I will instantly assume that ponytails and their kin (very grabbable) and long hair in general (see: impractical capes) are not the best hairstyles of choice for characters wanting to fight.

I'm writing a cyberpunk/space opera setting (a little of both) focusing a lot on fighting (of the spy and mercenary kind, less so than outright military action, so there's often more close quarters combat with fists and knives and blades than outright gunfights).

While I am inclined to follow the Rule of Cool and I don't want every character to have short and plain hairstyles, I prefer avoiding the most obviously impractical hairstyles for someone who does a lot of fighting.

So: What kind of hairstyles are an absolute no-go for someone who wants to fight a lot, a little with guns but a lot of melee combat - from a practical point of view?


closed as off-topic by bilbo_pingouin, JDługosz, Scott Downey, HDE 226868, JDSweetBeat Aug 31 '15 at 13:02

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This question does not appear to be about worldbuilding, within the scope defined in the help center." – bilbo_pingouin, JDługosz, Scott Downey, HDE 226868, JDSweetBeat
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ So are you asking about practical hairstyles (as in your title) or about absolutely impractical (as in your last paragraph)? $\endgroup$ – Kreiri Aug 31 '15 at 9:58
  • $\begingroup$ Long wispy hair dyed orange, blue or green, completely obscuring at least one eye at all times, always ready to obscure the other eye in case of a quick head movement. $\endgroup$ – Headcrab Aug 26 '16 at 3:53

All combatants should wear a number of these on their wrists. these

As soon as there is even a hint of trouble they deploy them.

I have noticed that women can do this remarkably quickly and change styles in a matter of seconds.

All serious fighters would practise the art of instant hair-management as part of their training. It would be as important as a quick draw with a gun or a blade.

  • $\begingroup$ How would that help? A ponytail is as easy to grab as loose hair, maybe more easily so because you'll give a better grip. $\endgroup$ – Erik Aug 31 '15 at 12:31
  • $\begingroup$ I wasn't suggesting a ponytail. When I have time I'll research what hairstyles would be best. $\endgroup$ – chasly from UK Aug 31 '15 at 12:39
  • $\begingroup$ Which reminds me of this "Hello Cthulhu" episode: hello-cthulhu.com/?date=2003-12-01 $\endgroup$ – Headcrab Aug 26 '16 at 3:48

In fact a short ponytail/plait is not so bad to protect your neck, Gallics had horse hair tied to their helmets because hair is a quite good protection against blades (not as good as metal, of course, but lighter and more flexible). Of course your ennemy can grab it (if he reaches your neck with his hand, wich is already not a good thing in a blade fight without any protection...)

You don't want hair in your eyes and you don't want very long things floating around you that your ennemi could grab, but samouraïs had buns, gallics had braids, and I can't see anything bad in a fight with buns/braids/ponytails if they are short enough or well tied near your head.

I you want long fancy hair there is no problem as long as you hide them in a hat/hood like medieval fighters (even without helmet, but you can imagine something less ugly !)

enter image description here


Big no is anything that can fly into your face/eyes and obscure your vision.

So popular hairstyles will not be just letting it down (unless they are relaxing in a safe location). Instead buns and braids will be the order of the day.

In undercover operations (fancy parties and such) you have an excuse for elaborate up-dos.


In principle very much is possible, just not during combat. It should not hinder you during combat, i.e. stay free of your eyes and not provide anything to grab. So:

  • as long as it's short, it's okay
  • if it's long enough to obscure your vision or provide something an opponent can grab: (adjust choice according to situation)
    • bandanas
    • hair ties
    • head scarves
    • kerchiefs
    • alice bands
    • hair pins

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.