The girls featured in the Japanese cartoons known as anime typically have hair that is fun to draw because it allows freedom of expression and the ability to create wacky hairstyles that would never work in real life. The character’s hair usually changes styles depending on the role of the character. The heroine of the story will often have a simple style, while the bad girl may have a wackier style or straight hair.
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Pigtails are always a good choice for anime characters seekin a youthful look. Pigtails give the character a sweet and charming vibe. Shojo manga (i.e., comics targeted at young girls and heavy on romance) and anime frequently use the pigtail style, although young characters in other animes may also have pigtails. Make the pigtails large and overly-dramatic to fit the true anime style.
Another popular hairstyle for anime girls is ridiculously long hair. This hair typically reaches the waist, knees, floor or even longer. Typically, this style is reserved for mythical characters or for those with magical powers. The long hair signifies mystery and knowledge. Use sweeping motions to give the impression that the hair is swirling in mystical wind.
Bouncy curls are another popular choice for shojo characters. The main character rarely has this hairstyle, but minor characters and supporting characters often do. Big, unnatural curls almost the size of the character's head gives a cartoonish effect to the character. Corkscrew curls will produce a similar effect.
One characteristic of almost every anime girl’s hair is that it constantly looks blown about by non-existent wind. Stray wisps always blow around the character’s head, especially during dramatic scenes. This is easily accomplished by drawing strands of hair blowing away from the face or across the face.
Serious anime female characters or realistic animes often feature girls with straight hair. Straight hair has little movement to it and it looks similar to realistically straight hair. Sometimes characters with straight hair have fringe or layers as well.
Almost all anime girls have large and chunky fringe. This is a hallmark of the anime style. Bangs can look semirealistic, if slightly larger than normal, or incredibly outrageous. There is really no limit to how fringe can look in anime. However, you can never go wrong with chunky or wispy fringe. The fringe almost always spring from the crown of the head at least several inches before falling to the side or over the face.
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