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Tracking the McConaissance: It’s All in the Hair

  • Sam Eichner


No doubt you’ve heard plenty about the McConaissance by now, both here and elsewhere.

But those who’ve tracked the rise of a once fallen star have overlooked one very important, er, strand: the connection between McConaughey’s theatrical maturation and his increasingly grown-up coiffure.

That’s right, it’s all in the hair. From shaggy dog rom-com purgatory to neatly cut Oscar-nominated actor, Matthew McConaughey has become one of Hollywood’s most dynamic stars. Let’s take a look back at how it happened:

A definitive timeline of the manes that made the McConaissance.

021814_ mcconaughair_1 Dazed and Confused: A blond mop of youthful indiscretion. An immature predilection for clownish redheads. Clearly, McConaughey’s still got a long way to go. But it takes a promising star to make a hairstyle fit for a Lego iconic.

021814_mcconaughair_2 How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days

021814_mcconaughair_3 Fool’s Gold: The Kate Hudson Lost Years: a blonder, curlier, more superficial McConaughey. Although, to be fair, years spent with Kate Hudson can’t really be considered lost...

021814_mcconaughair_4 The Lincoln Lawyer

_MG_1227.CR2 Bernie: Natural charm. A facility for wordplay. An undeniable hunger for justice. All are potential ingredients for lawyerly success. A more important ingredient, though: serious fucking hair. Jury’s still out on the “undeniable hunger for justice” thing...

021814_mcconaughair_6 Mud

021814_mcconaughair_7 Dallas Buyers Club: Method actors are known to disappear into their roles, blurring the lines between reality and artifice. McConaughey, despite his haunting portrayals of Mud and AIDS-stricken Ron Woodroof, is not traditionally a method actor. His hair, on the other hand...

021814_mcconaughair_8 True Detective: Opposite his old pal Woody Harrelson, this is arguably McConaughey’s most complex role to date. His hair—suspended in waves, but always on the brink of dishevelment—perfectly encapsulates Detective Rust Cohle’s severity and intense calm, his steely-eyed seriousness and the volatility rippling just beneath the surface.

021814_mcconaughair_9 Surfer, Dude: Which is saying a lot, you know, considering the duo’s last effort...