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We’ve talked before about how a character’s hairstyle can change how they are viewed by the audience. Even characters with the exact same face and features can come across as very different when you change up their hairstyle.
So today, let’s take a look at a whole variety of hairstyles on the same character, and see how it changes her appearance and how we perceive her personality. Hopefully these hairstyles will also be good references for you when you go to draw all different hairstyles in your work too!
Short styles with the hair coming down to about ear-height give a character a bright, sporty or tomboyish appearance. It can also make a character look fresh-faced and young.
Medium length styles
The most common length of hair in anime. Having the hair curl in towards the face at the ends gives an elegant, feminine appearance. More volume gives a more feminine look, but for medium and long length hair, it’s good to have the volume swell out at about chin level for a light, fluffy appearance.
Long hair that comes down below the collarbones can give our characters a variety of different feels. Long, straight hair takes a lot of care to keep sleek and straight, so we get the impression that the character is careful and reliable, and good at taking care of herself and possibly others too.
Long curled hair, or long, voluminous hair styled in bunches can give a glamorous, pampered appearance and is often used on young women with an upper-class upbringing. Long wavy hair can also give a character a “mysterious” appearance, and is often used on characters with an element of spiritualism or the supernatural about them.
A tip for long hair is to keep curls and waves to a minimum in the top area and fringe, and start introducing the volume at around jaw level.
Ponytails can be used to make a character look more grown-up and stylish, and also to make them look more active and sporty. Because it’s a very practical style, we often see it on characters with active roles, like cheerleaders or idols. Depending on the style of ponytail, the style can look fresh and sporty, or feminine and elegant.
Bunches, pigtails, or “twin-tails” as they’re known in Japanese are a very childlike hairstyle, and in reality we don’t often see this style on adults in Japan. However, in the anime world, this is a super popular style! We often see the style on main, or supporting characters in anime and manga, as well as on popular characters like Hatsune Miku. The hairstyle gives characters a childlike charm, whilst also opening up the possibility for more fancy, fashionable styles like the ones below.
Braids are formed using three or more sections of hair and crossing them over each other to form a single plaited bunch of hair. Sometimes we see braids drawn in detail, but often we will see them drawn in the simplified way we see below.
How the fringe/bangs can change a character
At first glance, it might seem like all the characters below have totally different hair styles, but in reality, the only part we’ve changed is the fringe! Hopefully this shows just how important the fringe is in hairstyle creation. Try out all different styles for different characters, and it will help the audience distinguish between your characters more easily.
There we have it! A whole compendium of hair styles for girls in anime! Try out some of these styles in your own work, and remember to observe all the different hairstyles in your favourite anime series as you watch, so you can learn even more styles.