The wizarding world boasts a lot of eccentric looks, and you can actually tell a lot from the average Harry Potter character from their ’do. Take perfect prefect Percy Weasley’s neat crop – it’s the tidiest among his brothers and an indication he likes to play by the rules a little bit too much. Or his boss, the wicked, officious Bartemius Crouch, with an 'unnaturally straight' parting.
Minerva McGonagall’s tight bun, which 'looked as though she had never let her hair down in any sense', and the late Kendra Dumbledore’s swept-up style are both looks which reliably indicate the wearer is not someone to suffer fools.
On the other hand, if somebody is less meticulous in their ways, that too will be obvious in their tresses. Professor Pomona Sprout has no truck with personal grooming, toiling as she does in the greenhouses – hence her agreeably casual 'flyaway' look.
Similarly, Rubeus Hagrid, who spends a great deal of his working life with animals, wastes scant time at the mirror. One time the burly gamekeeper did make an effort – attempting to impress the visiting Madame Maxime with a liberal smear of what appeared to be axle grease – the results were more oily than alluring.
Nymphadora Tonks had the advantage of being able to change her barnet in a second, often opting for a lurid, bubblegum-coloured ‘do to go with her colourful personality and bad-ass Auror status.
Hair may also imply certain less-appealing traits too. Think of Dolores Umbridge’s mousy locks, held tightly in check by a twee, old-fashioned alice band. What is this, the 90s?
Or Rita Skeeter’s 'elaborate and curiously rigid curls', underscoring her preference for gaudy first impressions over fidelity to the truth. And while Gilderoy Lockhart’s golden waves won him legions of admirers, in light of his sad fate maybe he should have reevaluated his stated priorities: 'To rid the world of evil and market my own range of hair-care potions.'
Which isn’t to say hair care is to be dismissed. Most certainly not. Neglected hair is frequently – though not always entirely fairly – a useful indicator of a deeper malaise. Moaning Myrtle’s sullen demeanour isn’t helped by her 'lank' locks. Severus Snape’s bitterness and isolation are of a piece with his creepy, greasy 'curtains'.
Lush, lustrous locks represent youth, beauty and vitality. Would Fleur Delacour be as beguiling without her flickable, silvery blonde sweep, or would Firenze the centaur be as imposing without his? Though Hermione Granger’s mind was usually on other things, she knew the value of changing up her look when the occasion called for it, turning heads at the Yule Ball by teasing her usual bushy cut into a sleek, elegant knot. Love or hate them, the Malfoys’ sharply contoured ice-blond hair screams wealth, status and style.
A consistent theme ran through the Potter family: the equally rebellious Harry and James not only had a disregard for school rules, but also for kempt locks. The pair seemed to only be capable of growing a persistent bedhead look that could not be flattened by the most robust of hairbrushes.
Then there are the characters who rock having not-much hair. Kingsley Shacklebolt looks all the grander for his glossy pate. Arthur Weasley's thinning crown is a charming manifestation of a hard-working man who has raised seven kids. However, the folliculary-challenged He Who Must Not Be Named lets down the team somewhat.
So, after some wizarding world quick fixes for your barnet? Try some of these for some hair-spiration.
Severus Snape: Cut it yourself, and don’t wash. Ever.
Rubeus Hagrid: Do literally nothing with it for about four decades.
Nymphadora Tonks: Be a Metamorphmagus. Or dye your hair every single day for the rest of your life.
Draco Malfoy: Apply bleach and a sense of entitlement.
Kingsley Shacklebolt: A good razor. Plus a quiet regal dignity that can only come from within.