Dragon Ball Z: Why was the Saiyan Nappa bald?

Despite Saiyans typically having loose locks, Nappa was most noticeably bald, fueling speculation about how he lost his hair.

The Saiyans of Dragon Ball Z they were known for their wild, flowing hair, especially when the concept of Super Saiyans was introduced. This saw the species receive increasingly spiky and wavy manes that bristled with power, with their blonde mops setting them apart from other characters in the franchise. However, there was one notable exception to this follicle rule.

Despite being a seemingly powerful and high-ranking Saiyan, Vegeta’s former servant Nappa was also bald. This went against the typical images of the Saiyan race, and caused many Dragon Ball fans to speculate. Did you lose your hair naturally? Did you have any illness? Was it a sign of weakness? Here is the truth behind the hairless Saiyan warrior.

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Saiyans and their hair in Dragon Ball

Members of Dragon BallSaiyans almost always have jet black hair, although there are exceptions, especially in the case of half-breeds. For example, the half-human Trunks inherited his mother’s hair color (purple or blue depending on the different adaptations) instead of his father Vegeta’s dark hair. Of course, the various Super Saiyan transformations tend to change a Saiyan’s hair color, with most of these forms going blonde. Saiyan’s hair is also usually spiky and somewhat unruly, although this could simply be Akira Toriyama’s art style.

Vegeta has stated that a pure-blood Saiyan’s hairstyle will not naturally deviate from his appearance from the day he is born. Being born with a full head of hair would also seem to be common among Saiyan babies, as main character Goku’s hair was 100% even when he was a newborn. Perhaps due to their slow aging compared to humans, facial hair is a difficult thing for Saiyan males to grow: Goku and Vegeta took three “years” in the Hiberbolic Time Chamber to grow a noticeable beard. Other Saiyans known to have beards include Vegeta’s father, King Vegeta, as well as his former assistant Nappa, the latter being a total follicular anomaly.

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Why was the Saiyan Nappa bald in Dragon Ball Z?

Nappa at maximum power - Dragon Ball Z

Many have assumed over the years that Nappa’s lack of hair on top of his head is simply due to age. This still makes him a notable exception to most Saiyans, as nearly every other male member of the species has fairly healthy hair. This is somewhat supported by a recent statement made by Akira Toriyama in the Dragon Ball Super Exciting Guide where he commented that despite their slow aging, Saiyans do age and their hair can also change. He also states that Nappa “went bald”, furthering the idea that he simply lost his locks due to him no longer being an agile young man.

However, this contradicts an earlier statement by the Dragon Ball franchise creator, where he claimed that Nappa had actually shaved his head as an act of courage and defiance against cultural norms. This makes some sense. Again, all the other Saiyans were far from bald, which made the muscular white ball stand out from the crowd and lead his own way. A more hirsute Nappa can be seen briefly in the Bardock – Goku’s father animated special, where he has a kind of Mohican. If he really was going bald naturally, it might explain why the sides were gone.

Combining this with the “brave act” theory, perhaps he noticed the strings in his head were thinning and decided to end it on his own terms. Of course, Nappa’s most recent statement “going bald” might not mean naturally, and Toriyama might have meant that Nappa simply adopted the bald hairstyle, with this meaning lost in translation. Whatever the case of the shiny scalp of his, Nappa was certainly an irregularity among the Saiyans seen throughout the Dragon Ball franchise.

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