Tom Hanks Tuesday: A Hirsute History

Columbia Pictures/Courtesy

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When Tom Hanks is written into the history books (and if my grad school career goes anywhere near well, it’ll probably be by me), two things will be highlighted:

1. How sexy he is. Duh.

2. His hair.

That luscious lob of follicles. It’s dynamic, it’s lush, it’s often brown. Man, there’s just so much to say about the history of Tom Hanks’ hair and so many pictures I could provide. Thousands really. From my private collection. Under my bed near my oils of Abraham Lincoln. Sorry. Babe-raham Lincoln.

So, as a public service, here are the top 5 Hanks hair moments. Like Derek Zoolander, you can really see a side of his versatility.


5. “You’ve Got Mail” (1998) — The Crush-Worthy Crop Top

Warner Bros./Courtesy

This is classic Hanks hair. Short, dark and to the point. It’s what we all associate Hanks with when we dream about him at night. The soft curls lend a natural, unkempt air to his already friendly demeanor. Combined with the general lack of hair product, this look is the gold standard for Hanks — as accessible and dreamy as the man.

4. “Catch Me if You Can” (2002) — The ’60s Swerve


Now, don’t fly off the handle. This look might be a little plain. But, this vintage look — complete with a soft swerve to the side and some nice horn-rimmed glasses — will leave you catching your breath due to its amazing retro finish. It’s definitely a departure for Hanks, but unlike his lop-sided turn in those “Da Vinci Code” movies (which I will not even dare to speak of ), this throwback look accentuates a refined, mature and distinguished Hanks — one for all ages.


3. Cast Away (2000) — Eccentric Islander

20th Century Fox/Courtesy

Hanks is a man of many sides. Portly sides (hello “Larry Crowne”), jolly sides (98% of his filmography) and creepily-animated sides (“The Polar Express” a.k.a. what my nightmares look like). But a side rarely seen from Hanks is his crazed island dweller/airplane crash victim. In a scarcely seen moment of vulnerability, we see Hanks’ traditional dark locks lightened, his facial hair let loose like his emotions and his eyebrows untrained for the ultimate ease of expression. A departure? Certainly. But, an exotic and welcome one at that.

2. “The Money Pit” (1986) — Sex Hair Hanks

Universal Pictures/Courtesy

I think the title for this says it all.

2. “Bosom Buddies” (1980-1982) — Best of Both Worlds


Sunsets on the Grecian isles? A Parisian baguette served warm with butter? A perfectly-solved Rubik’s Cube? There are many beautiful things in this world but few compare to the demure do of Mr. Hanks in “Bosom Buddies.” Everything about it is pristine and calculated. Those romantic curls from his rom-com days? Present and accounted for. Those longer, emotionally-intense locks as featured in “Cast Away”? Found in abundance. And that trademark brunette sheen? Check! If you measure Tom Hanks’ acting career by his varying hair styles, as I do (and most everyone else), then “Bosom Buddies” has it all — a promising beginning to a radiant and buoyant future.