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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, March 26, 2010

When it comes to hair, we've seen everything


By Wayne Harada

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

From top: Elvis Presley wowed fans with his long locks and sideburns. Aside from his voice, Adam Lambert is known for his spiked hairdo. Zac Efron's clean-cut hair was part of his appeal.

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With "Hair" a hit at Manoa Valley Theatre, this might be an apropos time to reflect on the mane attraction.

Yep, hair.

Certainly, there are folks who you like, or not, because of their hair. Gents and ladies.

Hair to quote the title song in the tribal-love musical (still playing on Broadway in a revival sensation and extended through April 4 at MVT) is "long, straight, curly, fuzzy, snaggy, shaggy, ratty, matty, oily, greasy, fleecy, shining, gleaming, streaming, flaxen, waxen," and so on, even "bangled, tangled, spangled and spaghettied."

Whew! And we've all seen 'em all, then and now.

Consider:

ROCK STARS

Then: Elvis Presley, the King of Rock, had long locks (except the time he was in the Army, when he was shorn like a GI), and was notable for his swivel hips and sideburns. Long sideburns.

Now: Adam Lambert, "American Idol" second-placer last year and the Gazelle of Glam, boasts punky, gleaming spiked 'do's, wickedly waxen and accentuated by heavy (black) eye makeup.

FRIGHT ENCOUNTERS

Then: Bela Lugosi made Dracula a fright in the 1930s; his hair was slicked-down, simple with sort of a widow's peak V hairline at the forehead.

Now: Robert Pattinson, shaggy, ratty, matty, just-out-of-bed motif, suited to his Edward Cullen "Twilight" vampire veneer in the original, plus two sequels "New Moon" this year and "Eclipse" this summer.

GOING INTO DEPP

Then: Johnny Depp, as Captain Jack Sparrow of the "Pirates" flicks, displaying shaggy, maybe even spaghettied, long locks, which frame a face with bold eyeliner.

Now: Johnny Depp, as the Mad Hatter in "Alice in Wonderland," sports a concert of carrot-hued frizzle and frazzle, with Halloween hints.

TEEN TOPPERS

Then: Zac Efron, the pretty boy dude of "High School Musical" fame, is favored for his gleaming clean-cut hair, highlighted by side-sweeping bangs. (At the recent Oscarcast, however, he went rad with mousse and/or gel making his hair stand up like a sculpted wave.)

Now: Chace Crawford, the "Gossip Girl" echo of Efron, who will be seen in the forthcoming reboot of "Footloose" (because Efron passed on the role Kevin Bacon originated), is similarly banged, but also sports a combed-down look.

EASY COME, EASY FLOW

Then: Farrah Fawcett, as a "Charlie's Angels" star, was a poster girl for streaming, gleaming, flaxen locks. Her classic poster, released in 1976 when the TV show premiered, remains an icon of the '70s.

Now: Jennifer Aniston, one of the "Friends" in the 1990s, still maintains her good-looking, long, layered, shoulder- or below-shoulder-length hair.

AND THEN, THE OTHERS

Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia had cinnamon-bun-sized coils on each side of her face (gleaming with mousse), often imitated at costume parties but not the favored office look. Still, memorable and identifiable.

Hugh Grant, of a decade-plus ago, maintained a mass of either straight or slightly curled mop that has prevailed as a trademark. More recently, the look is shorter and sanitized.

Conan O'Brien, the dethroned late-night talker, is carrot-topped with a 35-foot tidal wave of a mop.

Kate Gosselin, the reality show star, recently updated her look, saying adieu to the one that made her memorable: the Gosselin bob, an outdated bob with lopsided lengths supposedly easy to manage for a working mom of eight cutie kids.

Princess Diana, the beloved bride of Charles, maintained a coif copied and admired, a manageable cut that included slight bangs and occasionally, body waves.

Bill Haley, a 1950s icon known for his "Rock Around the Clock" hit, had a curl in the middle of his forehead.

Diana Ross, a hottie in the 1970s and '80s (as the focus of The Supremes and as a soloist), has varied her style over the two decades, from a Gosselin-like short bob to a small afro, but favored the whole-head-streaming of frizzy hair, glistening and flowing and framing her face like a rampant bird nest; in recent times, singer Rihanna has adopted the flowing locks style, with moderation.

And then there's bad hair day but that's another story.