When Bad Hair Happens to Good Characters

For a teen show, looking good is more important than any plot, set or script. It is a fact that sometimes TV shows start with attractive characters and super cool looks that turn ugly over time. The simplest of haircuts, for example, can make or break the trendiness of any young star. Here’s a look at some of the worst hair choices for teen TV characters:

Manny Santos, Degrassi

Cute little Manny!

When we first Manny Santos, she was the most adorable thing on Degrassi: The Next Generation. She may have been sporting some nerdy little pigtails with brightly colored scrunchies, but that smile was just so gosh darn cute, who cared? Then Manny popped on a thong and became sexy Manny. There was the occasional unfortunate hat, but overall we got this:

Sexy Manny Santos

Still a win. Lovely hair! Skanky velour track suits! All kinds of slutty behavior! And because she still had that great look, how could I be but so mad? Then in season 7, after babies, boyfriend stealing and more, this happened:

OH NO GIRL!

OH NO GIRL, WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR HAIR?! Why Manny, why?!  Did they think this blonde Bettie Page wig was a good idea? I suppose they made some attempt at fixing it:

Still awful

I guess they thought it was just the color. Not the freaky bangs. Ah well. By season 8, Manny was cute again with normal bangs that suited her face shape. But by then it was already too late. Her character was sent to Hollywood to be a waitress who sometimes dates Jay, punches Jane and attends Emma’s oddball wedding to Spinner.

Felicity, Felicity

Nice hair!

Keri Russell was living the high life in 1998. Her show, Felicity, was a hit! People loved her sweet college-aged character. And then something terrible happened: the writers got an idea. How about Felicity chops all her hair off after a rough break-up with Ben? The result:

Um...

Why Felicity?! Why? It’s not that this short haircut is hideous, but…well look at the difference:

Felicity just looks angry now. And tough. I guess audiences hated it too because Felicity‘s ratings fell rapidly. The show hung on until Season 4. And Keri Russell? Well, I haven’t heard from her since August Rush.

Marissa Cooper and Ryan Atwood, The O.C.

"What do you mean my hair is cool? I woke up in an alley with it like this..."

I will not even pretend to understand why we all thought Marissa Cooper’s side-swept bangs were so cool in Season 1 of The O.C. But they were. Slightly wavy, pulled aside like a curtain and joining long straight locks. Girls everywhere thought Coops had it going on. Then the bangs started to become a hassle. Please note:

They weren’t doing that old voo-do’ anymore. Maybe the drugs were taking their toll? Then, following a decision to be a sorta-just-for-laughs-lesbian and a will-they or won’t-they affair with a young surfer, Coops thought she should just let her freak flag — and bangs — fly. The result:

That haircut belongs in Chino...

Needless to say, I think we all know how this ended; With Marissa Cooper dead after a car crash caused by her creepy, dirty boyfriend Volchok. Yes, that was really his name. As a side note, we should mention that her endless lover Ryan Atwood had some tough hair times too. He started with cute though ridiculous bangs:

"Marissa, baby, we match."

But we soon learned that no matter how silly they looked, the bangs were what kept him young. Here he is without them following Coops “tragic” death:

Why is Ryan 40?

Not looking so 17 anymore, buddy. You know the drill; Ryan Atwood’s life flashed before our eyes in the series finale, only 4 Seasons into the show. Sigh.

Rachel Berry and Quinn Fabray, Glee

"I'm sad because this is Season 1, the best I'll ever be!"

When we first met crazy old Rachel Berry she sang for MySpace hecklers, had a questionable amount of schoolgirl clothing for someone who’s not a fan of Cosplay and had the most adorable little “I want to be a star” drive around Ohio. Her look was silly, but cute. Then Season 2 happened:

No girl.

Why?! Those bangs are tragic. TRAGIC! They don’t fit Rachel’s face and suddenly transformed her from spunky and cute to downright annoying. Even Rachel couldn’t sing her way out of this one. The bangs remain and now Rachel Berry is in her senior year, poised to leave the show. Coincidence? And to add insult to injury, Quinn went from this:

Lovely

To this:

Dirty

While pink hair can be cute, dirty uncombed hair with cowlicks is never a good look.

What do you think about all these hairstyles? Which is the worst? Did I miss one? Tell me in the comments!

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2 Comments

Filed under Let's Ponder

2 responses to “When Bad Hair Happens to Good Characters

  1. Bangs really ruin the grand illusion of a 25-year-old playing a 16-year-old.

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