Top 10 Samuel L. Jackson Movie Hairstyles

Published 2 years ago by This is a list post.

Samuel L. Jackson Movie Hairstyles

Samuel L. Jackson Oldboy Hairstyle (2013)Some actors transform themselves from role to role in ways a normal person could never imagine - be it weight gain, weight loss, the adoption of an accent, new posture or even lifestyle. But Samuel L. Jackson found a different way: his hairstyle.The next chance fans will have to gaze upon Jackson's chameleon-like scalp will be the upcoming Oldboy and RoboCop remakes. With that Oldboy yellow mohawk in mind, and RoboCop's first trailer showing him sporting a haircut that can only be described as 'running for president,' we thought a refresher on the history of Jackson's fictional locks was in order.Read on for our list of the Top 10 Samuel L. Jackson Hairstyles in Movies.

'The Elijah Price'

Samuel L Jackson Unbreakable HairAs Seen In: Unbreakable (2000)We should have known that when Jackson crossed paths with director M. Night Shyamalan the result would be unforgettable. While Unbreakable is certainly not saddled with the criticism of later Shyamalan films, Jackson's character 'Elijah Price' is memorable for several reasons; his hair chief among them.That immovable, unfaltering haircut is the signature of a man who's got more important things to worry about than style. Discovering whether superhumans are real is sure to be time-consuming, so we'll give him a pass. But we doubt that Shyamalan hoped that haircut would be the element of the film that most stuck with us.

'The Reverend'

Samuel L Jackson Great White Hype HairAs Seen In: The Great White Hype (1996)Although the film may not be as well-known as some on our list, Jackson's hairstyle for the film is among the most absurd. Playing boxing promoter 'Rev. Fred Sultan' - a clear reference to legendary promoter Don King - The Great White Hype dealt with the issues (and profitability) of racism in the world of heavyweight boxing, with Jackson's hair nearly as controversial in itself.Where Don King decided to send his hair skyward, Sultan went... a different direction. This 'grey caesar' hairstyle would look strange on anyone - a fact Jackson seemed aware of, since it's concealed beneath hats for much of the film. But in the scenes where it is shown for the world to enjoy, it is a sight to behold.

'The Derrick'

Samuel L Jackson The Man HairAs Seen In: The Man (2005)When picturing 'Samuel L. Jackson playing an ATF agent' one of the last hairstyles that come to mind will be 'a head full of mini twists.' Yet that's exactly what Jackson fans got with The Man (granted, the film co-starring Eugene Levy helps it make a bit more sense).Even if the hairstyle wasn't forgettable, the film largely was; there's also reason to believe that Jackson felt less fondly for the twists as he did for other hairstyles in his repertoire, considering it was the last we'd see of them. Still, the film proved that the actor can make just about any hairstyle seem badass if given the right facial hair to match.

'The Romulus'

Samuel L Jackson Cavemans Valentine HairAs Seen In: The Caveman's Valentine (2001)Jackson sporting an out-of-control beard and head full of dreadlocks may seem at home in a comedy, but both times the actor has donned the look - The Caveman's Valentine (2001) and later Resurrecting the Champ (2007) - the films in question weren't played for laughs.We don't know if it's coincidence that both characters were homeless, or in need of psychiatric evaluation, but the dreads certainly helped sell the idea. It's possible that Jackson prefers dirty dreads and a wild beard when playing someone on the fringes of society, but the results prove that audiences won't always line up to see the actor's hair.

'The Roman'

Samuel L Jackson Negotiator HairAs Seen In: The Negotiator (2000)As hostage negotiator 'Danny Roman,' a middle-aged police officer with a wife and family, audiences might expect a somewhat pedestrian haircut (he's no ATF agent, after all). And in The Negotiator, they essentially did. But if nothing else, Jackson's turn as the wrongfully-accused hero of the film showed that when Samuel L. Jackson chooses a hairstyle for his character, even 'normal' isn't always guaranteed to be normal.It's hard to say if Jackson thought: 'it's just normal hair, would it be unreasonable to dye it brown?' Viewers can debate the idea, but for us, it was hard to look away. Luckily, the film was a fairly solid, action-heavy thriller - but seeing Jackson in chocolate locks is unquestionably one of the reasons we watch the movie every time it appears on TV.

'The Elmo'

Samuel L Jackson Formula 51 HairAs Seen In: Formula 51 (2000)In hindsight, it seems a match made in heaven: Samuel L. Jackson, and corn rows. Truthfully, there are few actors we would trust to pull off the hairstyle without it seeming like they were trying to come off as more intimidating than they truly were. But in Formula 51, the chosen hairdo of 'Elmo McElroy' seemed right at home.That makes it one of the most exceptional instances of Jackson's method of 'hair-acting'; his role as the mind behind a new street drug may welcome the hair, but his education as a master chemist and fondness for golf? That's grounds for a boring haircut if we've ever heard of one. Who knows: maybe the corn rows and facial hair are just to distract people from the kilt.

'The Paladin'

Samuel L Jackson Jumper HairAs Seen In: Jumper (2008)There are controversial haircuts, and there are ridiculous ones. As the central antagonist in Jumper, Jackson's 'Roland Cox' defied the theory that deadly members of ancient organizations must be taken seriously. That was due almost entirely to his close-cropped, whitened hair.We're willing to suspend our disbelief when it comes to teleporting, but expecting us to believe that every single hair on Cox's head went completely white while his goatee clings to color is too much. The sticking point for Jumper is that the hairstyle might have actually worked in another film, on another character; but to put it atop a character supposed to be taken seriously was asking too much. The movie may still have its fans, but Cox's locks sure don't.

'The Jules'

Samuel L Jackson Pulp Fiction HairAs Seen In: Pulp Fiction (1994)There's no way we couldn't pay special tribute to one of Jackson's greatest onscreen hairdos. Strange to think that director Quentin Tarantino had originally written Pulp Fiction's fast-talking hitman 'Jules Winfield' as bearing a sizable afro - it was only luck that the now-infamous Jheri curl wig made its way on set.In hindsight, a massive afro on the Bible-quoting Jules next to the long-haired Travolta might have pushed the duo into pure farce; but the Jheri curl showed that Jules was a man who did what he pleased, regardless of what society thought. Surprisingly, Jackson's memorable performance didn't lead to a resurgence in the hairstyle. Jackson proved that no one could ever again compete with the style he brought to a head full of curls.

'The Ordell'

Samuel L Jackson Jackie Brown HairAs Seen In: Jackie Brown (2000)It may be the only film of Quentin Tarantino's that he didn't also write, but Jackie Brown still gave Samuel L. Jackson the chance to create the look of his own character, 'Ordell Robbie.' Injecting some of his own interests - the Kangol hats and Toronto Raptors bag - Jackson decided to not only give Ordell shoulder-length brown hair, but a braided, bearded goatee to go along with it.More than any other, Ordell's hairstyle actually makes a case for Jackson being onto something with his practice of hair-switching. There isn't that much of a difference between Ordell and several other roles Jackson has performed - but with that ponytail and goatee, we'll never mistake him for anyone else.

'The Soul Man'

Samuel L Jackson Soul Men HairAs Seen In: Soul Men (2008)It's hard to recommend anyone go out of their way to watch Soul Men (aside from it being Bernie Mac's last role), but in the world of Samuel L. Jackson's hair, it's a marathon. Some of the entries on our list have featured one odd look, but in this chronicling of of two former backup singers, 'Louis Hinds' doesn't have to settle on just one.Afros, ponytails, braids and more find their way into Hinds' repertoire over the course of the film, offering something of a crash-course in Jackson's hair history. It's a shame the film itself isn't particularly memorable, but maybe there's a lesson to be learned: when it comes to Samuel L. Jackson and his hair, it's more important to think of quality, not quantity.


Samuel L Jackson Hairstyles ListAny actor with a resumé as long as Samuel L. Jackson has ranked up plenty of both memorable and forgettable roles, but his hairstyle seems to compensate for a losing picture as best it can.There are sure to be some memorable hairdo's that we have left off the list, so which ones do you hold most dear? Or will you take the controversial stance that a hairless Jackson is the best of the bunch?We'll see where the 'professional wrestler' and 'country club' looks land in our list when Oldboy releases Nov. 27, 2013 and RoboCop on Feb. 7, 2014._____Follow me on Twitter @andrew_dyce.
TAGS: oldboy, robocop


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  1. Can’t believe you guys actually did this :) Slow news week huh?

    • +1 hahahaha

    • +1
      Hahaha I shoulda known they’d end up actually doing it.

    • Around here, this is what passes for FUN. ;-)

      • Lol. I just listened to this segment on the podcast and here it is. Hilarious.

    • Haha, my thoughts exactly: “As heard on the podcast”. :D

      • :D

    • It was a must-do for me behind-the-scenes, lol

  2. I can’t believe Black Snake Moan didn’t make the cut.

  3. I wasnt sure Dyce would do it but I heard Kofi mention it on the podcast and I was waiting for it.

  4. Hey Kofi, where’s the list of top 5 roles Idris Elba should play?

  5. No matter the hair he wears he’s always Samuel L. Jackson.

  6. Next. Nic Cage. Do it.

  7. I have always wondered why the brown hair in the “The Negociator”. As you have mentionned, He has adopted different hairdo and the one from oldboy might be, at least for me, the one I love best. The jheri curl was memorable because of who he was in the movie but was very outdated at the time. I think, imho, that is the reason it never came back… I do not think it will ever come back. The “Fro” represents a statement now.
    I have witnessed his different hairstyles but never really took my time to go over them at once.
    Samuel will be remembered! :)

  8. he shud always have an afro puff

  9. So, we are to believe Samuel Jackson makes all the decisions regarding his character’s appearance? Wouldn’t that be the job of the costume designer and make up team?

  10. Thought I could take a break from my American History homework (studying mid 1800′s right now) with a nice trip on over to screenrant.
    “hey look they did that Samuel L. hairdo piece they were joking about in the podcast! What a fun distraction from homework!”
    *click on first entry*
    Boom! Samuel L. Jackson rockin the Frederick Douglass hair. Kofi knows what I should be doing…

    haha excellent article! :)

    • Oops. Sorry Andrew, it is YOU who know what I need to be doing.

  11. Why is Jackson wearing my scrubby for doing dishes on his head? Or is that a yellow sanitary napkin pad?

  12. Oh my… this is hairy.. I mean very intersting ;)

  13. Hmmmf, No Jackie Brown – Ordell?

  14. I’m curious…seeing as he’s been signed to play Sho’Nuff in the remake of Berry Gordy’s “The Last Dragon”, will he wear the hairstyle worn by the late Julius J. Carry, who played the role in the original? Also, is there any further news on casting/release of this remake?