I have before listed the many colors K-pop idols like to dye their hair but there’s more to K-pop hair than just color. K-pop idols typically have hair blessed by the gods: no matter how often they dye it, style it, and abuse it, it remains thick, glossy, and healthy. However, in K-pop idols’ misadventures with their hair, they sometimes experience truly horrendous hairstyles that shouldn’t grace anyone’s heads, let alone the heads of our favorite celebrities.

Here I bring to you my list of horrible hairstyles not uncommonly seen in K-pop.

Bad hairstyles, I believe, are a rite of passage in K-pop. The true purpose of them is to not be edgy, stylish, creative, or cute, but to emphasize the idol’s attractiveness. Simply put, if you still manage to look attractive with braided bangs, curled bangs, bizarre ponies, and so on, than you must be really attractive. Or you could be incredibly unlucky with a stylist that hates you. Either way, you’ll see an idol have a dumb hairstyle at one time or another. One common hairstyle that irks me is braided bangs. Not bangs that are French braided away from a girl’s face, but diagonally across her forehead. This hairstyle has always looked awkward to me. It’s eye-catching in the worst way, detracting from the girl’s lovely face and otherwise fine hair.

Aside from braided bangs there are curled bangs, which are just as bad. Rarely have I seen curled bangs that look cute – usually they look odd and frumpy. Poor SNSD’s Hyoyeon, forever a victim of bad hairstyling, had curled bangs during SNSD’s “Oh!” promotions. But curled and braided bangs aren’t even the worst hairstyling offense. Too-long bangs are more common and a personal pet-peeve of mine. Sometimes too-long bangs can look good, like when Super Junior’s Eunhyuk had them. They softened his angular facial features and made him look more attractive as a result. But usually when I see too-long bangs on an idol, I can’t help but wonder how they see. There’s nothing stylish about being blind or hiding your eyes using your hair. Idols, please keep your bangs trimmed. Bad hairstyling isn’t just exclusive to bangs. Every so often, I see what I like to refer to as “anime hair,” hair that is comically styled and looks like it came from an anime. See TVXQ circa “Tri-Angle” era for example. Anime hair is flat-out ridiculous and never flattering. It doesn’t make the idol look good, it makes the idol look like a caricature.  Luckily, anime hair isn’t as common in K-pop as it is in other Asian music industries, but it still rears its ugly head from time to time.

Next on my list of horrible hairstyles is bizarre pony-tails. K-pop hairstylists must love hairspray and hate gravity because they seem to enjoy manhandling an unfortunate idol’s hair into an extremely tight, extremely painful-looking ponytail. 2NE1’s Dara is well known for her bizarre ponytails – her stylists have yet to notice that she looks prettiest with her hair down – and they do add a fun, energetic element to her persona, but they’re unattractive, and they make her look childish. They need to go.

Then, there is the infamous hairstyle – the bowl cut. Perhaps I shouldn’t pick on bowl cuts, but seeing as how I and the rest of the world groans whenever an idol gets one, I don’t see why not. Bowl cuts possess a number of negative qualities: they’re unflattering, dorky, and sometimes a little funny-looking whenever they get too fluffy, making the wearer resemble a mushroom (ahem Taemin). Perhaps a bowl cut would suit a gag-man like Shindong but they’re the wrong way to go for an idol that wants to appear stylish.

Well, that’s my list of horrible hairstyles found in K-pop. What does your list look like?


(SM Entertainment, YG Entertainment)