I have thoughts about hair, always. There is never a moment where I am not thinking critically about other people’s hair, probably because mine is a chemically damaged rat’s nest and a lost cause and I have to live vicariously. Additionally, I have many thoughts about the Harry Potter movies. Some of these thoughts are not strictly related to hair, but most of them are.
You can talk about CGI dragons and dialogue and film scores all you want, but I? I will be talking about hair. I will also be ranking the films from best to worst insofar as hair is concerned, so buckle up.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Prisoner of Azkaban was the Golden Age of Hair. For instance, look at Harry. His unruly tresses manage to convey a certain Jamesish level of disregard for both conventional hair standards and also the laws of gravity while still allowing us a peak of that iconic lightning-bolt scar. How does hair even do that? I can only assume the answer is dark magic, because modern science just isn’t there yet. Harry’s hair in this film is amazing, and incredible. It cured my existential dread.
Draco’s hair looks like he went at it with a flat-iron, even though it was already straight, and Ron’s is adequate levels of red. All of this was very, very good.
Hermione’s is beginning to look a bit polished, yes, but it’s still curly and just frizzy enough that it gave me hope that my hair could also do that, with time and patience and also possibly a blood ritual.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Look at these baby-faced rabble-rousers. Harry’s hair was a little too tidy for my liking (you expect me to believe Uncle Vernon was constantly having problems with that immaculate mop?), but the canonical bushy disaster that was Hermione’s more than made up for it.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
I have no problems with the hair in Chamber of Secrets. It predates (and directly contributes to) the Golden Age of Hair, just as the Renaissance would ultimately give way to the scientific revolution.
This is not the time or the place to talk about how magnificent the casting of Gilderoy Lockhart was, so I decided to just use this image and be done with it.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Here is where the cracks in the veneer begin to show. Here is where things take a turn. Harry’s hair was perfectly adequate, I suppose, and Draco’s was a hot mess of fine, but Hermione’s? Even when her hair is supposed to be frizzy, it still looks so good I would murder my entire family just to have it for one day.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Deathly Hallows Parts 1 and 2 are, for all intents and hair-related purposes, the same movie, and I will be treating them as such.
That said, I will make no secret of the fact that I am in love with Emma Watson. Looking at her is like looking into the sun and I think we would be great together, if she were to lower her standards a bit and if I were to become the kind of person that does not eat food in bed and then fall asleep on crumb-laden sheets. Her hair, however? It’s too good. It’s too pristine. I don’t want this criticism to ruin my chances with her, but the fact of the matter is that it always blew people’s minds to see Hermione do her hair for a ball or wedding; this doesn’t have quite the same effect if her hair looks like that ACTUALLY ALL THE TIME.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
I have this theory that nobody cared what Ron’s hair was doing from Goblet of Fire onward because Hermione’s looked good enough for the both of them. Look, I don’t blame the filmmakers. They did the best they could. Emma Watson’s hair was like a shining beacon of hope in the darkness of chaos. I’m sure they tried to give it some floof, some volume, some split ends—something—but within seconds her flowing caramel-covered locks had reverted to their natural state, which was perfection. Eventually, the make-up crew—haggard, exhausted, disillusioned— were forced to admit defeat.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
This is a crime. I’m sorry; some of you may not feel as strongly about this as I do, but I have the floor right now and I’m going to beam my garbage opinions straight into your brains whether you like it or not.
Let us first analyze the imploding fuzz coif perched atop Harry’s cranium. It is too large. It is an atrocity. From there, it only gets worse. I have known boys who looked like Neville, and all of them made farting noises with their armpits. I understand that they are fourteen and fifteen years old. We were all doing stupid things with our hair when we were fourteen and fifteen years old. I, for instance, had highlights and was using a lot of gel. But everyone in the Goblet of Fire movie seems to be operating under the same mass delusion that your hair is supposed to devour your whole head.
The only explanation I have for this is that the hair and make-up department had been infiltrated by the lizard people, who traditionally know very little about hair. It was a dark time in our history, that. Not even Emma Watson’s perfect curls could save us.