Two things before we begin:
- Few characters on television have gone through the type of dramatic changes that Boyd Crowder has gone through on Justified. In just five seasons he’s transformed from a redneck Nazi to a semi-reformed Man of God to something closer to a Dixie Michael Corleone. It’s not just his behavior that has changed, either. Each iteration of the character brought a new wardrobe, a new way of carrying himself, and perhaps most importantly (for our purposes here, at least), a noticeable change in the wild way he styles his hair.
- There’s this theory, and readers of this website are probably familiar with it. It goes like this: The crazier Boyd Crowder’s hair looks at the beginning of a scene, the more likely he is to do something dangerous by the end of it. Over time we have developed a warning system to alert people of this. It’s called the Boyd Crowder Hair Threat Level. At one point this season it was elevated to Lead Singer of Powerman 5000. No one was safe.
And now, without further ado, your season-by-season guide to the evolving hair stylings of television’s most eloquent narcotics magnate, Boyd Crowder.
Episode: “Fire in the Hole” – Season 1, Episode 1
Boyd Crowder Hair Threat Level: Greasy Electrocution
We start at the only logical place to start: the beginning. Specifically, the pilot episode of Justified, in which we were introduced to Boyd Crowder as a somewhat unkempt, rocket-launcher-toting neo-Nazi. Boyd famously was not supposed to survive the gunshot he suffered at the end of the episode, until producers went out and tested it and realized they had lightning in a bottle, both in his character and in his on-camera chemistry with Timothy Olyphant. Thus, the legend of Boyd Crowder was born.
And speaking of places lightning may or may not be contained, this was also our first taste of the wild mane he’d go on to sport throughout the show. Here it’s kind of just a mess — a greasy, unwashed pile of weeds atop a body that proudly sports a sleeveless t-shirt and a giant exposed swastika tattoo. It’s somewhat longer and less creatively tussled than it will be in the following seasons, but it’s certainly a start.
Episode: “Brother’s Keeper” – Season 2, Episode 9
Boyd Crowder Hair Threat Level: Mild Einstein
See, the thing to remember about this screenshot is that it is from Mags Bennett’s big outdoor Harlan cookout, which means this was Boyd’s “Going Out to a Party” look at the time. So even though he has traded in the sleeveless green tee for his now signature buttoned-all-the-way-up button-up, and has evidently purchased some shampoo and run a little water through his hair, this is still all anyone’s getting out of him.
Changes are afoot, though. That’s what’s important here.
Episode: “Harlan Roulette” – Season 3, Episode 3
Boyd Crowder Hair Threat Level: Static Heartthrob
I have termed this look Static Heartthrob because he looks like a cross between the bad boy member of a boy band and a little kid whose zany uncle just rubbed a balloon on his sweater and ran it over the kid’s head. It would be my least favorite of all of Boyd’s hairstyles if not for the fact that it looks like he might have gone to Supercuts to get it, and the idea of a terrified 19-year-old asking Boyd Crowder if he wants the back straight across or rounded has been making me giggle for like 10 minutes now. I desperately want to see this in a future episode.
Episode: “Foot Chase” – Season 4, Episode 6
Boyd Crowder Hair Threat Level: Redneck Mr. T
A couple notes about this screencap:
- Boyd has now adopted a style that I like to call The Full Boyd Crowder: buttoned-up button-up (obvs), vest, vest chain, and suit jacket. It’s a significant step up from his old threads, both in cost and formality, which is understandable as he’d also taken a significant step up in the underworld at this point. As another famous fictional drug lord in a suit once said, “Look the part, be the part, motherf*cker.”
- My working theory here is that his hair is afraid of his forehead.
Episode: “Over the Mountain” – Season 5, Episode 4
Boyd Crowder Hair Threat Level: Murderous Sonic The Hedgehog
This brings us to the present day, and my favorite Boyd Crowder hairstyle by far, because it is both a follicle masterpiece and rock-solid confirmation of the “Crazy Hair = Dangerous Behavior” theory I mentioned at the beginning, seeing as he’s been out for blood everywhere from Detroit to Mexico this season. His body count and scheming have really been taken to new levels, which is saying something because the show — and this post — started with him firing a shoulder-mounted rocket launcher into a church.
But seriously, the hair. Look at it. LOOK AT IT. Not only has he apparently started gelling his hair into individual little spikes, but he is doing so OUT FROM THE BACK OF HIS HEAD, POINTING BACKWARDS. It looks almost like he drove there with a wet head in a convertible with the top down. Or like he hired a stylist. DOES BOYD CROWDER HAVE A STYLIST NOW? Dear God, please say yes. I bet he does. I bet Wynn Duffy referred him. I bet they go together.
You know what? I changed my mind. I want to see that way more than the Supercuts thing.