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So Much Larger Than Life: Television's Best Big Hair

By Cindy Davis | Lists | June 2, 2011 |

By Cindy Davis | Lists | June 2, 2011 |

We’re headed into summertime, y’all. Though it’s one of my favorite times of year—love the sunshine and the beach—my hair begins to take on a life of its own. As the humidity rises, my curls puff up, unfurling and expanding into an uncontrollable headdress. When I was a kid in school, I was extremely self-conscious about my hair and I longed for that shiny, straight hair that all the popular girls had. In my late teens and early twenties, when I was in the military I put my headgear to good use: I would blow dry the mop into a big, frizzy thing, then put on my hat for a good half hour to 45 minutes and voila! Flat, frizzy hair that I convinced myself looked good. Lordy, the things we chicks do. After some years, I finally just gave in and accepted my coarse curls and though sometimes I get a hankering for straight and smooth, my hair always reminds me it will win. It laughs at blow dryers (which are no longer allowed anywhere near my head), scoffs at flat irons and makes mincemeat of most hair products. Hats are still my friend, especially when it’s humid outside. Meanwhile, I always take note of people with big hair and I love when I see a great television character who embraces his or hers. Right now, I simply delight whenever I see Alex Kingston’s River Song and her beautiful, flowing curls that are allowed to run free, instead of being tamed into submission like most of television’s curly girls. Remember the first season of Seinfeld? Elaine Benes had a bit of a ridiculous hairdo (and clothes), but she let her hair be big and frizzy:


As the seasons passed, Elaine’s hair became more and more tame and flat. But, as they tell you when you’re a little kid, a life of people who all look the same can be pretty damned dull, so this list is to celebrate my fellow big-haired peeps. These characters are bigger than life in different ways, but what they have in common is hair that is who they are. They let it run free and wild and it adds that extra something to their personality; they wouldn’t be who they are without that big hair.

5. Roseanne Roseannadanna, “SNL”:

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4. Felicity Porter, “Felicity”:


3. Hugo (Hurley) Reyes, “Lost”:


2. River Song, “Doctor Who”:


1. Maurice Moss, “The It Crowd”:


(Note: No, I didn’t forget Kramer. I’m just so done with Michael Richards.)