Log in

No account? Create an account
30 December 2008 @ 11:33 am
You didn't think I'd do it, did you?  
I threatened that I would do this, and I usually make good on my threats, although some of them I don't actually follow through. However, when Sam Winchester and his Fluffy (Most of the Time) Follicles are concerned, there is no question that I would make good on it.

I've thought long and hard about this - probably more than most would consider healthy - and decided it was time for *drumroll* ....

Meta Discussion on Sam's Hair.

{insert cheesy logo here ... sorry I didn't have time to make one. But if anyone wants to contribute, feel free to do so :D}

Oh I've seen various picspams here and there on LJ, little discussions about it on a message board or two. But no actual *meta discussion*. Who knows, there might be some that I just haven't found (and if you know of any and could point them out to me, I'd be very grateful *g*). But I thought I'd throw my hat into the ring and try it myself.

I don't know how good this is going to be. I'm not really a meta veteran here on LJ. I've done one meta for another fandom last year but that's it. This might not be as thorough and detailed as it could be. BUT it has visual aids!!! *bounces* And if you have anything to add, anything I've missed that you think should be brought up, let me know and I'll happily add it.

So thus beginneth the meta discussion ....

The Evolution of Sam WInchester's Hair Part 1, a mediocre meta on an exhaustively researched topic by Jess aka jessm78


(I'm going to skip mentioning Wee!Sam hair 'cause it's not really very important to the points I'm going to bring up. I'll just give a quick run down of it.... Wee!Sam when we first saw him with hair around age 7 or so had a dark, somewhat wavy mop of hair, which seemingly got lighter over the next couple of years until it was a more medium brown and looked straighter, with SammyBangs. So, yeah, that's about it)

Okay. Let's start with the Pilot. As you can see in the pic above, Sam's hair is pretty floppy and in a sort of "boy band" style with longish bangs parted in front and mainly off his face. It goes well with his college boy persona. The fairly normal life he's living going to school and being with his girlfriend. The similarities to Dean Forrester on Gilmore Girls are striking (well... probably because Jared had just finished up his stint on the show around this time *g* ... I think he'd filmed his final appearance not too long before they started shooting the SPN pilot). Anyway, the hair looks fairly well-kept and neat.

Even when he's in the middle of battling a psycho killer ghost.

But this changes a lot by the next episode.

It's still on the neat side even if differently styled at the beginning of Wendigo when Sam is at Jess' grave. Later on, though...

... His hair gets pretty wild and unruly, and his bangs are covering his forehead. Not only does this symbolize how things are starting to get messed up for him in terms of losing Jess and getting dragged into the hunting world, but it almost makes him look younger and more vulnerable (especially concerning the bangs). It's as if Sam is so lost and upset that he doesn't really care too much about keeping his hair neat, something which will be revisted later on. Although I have to wonder if, during the passage of time between filming the pilot and this episode, Jared did something different with his hair for which they had to compensate. *shrugs* Who knows...

Over the next few episodes, his hair doesn't change much aside from being maybe a bit shorter and kept a bit more neatly. It's as if he's trying to keep just a bit of semblance of order and perhaps trying to keep living as normal a life as possible, even given the fact that he and Dean are hunting all that which is evil. He's still not totally accepting that this is a huge part of his life is what I'm trying to say, I guess.

Again, his hair doesn't change too much (although it looks more unruly again in Hook Man, which I understand they started filming after Wendigo but a handful of reshoots made them push it back in the airing schedule). It gets slightly longer around Skin, especially the bangs and the flicky curls, but for the most part Sam keeps it pretty well-kept.

By Home, he seems to have cut it a bit (the bangs definitely appear to have been trimmed); again, probably trying to keep it up to keep some semblance of order and normalcy in his life, as if he's still not totally accepting that he's been thrown into this job full-time.

And you just KNOW I had to include this pic in here. What is *any* Sammy picspam without it? He's just so dang cute!!

*ahem* Anyway ....

And again the hair stays pretty much the same over the next few episodes, although the flicky bits seem to get a little longer and more... flicky...

Which brings us to something else ... There are two instances in this season, in back to back episodes, where Sam tries to make his hair appear even neater and more under control. He tries to smooth his hair down and back, and part his bangs to get them off his face. They occur when he and Dean are in disguise, of course (and with much relief... *g*). First instance is in Nightmare when they are posing as priests ...

And in The Benders when they are posing as sheriffs ...

The Benders is also where Sam's hair looks like it's starting to become more unruly.  His bangs are longer and his flicky bits stick out more ...

This is especially easy to see in the next episode, Shadow...


His hair pretty much stays this way through the next few episodes, although sometimes it looks longer and/or flatter than usual, I guess depending on how they style Jared's hair.

(here in Hell House, for example, his hair looks flatter and straighter in the second picture than it does in the first. I guess humidity wreaks havoc on Sammy's hair as well ... or maybe he was experimenting with a new shampoo.  Heh.)

It was mostly nice and bouncy in Something Wicked, but then in Provenance it's back to being rather long and flat most times

You can see above in Dead Man's Blood that although his hair is quite long it hasn't really gotten out of control.  But that starts to change in Salvation and Devil's Trap. Sam's hair gets quite unruly, sticking out and at times looking almost dirty.  His bangs are long, uneven and strewn about when they're not in his eyes...

It's easy to see that the way his hair looks is obviously not one of Sam's main concerns.  Basically he's now confirmed that the hunting life is his; he is totally immersed within it, and his hair reflects that.  It's no longer neat and well-kept because he is too busy hunting this demon that killed his mother and girlfriend to care much about what he looks like.  We leave season 1 with a cliffhanger, and when we pick up again the hair is kept pretty much the same in the next two episodes...


Interestingly in IMTOD, not only is Sam's hair still unruly and sticking out in clumps (like in the last 2 eps), but it also looks like it has blood caked in it, at least from the way it sticks out - which is understandable given the accident at the end of Devil's Trap.  But the funny thing is that Sam obviously changes out of the clothes he was wearing (the bloody shirt and jacket) into new ones.  You'd think he'd have showered (presumably at Bobby's place), but yet his hair still looks like it's caked with blood.  Guess Sammy was too distraught over Dean to wash his hair? lol

And if you thought it was messy in that episode, just wait until the next one...

Everybody Loves a Clown has got to be the gold standard of messy, flicky SamHair. *nods*  By this episode the hair was so long, sticking out, flopping in his eyes, taking on a life of its own (as in the third pic... heee.. sorry Sammy, you know I love your hair *g*).  I've heard people say that it reflected all he was going through at the time, all of his inner turmoil.  I can't help but agree.  He'd nearly lost Dean and on top of that, he's lost Dad.  He had to confront his own demons regarding John while at the same time, wanting Dean to come clean and get his feelings out.  He was lost and quite vulnerable.  It totally suited him in this episode, IMHO .. no matter how crazy it looked at times.  It also holds a special place in my heart as the last episode of The Bangs (or as I affectionately refer to them as the PuppyMop in my Puppy!Sam picspams). 

Speaking of which ...  The next episode may be thought of as the dawn of a new era (heh... I actually typed "error" at first... Freudian slip, anyone?) of SamHair.

For Bloodlust is the episode in which the bangs are forthwith banished and Sam's six  five forehead becomes a regular character.  Oh, The Bangs make a guest appearance in the final scene of the episode, but after that they go on a more or less permanent hiatus (although they do try to creep in here and there).  What could be the reason for this?  It could be that either Jared or the makeup/hair people got tired of maintaining The Bangs, or that it was done simply to make Sam look more mature.  I tend to think that had a large part in it.  Over the next few episodes we see Dean struggling with his emotions regarding John's death and Sam almost takes on the role of big brother to him, as if he's trying to keep Dean in check.  He could also be trying to move past his own grief and get some semblance of order back by taking better care of his hair and wearing it more neatly.

But still ....   *holds a moment of silence in remembrance of The Bangs*

Moving on... over the next handful of episodes, Sam's hair pretty much stays like this.  It's got all the body and length that it did earlier, but he's restrained the bangs for the most part and tried to keep it looking more orderly.  Only thing is that the front sometimes looks a bit greasy as if he's stuck a ton of product in it ...

And right around the time of Crossroad Blues, his hair starts looking a little less ... big (for lack of a better word).  It doesn't change much although some of the flickiness returns in Playthings.

Not much changes through Born Under a Bad Sign, except that maybe his hair tends to look a bit straighter at times.  And in BUABS we can see how long the bangs have gotten.  Yep, there's no going back now ...

Again, no earth-shattering changes from Tall Tales all the way up until the end of the season.  It's only around this time that his hair really starts getting very flicky, especially at the sides. Something we see even into most of the next season.  It's also on the long side again, but it's pretty well kept.

I really don't have much more to say on his hair, so I'll just finish with a few more visual aids.  He is looking quite pretty, so why not? *g*

That's about all I have.  I'm going to continue with seasons 3 and 4 in a new post.  This is already long enough.  I guess to sum up, Sam started out in the series with a neater, more clean-cut look but as he got dragged further into the world of hunting and wanting to avenge the death of his mother and girlfriend, he didn't care so much about keeping up appearances and thus his hair got wilder and more out of control.  He pretty much hit rock bottom in IMTOD and ELAC, but after that it was as if he wanted to be strong for his brother in helping him deal with Dad's death, so he cleaned up a little and took better care of his hair.  After a while I think he just got used to having that way (at least as far as parting the hair and having the bangs off his forehead).

I hope you enjoyed this little discussion and, again, if you have anything to add please let me know. 

Further reading:

Sam's Hair - A picspam (covers season 1 with speculations of season 2 in comments)
Sam's hair and how it changes, part 1 (picspam covering season 1)
Sam's hair and how it changes, part 2 (picspam covering season 2)
NEW (added 9/25/09): The Enigma of Sam Winchester's Hair

If you'd like to add tot this list, feel free.  I  also wish to give props to Supernatural-Fat-Cat and nig.honey from the supernatural.tv forum for some of their random insight into the SamHair.
Current Mood: dorkydorky
misutakimisutaki on December 30th, 2008 06:08 pm (UTC)
BRING BACK BANGS IN FOREHEAD SAM! Serial sam is not fun :( lol
jessm78: Supernatural: Sam in ELAC (jessm78 on December 30th, 2008 08:34 pm (UTC)
CaptainLon: MysteriousSleepcaptainlon on December 30th, 2008 06:29 pm (UTC)
GIMME GIMME GIMME a bigger version of the last Shadow photo! LOL. I can't download the photos :P
I hate the mop actually. It bugs the hell out of me -_- It looks horrible if you ask me, but there is some episodes where I like it (Benders, Shadow, Skin, IMTOD and EBLAC)

Wiii can't wait for season 3 and 4 post hehe
As you may have understood, I much more prefer the hair he has now... you know, not mop lol.
jessm78: Supernatural: Sam in BDBRjessm78 on December 30th, 2008 08:43 pm (UTC)
Aww sorry about that! Here ya go, hon :D

Yeah, season 1 mop is ... very early PuppyMop. Heh... I do like it a lot in those episodes though (Benders, Shadow, Skin, IMTOD and ELAC)

I will be posting it in the next hour or so :)

LOL, yep I know what you like! :D
batgurl10batgurl10 on December 30th, 2008 07:06 pm (UTC)
I have to admit to being a huge fan of the bangs! I DK why...
makes him look younger def.

Dont like the parted in the middle look it reminds me of that kid alfalfa...lol.

BUT however sammy wears his hair, we LOVE HIM!
jessm78: Sam smiling in Salvationjessm78 on December 30th, 2008 08:45 pm (UTC)
Same here! I think that is part of the reason why... they make him look younger, maybe a little more vulnerable, too.

LOL... I'm not too crazy about it when it is pushed too far off his face like that!

Cincakiscinca on December 30th, 2008 07:39 pm (UTC)
I loved this. I love Sam's hair and miss the bangs aka the puppymop. Great meta hun, looking forward to the next part.
jessm78: Supernatural: Sam in BDBRjessm78 on December 30th, 2008 08:40 pm (UTC)
Thanks hon! I'm glad you liked it. :) I really miss the bangs too.

I'll be posting the next part in an hour or two.
<3: season 4 samevermcfearless on December 30th, 2008 08:04 pm (UTC)
I love the way you think. I thought I was the only one who thought Jared's six five forehead , was Ginormous.

And your "flicky bits" had me cracking up. I really liked Sam's hair in the first season. I LOVE the bangs, but I don't think they can bring them back now, sadly. But his season 4 hair looks pretty good, so far. I saw a recent picture of him and his hair is a lot shorter, like dean forester short.
jessm78: Jared Padalecki: Scream Awards 2008jessm78 on December 30th, 2008 08:37 pm (UTC)
Hee... thanks :D Yep, ginormous describes it perfectly.

I really miss the bangs, too, but I agree with you. Even though it's sometimes a secret wish of mine, I don't think they could bring them back either. The way his face has changed from all the bulking up he's done, he probably wouldn't be able to pull them off. I kinda like the season 4 hair too, although not too much when it's plastered down and pushed back behind his ears. Yeah, I saw some pics of him from the past two days and the hair looked different. I noticed he had it mostly pushed back. It will be interesting to see if he keeps it like that on the show and if they explain it away somehow... not that I'm counting on it, lol

Edited at 2008-12-30 11:49 pm (UTC)
Meghan: sleeppeach_megumi on December 30th, 2008 08:28 pm (UTC)
:-) this made me smile. definitely what i needed today!

i definitely prefer bangtastic!puppymop to bangless!puppymop. it's more endearing of a look.
jessm78: Sam smiling in Salvationjessm78 on December 30th, 2008 08:38 pm (UTC)
Aww I'm so glad I made you smile, hon! *hugs* :)

Same here. It makes him look so young and adorable.
what: PadaHotsuperfire on December 30th, 2008 08:42 pm (UTC)
I've been making my way through Season One and have been noticing the changes. I watched Provenance tonight, and I like it best then :DD

jessm78: Supernatural: Sam in ELAC (jessm78 on December 31st, 2008 01:19 am (UTC)
The changes are amazing, aren't they? I've been rewatching season one in a marathon and just watched Dead Man's Blood last night. Some incredible hair in Provenance :D

I &hearts the bangs!!
unatral_kreatur: kooti pie!unatral_kreatur on December 31st, 2008 03:55 am (UTC)
hehe luv the bangs!
(btw luv the emotion thing at the bottom. luv stargate!)
<3 maxx
jessm78: Supernatural: Sam in ELAC (jessm78 on December 31st, 2008 04:28 pm (UTC)

love me some bangs! :D

Thank you hon! Stargate was my first online obsession, lol

ckll: pic#jaredlollipopckll on December 31st, 2008 05:52 am (UTC)
Shadow, Benders and provenance are the best hair for Sam
jessm78: Sam smiling in Salvationjessm78 on December 31st, 2008 04:29 pm (UTC)

I love his hair in those episodes :D
patriciagissel1patriciagissel1 on January 1st, 2009 06:09 am (UTC)
Sam's hair

Hi, Jess, how are you doing?

In regard with this I have to say to you, that:

Earlier I loved as had the hair in the first season, later with the time I was getting used to, it turn longer and without bangs.

He seems to me so beautiful that as it is that he has the hair it is never going to change the fact that he is gorgeous, but if they give to me to choose, like Jared is now, with the short hair and a pair of bangs in his forehead, it is SIMPLY PERFECT!!!
jessm78: Sam grinningjessm78 on January 1st, 2009 08:38 pm (UTC)
Re: Sam's hair
Hiya, Patricia!

His hair has gone through some real changes and I agree, no matter what his hair looks like he will still be beautiful :D

He does look hot in the most recent episodes doesn't he? :)
(Anonymous) on January 1st, 2009 08:35 am (UTC)
Hi Jess, it's me Daisy, being too lazy to log into LJ. LOL!

What can I say? Awesome Sam hair meta, Hun. And yes, I too will always mourn the bangs and the PuppyMop. And always love forever the ELAC!Sammy!Hair too. That was definitely the gold standard of the messy, flicky out Sammy!Hair.
jessm78: Supernatural: Puppy Sam (from ELAC)jessm78 on January 1st, 2009 08:41 pm (UTC)
Hey Daisy! :D

Thanks very much! I'm glad you enjoyed it. :) *grin* I have my own little alternate universe where Sam still has the lovely, pretty, flicky PuppyMop and bangs from ELAC. *sighs contentedly*
arliss: Sam 4.04arliss on January 1st, 2009 03:16 pm (UTC)
After several years where JP's facial structure was still solidifying from a softer juvenile, or adolescently androgynous appearence, it has finally settled into adulthood. Both jaw and forehead are monumental, they sort of balance each other. In season three, and to an even greater degree in season four, the hair people are pulling his hair off his face to emphasize Sam's hardening of purpose and his growing strength. It's been a three-step process.

Before season one, Jared wore his bangs parted and mostly off his face. For Sam, they gave him bangs to the eyebrows (and waxed or sprayed them into place. Helmet-head, they never budged) to infantilize him slightly and emphasize Sam's dependence on Dean as protector.

By 2.02, the bangs were parted and stayed that way all season to reflect Sam's acceptance of a heavier role and a more adult attitude and attributes. Jared's facial features were less soft and androgynous. As far back as DMB, and especially by Devil's Trap, if you could have pulled the bangs off his forehead you would have seen that firmer, broader facial structure that was apparent through S2.

S3 started with parted bangs, and then they moved towards getting the hair completely off his face to "expose" his true nature--whatever that turns out to be. That trend has continued in S4. Sam is barefaced to the camera.

It's interesting to note that throughout all seasons, whenever Sam needed to appear more adult and "professional," the bangs would be pulled off his face to enforce the impression of him as "adult". Bangs tend to soften and lend a more youthful, vulnerable appearance.

Okay, that's all moonshine and speculation, but I think there's definitely an element of that at work. It's interesting to note that Jared himself, when not filming, basically lets his hair fall as it will, usually with bangs parted, and without a ton of product keeping it consistent from scene to scene, or blowing into his eyes. Honestly? I'd like to see Jared with a good haircut, and get rid of that flippy shit behind the ears.
jessm78: Jared Padalecki: Scream Awards 2008jessm78 on January 1st, 2009 10:31 pm (UTC)
Wow, thanks for the input! That really makes a lot of sense, and I tend to agree. You could see that Jared's facial structure was getting firmer and broader by late in S1. I especially noticed it in the pics of him at the Paley festival and at the Grand Slam Sci-Fi convention - and I believe both of these events were done around the filming of DMB and Salvation.

I definitely agree that bangs tend to soften and give a more youthful appearance. It would make total sense that they'd style his hair as far away from his face as possible to make him appear more "adult" and "mature". It's especially interesting the notion that they're trying to "expose his true nature." I can't help but wonder where that's going to lead, and what role the hair will have in it.

I really prefer the way Jared wears his hair off camera. It looks more natural (which makes sense given the amount of product they must put in his hair to keep it away from his face and consistent throughout). I saw him at the Chicago con and definitely liked the hair better there than in what we've seen on the show so far. As far as getting rid of the flippy bits, I think it's part of the way Jared's hair falls. He seems to have some natural wave to his hair (I have that too and at times my hair can get pretty flippy). The only solution I can see is if he cut it very short, like Dean Forrester in GG S1/2 short. I could possibly see him doing that after Supernatural finishes. I tend to prefer him with longer hair to set him apart from Dean. Maybe there's a way he can style or cut it to control the flippy stuff. Personally though I don't know if he could pull off a really short cut on the show. That's just me, of course.

Again thanks for your input! I really appreciate it. Some very interesting stuff there. :)
(no subject) - arliss on January 2nd, 2009 04:50 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - jessm78 on January 3rd, 2009 08:45 pm (UTC) (Expand)
i dream of colors that have never been seenetoile444 on January 1st, 2009 04:48 pm (UTC)
Sam's hair has its own personality that's for sure. This was a fun read. I'm sure the bangs were all about the innocence and the vunerability, but they sometimes made him too teenaged for a man in his twenties.

Parting the hair in the middle when the bangs were too long was just stupid! And on occasion horribly unattractive. But honestly, its likely what some guy living out of cheap motels who probably goes to a barber and not a stylist would do!

Really, can you imagine Sam packing a flat iron? Dean would never let him live that down!
jessm78: Supernatural: Sam in ELAC (jessm78 on January 1st, 2009 10:36 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Heh, yeah his hair could almost become a separate character on the show. The bangs did make him look incredibly young. There were times that I thought "omg, he looks like he's about 7 years old here." It was probably done to further the "little brother in need of a keeper" image ... or maybe not.

I wasn't overly thrilled when he started parting the hair. Sometimes it was pushed way too much off his face for my liking, like in parts of Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things. But yeah, it does seem more likely for someone in his situation. And heck, he probably didn't have a lot of time to visit a barber so just tried to get the hair out of his face as best as he could.

LOL! I'm now getting an image of a flat iron sticking out of Sam's bag and Dean demanding to know what the hell that thing is. I'd better stop before I give birth to a crack!fic plot bunny, or something. *g*
(Anonymous) on January 2nd, 2009 10:09 am (UTC)
Sam's Hair
Awesome page!

I love the way his hair is now



Tina AKA Cheekymadam
jessm78: Jared Padalecki: Scream Awards 2008jessm78 on January 3rd, 2009 08:46 pm (UTC)
Re: Sam's Hair
Thanks for commenting and for the kind words, Tina!

He does look gorgeous now :)
(Anonymous) on January 5th, 2009 11:40 am (UTC)
Your welcome JessM. Anytime!

awwwwww my gosh yeah he does

I cannot stop looking at the pic above

He looks so hot

Truly Scrumptous!!!!
jessm78: Jared Padalecki: Scream Awards 2008jessm78 on January 5th, 2009 11:30 pm (UTC)
Hehe... he sure does, doesn't he?

*drools* :D

Edited at 2009-01-06 02:31 am (UTC)