Lunatic fringes: Even the most well-groomed stars can have a bad hair day

Donald Trump's comb-over malfunction marred a return to his ancestral home this week. But anyone can have a bad hair day
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The Independent Online

Bad hair days are like bad curries – we've all had them but they're best avoided. At times, bad hair days are an unhappy and unstoppable result of forces of nature – wind, rain, water and, er, fire have all been known to play havoc with the most soignée of us. Failing that, there is the denial factor: baldness, greyness, curliness, straightness – if ever there was a surefire way to mess with perfection (or the lack of it), then the ill-advised cutting, dying, combing or perming of hair must surely be it. No one is immune – everyone from Nick Cave and Sean Penn to Nicole Kidman and Elizabeth Taylor has had their moments. Think of poor Britney.

With this in mind, laugh in the face of even the most heinous of hair days, safe in the knowledge that everyone else will surely be doing just the same.

Peroxide Medusa

Marie Antoinette meets Footballers' Wives' Zoe Lucker. What has happened to Sharon Stone? As if the tumbling mane of peroxide blond curls wasn't itself an extreme enough statement, the gold lipstick seals it. Look; even she's laughing.

Centrist strategy

He's tried it on the left, and on the right, and now it's in the middle. While women who change their hair on a regular basis are to be admired for their devil-may-care approach to their own physical appearance, for men it is never a signifier of anything but indecision and weakness. More importantly, whatever David Cameron does with his hair, he still looks like somebody who works for Foxtons.

Roots manoeuvre

Some rules are made to be broken, and the supposedly unappealing nature of dark roots showing through blond hair is one of them. Madonna is, of course, the poster girl where this look is concerned, and it's safe to assume that it's not because she can't afford a colourist. Instead, read this one as the mark of rebellion, as every blonde icon in recent (and not so recent) history will be quick to testify. Catherine Deneuve, Debbie Harry, Agyness Deyn... the list goes on.

Live and let dye

Good for a vegetarian, frankly dismal for a man over 40. If ever there was a tell-tale sign of a mid-life crisis, McCartney's aubergine rinse must have been it. Has he not seen Death in Venice? In the end, however, this one made him look more like Cliff Richard than the lovelorn Dirk Bogarde with inky black hair-dye running down his face in Visconti's masterpiece of a film.

Taylforth tribute

You can take the girl out of Croydon... Whisper it, but isn't Kate Moss's straw-blond, fringed moment more Gillian Taylforth than Daryl Hannah circa Blade Runner? Blasphemous as it may be in fashion circles to even think of criticising the world's most famous model/yummy mummy/rock chick (delete where appropriate) this snip-and-dye 'do was never going to be the best way forward.

The pour-over

Fiona Shackleton has been immortalised as the woman given a soaking by Heather Mills when the latter poured water over her head in the now-legendary Mucca versus Macca divorce case. Shackleton came out smiling, but, generally, this is a style not to be worn outside the bathroom.

White mischief

This one's not so much a bad hair day as a bad hair life. Big, blond and really quite horribly fluffy, Boris Johnson's hair is verily a law unto itself. Bearing this in mind, his hair would probably have been preferable as mayor of London to the man himself.

Shock-horror suedehead

When Natalie Portman shaved her head for a role in the sci-fi thriller V For Vendetta, some said she looked more like Matt Lucas's big baby than Sinead O'Connor. Or should that be Telly Savalas? In fact, Portman is simply the most recent in a long line of celebrated names – Demi Moore and Sigourney Weaver among them – who saw the move, not even remotely in the manner of a rocket scientist, as some kind of feminist statement. "Some people will think that I'm a neo-Nazi or that I have cancer or I'm a lesbian," Portman trilled at the time, establishing herself as about as right-on as a crocodile-skin handbag. "What are the scores, Natalie Dawes?"


Do not try this at home. Christopher Walken's vertical hair gives new meaning to the term "up do". The actor looks as if he's back-combed it while hanging upside down – like a bat. Strange, sinister and entirely sensational, Walken is the only person on planet earth who could ever pull it off, whether he's playing a drug baron in Abel Ferrera's cult classic King of New York or putting a whole new spin on the the tale of the three little pigs: "Bye bye piggy. Buongiorno salami!" We are not worthy.