There are two standard types of anime hair: either a big-ass bush which looks like something on an anime hedgehog or long flowing hair with a few strategically-placed bands to make it stand up and look like the antennae on an insect. For the former see Son Goku (or any other Saiyan), Washu, or Ryoko, for the latter see Ayeka, Sasami, or any other female Jurai. Of course, most just have unnaturally-colored hair, or even normal hair. This is not anime hair.

Physically unsustainable hair.
Hair that defies physics. Achievable only through the use of celluloid cells or a holding agent like cement.

Often bright in colour. Possibly, blue, red (tomato red) , green, purple or blonde (on someone who is Japanese).

Anime characters do not perceive this as strange.
I was thinking thoughts of physical impossibility while lusting after anime hair. How in the world could I do that? A lot of gel?

The funny thing is, though, we had some japanese exchange students at our school last week.

The Japanese Really Do Have Hair Like That!

It is amazing. The guy I saw had "big-ass bush" style hair, sticking straight up in a big standing wave on his head. How in the hell does it stay like that? Us westerners may never know this most guarded secret of the orient.

it is hard to draw numerous characters in a series and have them all look distinct from each other. hair labels the anime characters. anime hair makes it so you wont be confused when your favorite anime girl changes into her school girl uniform. or gets nekkid to fight a giant penis monster with her friends.

Corum has unwittingly hit the mark here, with the suggestion of  "a holding agent like cement".

Allow me to explain. I return from a protracted smashy smashy session, removing plaster from the stone walls of an old house, and lo and behold, my hair was infused, nay, saturated, with large quantities of plaster dust. And not just the exposed surface. No, six hours of hammering at plaster walls ensured that every hair upon my head had powder clinging to the entirety of its length.
At this point, my hair resembled the more feasible anime hairstyles: lying flat, but with a definite spiky edge to it.
This would not last.

Sleep deprivation led me to believe that a wet comb would effectively remove the dust. God bless sleep deprivation. With each stroke of the comb, I realised that my hair was not falling back into place, nor was it even falling. It was following exactly and unwaveringly the course my comb had taken through it, no matter what the direction.

Laughing to myself, I proceeded to bring my hair through countless impossible styles, passing through the full cast of just about any anime I had ever seen. And it worked.

So remember this. It works faster than gel, it's easier to wash out than wax, it's not crispy and it holds better than anything I have ever had in my hair before.
When you need anime hair, just imagine your head is a wall.
Plaster Is The Answer.

One trick a friend taught me was to use vaseline instead of hair gel. This will hold your hair straight up, or out in all directions. However, the one downside is cleaning your hair when your fun is done. In my experience it takes 2 or more thorough cleansings to remove all traces of vaseline. My aforemetioned friend would use vaseline everyday to hold his foot-long mohawk pointed skyward.

Another popular style of anime hair is hair that restricts one's vision.

Many anime (or related media - video games, etc.) feature characters with long forelocks hanging in front of one or both of their eyes. The bangs can range in thickness between merely obstructing sight (e.g. Trowa Barton from Gundam Wing) to extreme cases - hair that blocks any view of the eyes except from the most dramatic camera angles possible (Shermie from the King of Fighters games, Xelloss from Slayers, or for a non-anime example, Brian from Knights of the Dinner Table).

This style of anime hair tends to be used on characters to imply a sense of mystery and the exotic. However, it can also be used on comic relief characters, to separate them in the audience's mind from the serious main plot.

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