TRSE: How To Draw Tutorials:
All about the Hairstyles in Animanga

    Animanga is very well known for the characters with very diverse variety of hairstyles especially exotic or wild ones as well as their wide variety of hair colors. It can be said that the reason for the characters to look western is to give each character a very distinct appearance so to distinguish the characters in any Animanga (both Anime or Manga). If they draw the real Japanese people, it would be harder to distinguish them. A good example is Lone Wolf and the Cub mangas featuring the realistic drawings of Japanese characters, and many minor characters on those mangas look so similar to each other that it's hard to distinguish them. The same thing can be said for some Japanese characters (and even blonde women) of classic Lupin III comedy mangas. The Japanese manga artists seem to have a strong fondness for the western looks as well as exotic looks, and they went out of their way to produce very diverse variety of hairstyles for their characters. If we have real people like those characters, I would hate to imagine how much trouble they would undergo to maintain their hairs (tons of money and tons of hair gels?). But since many mangas are set in fantasy, the artists didn't have to worry about that, and get really creative with the hairstyles.
    In many cases, beside artists' varying experiences and preferences, the characters' hairstyles will reflect their personalities and preferences as well as where they grew up (cultural). Some people like to wear ponytails, others prefer short hairs, and others like to have long hairs. For examples, Tohru of Fruit Baskets has a plain hairstyle that reflects her plain personality while Naruto of Naruto who likes to act bratty sports spikey hair.  The unusual color of the hair can make a character stand out as in case of Ichigo of Bleach which "regular" Japanese people consider him to be a freak because of his orange hair. Some hairstyles were designed on purpose to make a person very special or to reflect the special meaning of that character's name, and the famous example is Usagi Tsukino of BMSailorMoon with her trademark buns & long ponytails. "Usagi Tsukino" is a Japanese term for "Rabbit of the Moon" and her hairstyle mimics the droopy ears of a rabbit and the same can be said for Chibiusa, Usagi's future daughter, with cone-like buns that mimic the perky ears of a bunny.
    It seems that the female characters tend to change their hairstyles more often than the male characters. That is much more obvious in the Shojo mangas (for girls) as in case of Fruit Baskets and FullMoon O Sagashite while such variations are rare in Shonen mangas (for boys) (I wonder why...). I read the mangas lot more than watch Anime, but it seems to me that the variations are also rare in the animated shows due to the fact that each animated show is done by a top artist with a team of assistants, and it may be very troublesome for that kind of team to vary the hairstyles and even clothing. For example, Sailor Neptune of BMSailorMoon changed her hairstyle very few times while the hairstyles of other nine Sailor Soldiers stayed the same throughout the entire five seasons.
    It's up to you as an artist to decide on how you want to draw the hair and how simple or how complicated you prefer the hair to be. It would be easier to start with simple hairstyles before taking on more detailed and complicated hairstyles if you want to go for those. It also helps to be little creative with varying each character (especially female ones)'s hairstyle that matches well with the character's personality.
    Since there are MILLIONS of different hairstyles and hundreds of Animanga characters out there, it's not possible for me to show you how to draw each character, so I'll go with showing you how to read the patterns in the hairstyles and use them to help you draw the characters with varying hairstyles. This way, if you are able to understand how to read the patterns in the hairstyles and use them to your advantage, you would be able to draw any characters with any hairstyles you like even those not covered in this tutorials.
    Let's move to the next page to show the examples of how some hairstyles are broken up into simple patterns.