either.
Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem)
Film: No Country For Old Men
Javier Bardem is a devilishly good looking chap. In No Country For Old Men however, his hair was a disturbing mix of 12-year-old Amish girl and Oompa Loompa. Apparently he was so distressed by his ‘bob’, that co-star Josh Brolin was moved to caution that Bardem was depressed by the experience. “He felt like he wouldn’t have sex for three months. Full-blown depression. I mean, bad.”
King Koopa (Dennis Hopper)
Dennis Hopper starred in some of the most iconic movies ever: Rebel Without A Cause, Easy Rider, Apocalypse Now, Blue Velvet, True Romance etc, and yet, we can’t let this regrettable decision slide. The film and the hair. His blonde knotted tieback was the kind of thing only Bjork could get away with. Yeah, that wacky.
David (Kiefer Sutherland)
Film: The Lost Boys
This abominable creation could have made the list three times; such is its grotesque manner. First up – the wayward spike; second – the bleached blonde ‘look’; third – the straggly long bits at the back. A trio of terror, a triumvirate of trepidation; three ways to look toss. Eek.
Mugatu (Will Ferrell)
For an industry predicated on looking good, the fashion world doesn’t half throw up some funny looking characters. Was Will Ferrell’s Mugatu some warped take on designer Karl Lagerfeld – with added poodle on top? Who knows, but Mugatu’s bonce is one of the most overblown hair disasters we’ve ever had the misfortune of casting our innocent eyes upon. Perfect for the fashion world in other words.
Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson)
Film: Lethal Weapon
Something funny happened to hair in the Eighties. It just got more and more voluminous. With hindsight we can laugh at it now and just count ourselves fortunate we weren’t old enough to indulge.
Steff McKee (James Spader)
Film: Pretty In Pink
Another case in point. Just make it stop. Didn’t they have mirrors back then or something?
Alexander the Great (Colin Farrell)
Lethal Weapon grandiosity meets The Lost Boys bleached blonde badness. Epic fail as the Twitter generation would have it.
Johnny Suede (Brad Pitt)
Film: Johnny Suede
Keeping up an image can be a full time job was Johnny Suede’s tag line. Keeping up that quiff must take a lifetime. A cautionary tale about what happens when you become a slave to ‘style’.
Jareth The Goblin King (David Bowie)
See The Lost Boys. Wrong on so many levels.
Vincent Vega (John Travolta)
Film: Pulp Fiction
Curtains have many uses, however, they should not be seen on a man’s head. Vincent Vega’s dreaded combed-back lifeless haircut is one of few missteps in Pulp Fiction, which probably makes it all the better because of it.
Clay Shaw (Tommy Lee Jones)
Oliver Stone obviously wanted to play up the flamboyant air of JFK suspect Clay Shaw, but donning Tommy Lee Jones in a white poodle wig was just laughable.
Charlie Fineman (Adam Sandler)
Film: Reign Over Me
The urge to scream get it cut is unbearable. Unless Sandler is going for an honorary member of the Bob Dylan crap hair society look. In which case, it’s a winner. But not in a good way. If you get what we’re trying to say.
Randy ‘The Ram’ Robinson (Mickey Rourke)
Film: The Wrestler
We’re all for breaking rules, but some conventions (never employing the hair of hair metal for instance) are there to help us.
Gerald ‘Stone’ Creeson (Ed Norton)
White men attempting to look black is a constant source of amusement. In this case, braiding one’s hair. No, no, and thrice no.
Dracula (Gary Oldman)
Film: Bram Stoker’s Dracula
If you were an immortal Transylvanian vampire wouldn’t you want your hair to look fly? You wouldn’t want it to look like two balls of wool perched at the back of your head, surely?
Ruby Rhod (Chris Tucker)
Film: The Fifth Element
Even in a movie that is hammed up beyond all recognition, there is still no excuse for Chris Tucker’s blonde toilet roll ejaculating out of his head. An honourable mention must go to Gary Oldman’s half-David Bowie fringe too. Ridicule is something to be scared of in this case.
Lloyd Christmas (Jim Carrey)
Film: Dumb & Dumber
An object lesson in what happens when a grown man lets his mum loose on his hair.
Harry Dunne (Jeff Daniels)
Film: Dumb & Dumber
An object lesson in what happens when a grown man doesn’t let anyone loose on his hair.
Cameron Poe (Nicolas Cage)
Film: Con Air
Nicolas Cage has a rep for dodgy hair onscreen – see Adaptation, Next and many more – but his absolute nadir was this long hair monstrosity in Con Air, in which he resembled the cowardly lion from The Wizard of Oz. At least we know where Nickelback’s Chad Kroeger got his inspiration from. Dire.
Napoleon Dynamite (Jon Heder)
Film: Napoleon Dynamite
We could have been contrary and gone for Heder’s dodgy barnet in Blades of Glory, but really, this list would have been incomplete without Dynamite’s none-explosive bird’s nest. Intentionally wrong and then some.
Raymond ‘Ray’ Gleason (Ted Danson)
Film: Getting Even With Dad
Ted Danson’s hair has always been a bit of a mystery – is he really bald? Does he wear a hairpiece? So, logically you’d think he wouldn’t draw attention to it. Not so, as this inexplicable pony tail tacked onto a regulation short, back and sides demonstrates.
Lucius Malfoy (Jason Isaacs)
Film: Harry Potter
It’s perhaps fitting that the fascist-like Malfoy has a haircut that only idiots would like. Such blonde lengths might look good on a Californian swimwear model, but on a chap? Nope.
Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner)
We’re relaxed enough to realise Taylor Lautner is good looking – in a kind of stereotypical boyish manner – but with a wig? No. He looks like a confused girl going goth to annoy her parents because they wouldn’t buy her a pony.
Dr. Strangelove (Peter Sellers)
Film: Dr Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
The overgrown fringe, the highlights and the suspicious kink all serve to prepare you for the sinister Dr. Strangelove. Never trust a man whose hair has too much going on.
Billy Hicks (Rob Lowe)
Film: St Elmo’s Fire
Not only does it carry all the hallmarks of Eighties excess – too much product, too much hair, too much everything – this hairstyle is ridiculously in love with itself. It’s meant to signify some kind of rock’n’roll outlaw; in reality it just looks a hairspray manufacturer’s wet dream.
Walter Sobchak (John Goodman)
Film: The Big Lebowski
Brutal, very ex-military, not to be messed with – not to be aspired to either. Grown out crew cuts are never cool. We imagine the Coen Brothers and John Goodman did not arrive at this ‘style’ by accident.
Willy Wonka (Johnny Depp)
Film: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Just because Anna Wintour Lords it over the fashion world like some impregnable Colossus, it doesn’t mean Willy Wonka should be aping her boring bob.
Lord Summerisle (Christopher Lee)
Film: The Wicker Man
For the mad professor look and the rather ominous too-perfect-by-half coiffure that precedes it. No good can come from this hair. And, funnily enough, it doesn’t.
Junior (Jared Leto)
Film: Panic Room
Again, we can acknowledge that Jared Leto is a good looking dude, but boy, he does himself no favours with this braid. Yes, we get it’s supposed to look menacing – it doesn’t , he looks like a crusty eco warrior. To the trees!
Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks)
The definitive midlife crisis cut. There is nothing redeeming about this too long, too lank, too greasy style. Another reason to mock Dan Brown’s ubiquitous creation.
Drop Dead Fred (Rik Mayall)
Film: Drop Dead Fred
In which Rik Mayall took his Young Ones persona – also Rik – to Hollywood and cranked the ‘anarchic’ edge up to 11. Hence the slightly excessive Johnny Rotten punk meets Christopher Lee scruffy Wicker Man hairstyle.
Aunty Entity (Tina Turner)
Film: Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome
We’re not sure why, but Tinseltown and its ilk are fond of encouraging the notion that any post-apocalyptic landscape will see us all returning to some sort of semi-feudal aesthetic state. Turner’s Aunty Entity is indicative of such a mindset – pre-empting The Levellers and their less than fragrant sort by a good few years, these two styles (the overgrown skunk on top and the big hair mullet at the back, are both inexcusable. As are the blonde highlights. Wrong, wrong, wrong.
Clementine Kruczynski (Kate Winslet)
Film: The Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind
Just because someone doesn’t play by society’s straitjacket doesn’t mean they have to possess infantile hair. Clementine Kruczynski’s hair goes through all manner of colours during this admittedly superb film – red, green and our particular favourite (that is, the worst) the weak blue rinse with dirty yellow roots. How could you love a woman that inflicted such cruelty upon her hair? Exactly.
Tess McGill (Melanie Griffith)
Film: Working Girl
The female equivalent of Rob Lowe’s get-up in St. Elmo’s Fire. Big, brassy and a confused and conflicting mess. Even her Marilyn Monroe makeover is excessive.
Film: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
Some people mix up the colours green and orange. We can only assume that a cruel mind, cognizant of this mild colour blindness, decided to place this green thing on top of the orange Oompa Loompas. We also like to think that somehow this haircut is the inspiration for Princess Leia’s buns in Star Wars.
Riff Raff (Richard O’Brien)
Film: The Rocky Horror Picture Show
It’s Richard O’Brien’s party so he can of course bring whatever eyesore he wishes to the cinematic shindig, but, come on, really? It looks like some next level Brian Eno meets Bobby Charlton wrongness. That’s it, a glam rock Bobby Charlton!
Legolas Greenleaf (Orlando Bloom)
Film: Lord of the Rings
Why must we punish elves with such lifeless, colourless nonsense?
Velma Von Tussle (Debbie Harry)
In a film noted for its extravagant hairstyles, this never-ending creation takes top prize for offending the eyes. Describing it as a kind of horse’s mane mixed with a giant ice cream cone doesn’t even cover it.
Begbie (Robert Carlyle)
Not that we’d tell him to his face (we can’t of course because he’s just a made-up character), but Begbie’s slicked back ball of grease – sometimes falling down into a Madchester-era pair of curtains – was not suave, nor intimidating. It was ugly though.
(Images: Allstar, Rex)