How to get Mad Scientist Hair.
May 1, 2008 12:59 PM   Subscribe

Anyone know how to get "mad scientist hair?"

I've actually found that I like the look that I get when I get up in the morning and my hair sticks out like a mad scientist. It doesn't hurt any that I'm the resident "evil genius" where I work and I'm quite fond of the "mad scientist chic" myself. But trying gels and sprays to get the hair to stay like that just doesn't work. Anyone got any advice on how to get the "mad scientist hair" look?
posted by BrianBoyko to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (23 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Don't wash it as often.
posted by liketitanic at 1:08 PM on May 1, 2008

If you have time to cultivate it, you haven't yet gone mad enough. Have patience.

Also, the LFHCfS.
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 1:10 PM on May 1, 2008

I would consult the geniuses (literally) at the Luxuriant Flowing Hair Club for Scientists.
posted by answergrape at 1:10 PM on May 1, 2008

Stop washing, though if it's short it'll probably just become a little straighter and less silky. Washing with a coarser shampoo (i.e. Dr Bronners, or a bar of soap) and adding wax/oil/lotion to your hair might help, too.
posted by soviet sleepover at 1:12 PM on May 1, 2008

I get this by not washing my hair very often, toweling it dry, and then leaving it the hell alone. If you want another opinion on how to get bedhead, check out what the folks who sell a product called, er, Bedhead, have to suggest.
posted by dersins at 1:16 PM on May 1, 2008

Have you tried the gunk-style products? I used Bed Head Manipulator when I had shorter hair.

Generally speaking (though there are exceptions), if you've got short hair and you want it to stick out and be crazy, stuff that comes in a puck-shaped jar will provide better results than stuff in a bottle.

Mousse applied to the roots might do the trick, too.
posted by Metroid Baby at 1:19 PM on May 1, 2008

How are you drying your hair? I've found that for my hair, it's a lot more mad-sciency if I either air dry it or scrunch with a towel instead of using back and forth motions. As long as I don't wear a hat or run my hands through my hair, it tends to stay about as disheveled as I want it all day. I also only wash my hair once every few days, though I do condition daily.

Alternatively, shower at night and let the morning hair be what you wear out.
posted by Schismatic at 1:20 PM on May 1, 2008

I've tried a number of products to get hair that sticks up in interesting ways. My first successful ones were called something or other clay and cost an arm and a leg. I finally found one that's cheap. Garnier PlayStyle Clay I buy it at Target for two or three bucks and it holds hair up rather well without being too greasy or crunchy. Put it in and muss it up, but be warned, if you muss it too much, it loses its hold.

Apparently, in my googling, there are a ton of hairstyle how-tos on YouTube.
posted by advicepig at 1:33 PM on May 1, 2008

My brother in law cultivates what I call sonic-the-hedgehog hair by 1) not showering daily 2) using coarse soap and 3) going straight from surfing to the office. I think he rubs his head in his surf wax.
posted by arnicae at 1:34 PM on May 1, 2008

At my work, I am the resident mad scientist (oddly enough, I'm even listed as such in the company email address book) and my hair pretty much does whatever the hell it pleases. I gave up fighting it long ago.

Very little sleep, constantly running dirty fingers through my hair, dealing with coworkers that make me pull it out in frustration, cutting it myself periodically (usually after a lot of booze) and not bothering with a comb are how I "achieve" that look.

It never occurred to me that someone would want to look like this.
posted by JaredSeth at 1:46 PM on May 1, 2008

Long or short? I have "mad scientist hair"... How? Shave your head with the smallest guard on the clippers. Let it grow. Wash with shampoo about once per week, the rest of the time just get it wet and run your hands through it. When it starts to get unruly, hair gel. Slick it back and let the gel set and brush it. Look normal for a day. Then continue to not wash out the gel, just a mild wetting. Sleep, wake up, presto "mad scientist hair". If it needs a bit of work, just wet your hands and run your fingers through your hair, not wet enough to slick it back and make it fall, just a dab of water here and there.

Also, learn to wet your hair just a bit, then lean over like you're touching your toes to put in the gel all upside down like. And learn to just wet your hair a bit and shake like a wet dog, (it'll make you dizzy until you get used to it).
posted by zengargoyle at 1:59 PM on May 1, 2008

I sometimes get called "einstein" on account of my hair... basically, just wash it and leave it alone. My hair curls so it's easy for it to look wild. If you still comb it, use a coarse comb and only do it once in a while. Don't put stuff in your hair, and just let it grow for a while.

Perhaps it's something that certain hair lends itself to.
posted by glip at 2:00 PM on May 1, 2008

Hehe, I sort of follow zengargoyle's pattern, but wash more often.

I clip my hair to a 1/4 inch (No. 2 guard) every few months and let it grow out. Just before the next cutting my hair goes nuts and the "bed-head" is epic ( I typically shower before sleeping). I usually let it ride (I have a casual workplace) and enjoy the comments the next day. Not your Einstein-like crazy hair, but it definately goes all angles on me. I'm mostly grey now so I've got that working for me ;-)
posted by elendil71 at 2:11 PM on May 1, 2008

I'm pretty sure hitting it with a blow dryer at the same time as a can of uber-strong-hold hairspray would do it for ya.
posted by revmitcz at 2:14 PM on May 1, 2008

If you've ever watched Scrubs, Zach Braff's character once explained his anti-gravity hairstyle with the simple mantra "mousse and twist."
posted by kittyprecious at 2:18 PM on May 1, 2008

I wash pretty much nightly. If I go to bed with it still damp, the next day I have Mad Scientist hair until 8pm or so. Nothing I can do makes it look at all presentable.

Naturally, I go to bed with it damp pretty much all the time.
posted by ewagoner at 2:22 PM on May 1, 2008

I don't wash my hair too much. When I go to bed with my hair wet/damp, I wake up with crazy hair, same as ewagoner. If, for some reason I didn't do this and I need this sort of hair for some reason, I usually get my hair damp and then run my fingers through it that are wet with salt water and then put on my hat until I need to go someplace. Also if you need a product in a hurry, Bedhead does work pretty well, and so will anything else that is puttyish but does have sort of a gelled look to it a lot of the time.
posted by jessamyn at 2:33 PM on May 1, 2008

I've done this.

i) Extra hold gel. Make spikes, then muss it up as it's setting. Dry with a hairdryer.
ii) 2 cans of whtie hairspray. You can never use too much.

Voila: Instant loony.

PS: You will need to wash 4-5x to remove this crap from your hair.
posted by lalochezia at 2:47 PM on May 1, 2008

The answer to all your problems is backcombing/ratting out your hair - the secret of goth kids everywhere. I'm assuming this hair is along the lines of what you're thinking?
I find that just putting in tons of gel, paste or wax still makes most hair fall flat after a few hours (and going really product-y might end up making you look like more of a scenester wanna be than a mad scientist). But tons of backcombing and maybe a little hairspray to keep it all in place... that's your ticket.
posted by vodkaboots at 4:55 PM on May 1, 2008

Wash with plain old soap, go to bed slightly damp, and keep it short enough so the hair itself doesn't weigh down. Also let it grow out past when you should get it cut. Definitely no conditioner.

Failing that, I've a friend who wanted to bottle up some playa-dust from burning man for this purpose. I think it's the very fine nature of that dust that causes its hair raising qualities.
posted by nat at 9:07 PM on May 1, 2008

vodkaboots has the right idea; all you need to do is excessively backcomb it and apply a little hairspray. (If you can find it, I highly recommend White Sands hair spray - it can make my shoulder-length hair stick straight up.)
posted by itchie at 10:36 PM on May 1, 2008

You don't need hair products unless your hair extends beyond a certain length. My hair sticks up in this manner if I: don't wash my hair with shampoo for a few days (which I don't), swim in the ocean, shower before going to bed.
posted by beerbajay at 2:05 AM on May 2, 2008

- Wash with soap as you ran out of shampoo awhile back and never remember/have time to pick up more.
- Do not brush hair as hairbrush is missing. If hair brush is available, brush half of head, get distracted and forget to finish, leaving hairbrush in ridiculous place ensuring it can't be found tomorrow.
- When stressed/frustrated/concentrating, run hands through hair. This is most of the time.
- Allow hair to grow naturally. When it gets too long, cut off the annoying bits with the kitchen scissors.
posted by kjs4 at 3:00 AM on May 2, 2008

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