Hayley Williams’ New ‘Do And Other Notable Hair-Tastrophes

Paramore's Hayley Williams

Traditionally, the week between Christmas and New Years is what’s known as a “dead zone” around here, primarily because, well, the music industry usually takes that week off too. Still, we in the news business still need to generate content, so we tend to publish “evergreen” stories that might be light on actual news, but still feature artists that people care about in the headlines.

Anyway, here’s a prime example of one: A light story about Paramore working on their new album, which we published early in the morning on December 29 and did not have big expectations for. But here’s what’s funny — sometime around New Year’s Eve, this tiny Paramore story became a very big deal. Or, at least the picture associated with it did.

Seems that, to most Paramore fans, the picture gave them their first glimpse at frontwoman Hayley Williams’ new two-tone hairdo. The ‘do became a rather contentious subject on sites like AbsolutePunk and Oh No They Didn’t!, with the overwhelming majority of commenters giving it a resounding thumbs down (though some went to great lengths to point out that, despite the fact they didn’t like Williams’ new hairstyle, they would, for the record, “still hit it”). And in the days since, the chatter has yet to die down, which means that: a) people have a lot of free time on their hands, b) this is clearly a big deal, and c) we needed to do a blog listing some of the most disastrous hairstyles in history.

So, after the jump, we’ve done just that — compiled a list of some of the hugest hair-tastrophes of all time. Does Williams’ new skunk-do rank amongst the very worst? Read on.

1. Keri Russell’s de-shearing on “Felicity” — You may not remember, but back in 2000, Russell and her hair were big news: When she cut her impossibly curly locks into a face-framing ‘do, ratings on “Felicity” plummeted. Suits at the WB (which aired the show) went on record as saying, “When [she] cut the hair off … you diluted the icon … it turned some audience away, in particular men and some women.” Show producer J.J. Abrams claimed that “Felicity” would be able to recover from the so-called “Hair-gate,” but within two years, the show was off the air. Proof that hair is very serious business indeed.

2. Phil Spector’s courtroom Afro — While on trial for the murder of actress Lana Clarkson in 2007 (a trial that, after jurors deadlocked on a verdict, continues to this day), Spector sported this impressive ‘fro, which made the rounds on the Net and sparked a wave of “that has to be Photoshopped” comments. Incredibly, it wasn’t. More incredibly, the hairdo was a bigger story than Spector beating a murder wrap. Well, either “incredible” or “depressing.”

3. David Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust” mulletBowie’s ’72 ‘do was groundbreaking (and awful) for several reasons — the color, the feathering, the fact that it was the prototype for millions of Kentucky Waterfalls and/or NASCUTS that would follow — but we’d like to point out that it has somehow also become the go-to cut for weird aunts and women in oversized cat T-shirts the world over, proof that Bowie’s popularity truly knows no bounds.

4. Amy Winehouse’s beehive — We’re willing to cut Winehouse a break, primarily because there is a 75 percent chance that she has no idea where she is, let alone what her hair looks like, but her towering beehive makes the list not just because it inspired thousands of stupid Halloween costumes, but because we shudder to think of just what’s hiding inside it (squirrels? Drugs? Bla-a-ake?). Also, imagine the smell.

5. The Flock of Seagulls swoop — A ‘do so bad, it became symbolic of an entire decade’s worth of terrible hairstyles. An impossible amalgamation of Aqua Net and gravity-defying physics, it’s also gone down in history as Seagulls frontman Mike Score’s greatest contribution to popular culture. Well, either that or “I Ran (So Far Away).”

6. The Bill Kaulitz — Epically spiked. Environmentally unfriendly. Aerodynamically unsound. Bizarrely anime-esque. The greatest hair achievement of the ’00s.