K-Drama Manes Of Glory: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

A couple years ago Soompi took a look at sageuk hair and boy was it absolutely glorious. Lee Seung Gi‘s half-gumiho locks rocked our worlds while Ji Chang Wook defined the words “sexy hair.” Since then we’ve run into a whole slew of manes of glory that deserve to be highlighted, appreciated, mocked (just a tad,) and mostly drooled over. Join us, Soompiers, as we check out the latest manes of glory.

Side-swept bangs

scarletheart_Lee joon ki

Let’s start with a few manes that sport the side swept bang. Some of them have a bit of a curl like Lee Joon Gi’s ‘do from “Scarlet Heart: Goryeo.” These manes highlight the swoopy bang and the rest of the hair can be pulled up or left loose to run over the shoulders. Here his bang accents his sexy mask. Lee Joon Gi is the king of manes of glory and he doesn’t disappoint here. Rawr.

mirror of the witch - yo kwang

Or like Lee Yi Kyung in “Mirror of the Witch,” they rock the messy waves over a forehead band. The long tresses define many of the sageuk warrior class and make modern women drool over their ability to wear long hair better than they can.

orange marmalade - jae hee

Song Jong Ho in “Orange Marmalade” also sported a swept bang, with long, dark straight hair that reflected his vampiric nature. Dark and dangerous, just how we like ‘em.

scarletheart_bkang ha neul

And last, the incredibly handsome Kang Ha Neul in “Scarlet Heart: Goryeo” with a topknot and a neat side swept bang. The neatness fits his fastidious character and clear features. Perhaps next week’s episodes will show us a Kang Ha Neul mane with his hair down. That sounds awfully nice, doesn’t it?

Watch “Orange Marmalade”: [viki]https://www.viki.com/videos/1066284v-orange-marmalade-episode-1?utm_source=soompi&utm_medium=soompi_news&utm_campaign=soompi_link&utm_content=manes-glory-good-bad-ugly&utm_content_id=906061wpp[/viki]

Tresses with no bangs

six flying dragons yo ah in1

Sometimes bangs just get in the way of the look and so they’re pulled back in favor of showing off a snazzy forehead band. One example of this is Yoo Ah In in “Six Flying Dragons.” He keeps long, straight tresses and a forehead band that accents his straight brows.

jackpost- jang geun seok

Not so delicious is Jang Geun Suk’s coiffure in “Jackpot” with unkempt shorter hair and no bang. It’s reflective of his character’s poverty and is really a little goofy looking. Luckily, Jang Geun Suk is so adorable that it doesn’t matter.

Watch Jang Geun Suk in “Jackpot”: [viki]https://www.viki.com/videos/1099232v-jackpot-episode-1?utm_source=soompi&utm_medium=soompi_news&utm_campaign=soompi_link&utm_content=manes-glory-good-bad-ugly&utm_content_id=906061wpp[/viki]

The parted bang

scarletheart_baek ah

A variation on the side swept bang is the parted bang. This style is most definitely hit or miss. Let’s examine a total hit first: Nam Joo Hyuk in “Scarlet Heart: Goryeo.” He sports the elegant side part for the bulk of the drama and does so masterfully. The artistic Goryeo prince has shiny, wavy hair that makes us want to run our fingers through it. Is sticking our arms through our screens possible?

splish splash ahn hyeo seob

Another fantastic example is Ahn Hyo Seop’s long, elegant tresses from “Splash Splash Love.” This look is more natural than kept and allows his good looks to peek through the glorious wave of hair.


Our unfortunately adorable miss is Baekhyun’s Prince Eun from “Scarlet Heart: Goryeo.” While Baekhyun is beyond adorable, his awkward center part and stiff-looking bangs are not quite as cute. This EXO star pulls it off anyway. How can he not while looking so puppy adorable?

Gong Yoo pulls off a fierce and rugged look with the parted bangs in “Goblin.” And pairing that with his intense gaze staring out at you from behind those bangs, you have a winner.

Gong Yoo Goblin

Watch the adorable “Splash Splash Love”: [viki]https://www.viki.com/videos/1090477v-splash-splash-love-movie-ver-episode-1?utm_source=soompi&utm_medium=soompi_news&utm_campaign=soompi_link&utm_content=manes-glory-good-bad-ugly&utm_content_id=906061wpp[/viki]

The messy look

orange marmalade - shi hoonorange marmalade - shi hoo

The tousled, I-just-woke-up messy look is definitely one of the sexiest looks of the bunch. CNBLUE’s Lee Jong Hyun wears this very well in the sageuk portion of “Orange Marmalade.” He’s a wicked fighter who sports messy hair over a mysterious mask and while he’s working out sageuk style. If a man’s gotta go messy, this is definitely the way to do it. Who is up for watching this beautiful mane of glory blow in the Joseon wind?

theking's face - kim do chi

A rather unfortunate messy mane found on villain extraordinaire Shin Sung Rok in “The King’s Face.” It’s a messy ponytail plus bang combination that looks like the crimps have been in since the 80s. Luckily this actor has the sharp good looks and spot-on acting skill to overcome any sad ‘do.

six flying dragons- hyung

Yoon Kyun Sang in “Six Flying Dragons” knows how to sport a battered look and some extremely messy, but sexy, sageuk hair. This covered forehead and face-framed look are flattering on any face shape, but Yoon Kyun Sang makes it especially attractive.

moonlight_kwak dong yeon

“Moonlight Drawn by Clouds” has a handsome soldier played by Kwak Dong Yeon who wears a mane that is a combination of a side-swept bang and the messy look. One thing is for sure: he makes it look good! With tendrils floating free from his ‘do and surrounding his pretty face, there is not much we can do to resist the ruggedly beautiful man.

Watch Kwak Do Yeon’s beautiful hair in “Moonlight Drawn by Clouds” here: [viki]https://www.viki.com/videos/1107432v-moonlight-drawn-by-clouds-episode-1?utm_source=soompi&utm_medium=soompi_news&utm_campaign=soompi_link&utm_content=manes-glory-good-bad-ugly&utm_content_id=906061wpp[/viki]

The “I’m-not-quite-sure-what-that-is” look

scholar - gwi

There is no doubt that Lee Soo Hyuk with his sharp features, deep voice, and penchant for drama is a winning actor in both looks and talent. However, in “Scholar Who Walks the Night” he is saddled with a look that has met way too much hair spray. It’s the crazy sageuk version of a mullet.

Watch “Scholar Who Walks the Night” here: [viki]https://www.viki.com/videos/1071499v-scholar-who-walks-the-night-episode-1?utm_source=soompi&utm_medium=soompi_news&utm_campaign=soompi_link&utm_content=manes-glory-good-bad-ugly&utm_content_id=906061wpp[/viki]

The “We Have Every Style You Can Think Of”

Hwarang Male Cast

If you’re a fan of the various types of the sageuk mane, look no further than “Hwarang,” which boasts a large male cast sporting every look possible throughout the drama. It’s just..glorious!

Watch “Hwarang” here: [viki]https://www.viki.com/videos/1113729v-hwarang-episode-1?utm_source=soompi&utm_medium=soompi_news&utm_campaign=soompi_link&utm_content=manes-glory-good-bad-ugly&utm_content_id=906061wpp[/viki]

Which is your favorite sageuk mane of glory, Soompiers? Let us know in the comments below!

Raine0211 is a lover of all things Korean, especially K-pop, K-drama, and Korean food. When she’s not writing for Soompi, she’s playing the cello and singing. She happily indulges in all kinds of K-pop, but her biases are SHINee, Infinite, and VIXX. She lives with her sister, her roommate Elsa, and her two cats, Timmy and Momo, all of whom also love K-pop and K-drama.

*This article was updated on January 25, 2017.

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