Anime Hair Styles

There are very few people who haven’t heard of anime in some form or another, whether they’re fans of the genre or not. For those not familiar with it, anime is an animation style most closely associated with Japan. There are so many different kinds of japanese anime hair styles with such varying styles and complex plots that it can be difficult to keep track of them all—let alone the style trends that have come and gone over the years.


Hair styles have evolved as time has gone on, and there are a few different ways to style your hair. But what about anime hair styles? They are fun and exciting, but many people aren’t even aware of them! In this blog post I am going to talk about the origin of anime hair styles and how they’ve evolved over time.

  • The original hairstyles in Japanese animation came from typical hairstyles at the time. For example, many women wore their hair short during WWII due to rationing. When Japan’s economy started getting better again, women started wearing their hair long like before. That influenced animators to start drawing characters with longer hair. It became more common for women to wear their hair curly than straight after WWII, so that trend was also reflected in anime characters.

First Wave – Early 90s Shōjo

There are three recognizable hairstyles that correspond to the first wave of anime hair styles. The first style is the old-fashioned schoolgirl bun, followed by the braided ponytail, and finally a two-strand braid with a hair stick to keep it in place. Shōjo from this era are most often depicted with shoulder-length hair. It’s parted down the middle and has bangs that frame the face; typically long enough to be pulled back into a ponytail or French braid.

The popular character Sailor Moon wears her hair in many different ways during her show, which makes her one of the few examples of variation among shōjo at this time. Another example is Sakura Kinomoto from Cardcaptor Sakura who was frequently seen wearing two pigtails on either side of her head. The length varies as well, since she also has shoulder-length hair. Both these characters wear their hair down for about half the series then start pulling it up into various updos when they fight or use magic.

Anime Hair Styles
Japanese Anime Hair Styles

Second Wave – Mid 2000s Shōnen

For the second wave of anime, characters wore their hair in a style that is now referred to as mid-2000s shonen. These styles consisted of high puffs or loose buns with messy bangs, for example. The best illustration for this is the female character Rin from 2006’s Skip Beat!. She wears her short hair in tight twists and has a straight fringe. In contrast, the male protagonist Kyoko sports an undercut and slicked back side-swept fringe. A perfect example of early 2000s shonen hairstyles can be seen on the girl Nana Osaki from 2004’s Honey & Clover. Her long brown hair is tied into low pigtails decorated with ribbons and she also has two long strands framing her face.

One thing that separates these two waves is how girls were wearing their hair more like boys. Skirts became shorter while blouses were replaced by t-shirts and tank tops. Girls also began to wear their hair in a variety of different ways such as having it up in the air or using headbands. Similarly, some guys started putting gel in their hair to have spiky styles such as Haruhi Suzumiya from Ouran High School Host Club who has her brunette locks sticking out at all angles.

Third Wave – Recent Years (2010–Present)

The most recent japanese koichi hair style evolved to come out of the world of anime is likely something called pigtails. Pigtails are a hairstyle where two parallel braids with either a single ponytail or without pigtails through the entire head. In addition, pigtails often involve three or more strands, as opposed to just one strand that is common in other styles.

Pigtails were first seen in 2010, and have been growing in popularity ever since. In fact, a survey taken by Twitter showed that 71% of respondents had seen at least one person wear pigtails within the past year. Furthermore, 18% of people who answered the survey said they had tried wearing pigtails themselves. It seems like there’s no stopping this trend!


Anime hair styles have changed a lot since the first anime, and will probably continue to change in response to the latest trends. With all of these different hairstyles and changes over time, it’s hard to predict what Japanese anime hair style will come next. Only time will tell!
I hope you found this interesting, or at least informative!

If you’re interested in learning more about any of these past or future Japanese anime hair styles and how they’ve been portrayed over time, there are plenty of videos on YouTube dedicated to them. Many thanks for reading! I would also love if you shared your favorite Japanese anime character with me – whether they made an appearance on my list or not! Leave a comment below 🙂
I’m curious to know your thoughts. What do you think? What do you think is the next big thing?

By Williumson

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