Our hair can say everything about our personality, and even if we don’t change up our hairstyle very often we can still get creative to reflect how we’re feeling inside. Not sure? Just look at Halloween. Every year, thousands of us enjoy dressing up to become somebody or something else but it doesn’t matter how authentic our costume looks, if we don’t get the hair right we’ll never pull off the transformation. Why’s that? Because, just like the rest of us, a horror temptresses tresses are where her personality really takes fright.
Not convinced? Let’s look at a few examples…
Based solely upon what she’s wearing, Elvira could have been just another run-of-the-mausoleum gothic femme fatale. After all, her famously skin-tight dress is hardly original – everyone from Morticia Addams to Vampira to Fenella Fielding in ‘Carry on Screaming!’ has worn a slinky black gown that looks exactly like it, and they’ve all had long slinky black hair to match. So, what did Elvira’s creator do to prove her character was different? She gave the Mistress of the Dark an unforgettable part-beehive/part-mullet hairstyle that completely defined Elvira’s sassy, devil-may-care personality. It’s a statement updo that instantly sets her apart, and almost forty years later it’s still a Halloween winner. Let’s face it, slinky hair says ‘mysterious’ but Elvira’s beehive says she’s one ghoulfriend who isn’t going to hang back in the shadows.
Picture Wednesday Addams and what’s the first thing that springs to mind? Her pale skin and doom-and-gloom dress sense? Maybe, but that’s not where her personality lies. Wednesday’s long dark braids and severe central parting are the secret to who she really is. It’s a look that’s precise and angular and it tells us this is one icky-and-ooky schoolgirl who’s not afraid to be macabrely monstrous if you get on the wrong side of her. Just by looking at those braids, you know Wednesday isn’t going to shoot back an Elvira worthy zinger like “Nice jacket! Who shot the couch?” Instead, “I’ll stop wearing black when they invent a darker colour” followed by cutting off her Marie Antoinette doll’s head is much more her style.
When Universal Studios’ make-up genius Jack Pierce created the Bride’s look back in 1935 he couldn’t have known that what he dreamed up would forever be the definition of hellish hair. The Bride’s weirdly slanted semi-beehive with lightning streaks on either side tells us everything we need to know about who the Bride is and where she’s come from: slightly untidy (but who wouldn’t be when they’re built out of stolen body parts?), oddly off-balance like a baby chick (the hair looks like she’s getting ready for take-off!) and those lightning bolt curls at each temple prove monsters were into hair colour long before the mortal world realised it was cool. Even though she doesn’t speak and the only sound she makes is a single ear-piercing shriek (not surprising considering she’d just taken a look at her bolt-necked betrothed), the Bride’s beastly barnet speaks volumes about what she’s feeling inside… not bad for a Monstress who only has one scene at the very end of the movie!
Is Harley Quinn a Halloween monster? Not in the usual sense, but a lot of fans will be replicating her signature blonde locks and pink-and-blue ombre’d pigtails when Halloween comes around. And why not? Unlike Elvira’s street-smart beehive, Wednesday Addam’s no-nonsense braids and the Bride’s high voltage bouffant, Harley’s pigtails convey a playfulness and sweetness that could easily lull her victims into a false sense of security, while the ombre’d candy colours tell us there’s a lot more going on behind her smile than most of us would like to imagine. Harley’s baseball bat and ‘Daddy’s Li’l Monster’ t-shirt might be signature parts of her costume, but it’s Harley’s hair that really gives us an insight into Gotham City’s endearingly psycho ex-psychologist. She’s fun and she’s flirty but the pink and blue ombre is a warning that she’s not to be underestimated and could switch from vixen to viper at any moment. It’s a great example of how the subtlest use of colour can hint at anybody’s hidden depths.
We couldn’t end this blog without throwing in something for the guys but, when it comes to Halloween hair, the fellas really miss out. After all, Halloween’s Michael Myers and Friday the 13th’s Jason both wear masks, Freddy Krueger doesn’t have a frightful follicle on his nightmarish wise-cracking head and Hellraiser’s Pinhead… well… his name says it all really. However, one character you can always rely upon for a spine-tinglingly creepy crown is the legendary king of the Transylvanian undead.
Count Dracula’s monstrous mane really highlights how hair can define the changes in a personality. Back in 1931, Bela Lugosi’s slicked-back widows peak was smart and aristocratic, a Latino-influenced look that emphasised his exotic other-worldliness and didn’t detract from his piercingly hypnotic gaze. In 1979, Frank Langella gave us a Count for the disco age with a coif that was coffin-smart and ready to party, although he probably had to keep a salon’s worth of hairspray hidden beneath his cape. But it’s the wild choice of hairstyles that Gary Oldman wore in 1992’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula that really put the bat among the pigeons. When he first appears onscreen, Oldman’s elderly Count has a distinctive kubuki-like hairdo that’s formal and almost insect-like, and yet when he grows younger and arrives in London his long lank waves convey both Victorian dandy and 1960’s Carnaby Street popstar. It’s a style that’s romantic, mysterious and unconventional and it gives us a real insight into the timeless depths of the Count’s soul.
See what we mean about how hair can reflect a personality?
Even though we’re just playing around with these examples, there is something serious(ish) that we’d like you to think about… whether you’re dressing up as your favourite Halloween horror star or just getting ready for another day at the office, never forget how much your hair says about you and never stop being fun and creative with how your hair looks. After all, we don’t have to wait for October 31st to creep around before we can reinvent ourselves, there’s always a scarily new way to update our style and show the world how we’re feeling inside.
Happy All Hallows Eve, everybody!