Dear 'Parks and Recreation': What have you done to Rob Lowe's hair?


Image Credit: Mitchell Haaseth/NBC

With every new episode of the most-excellent current season of Parks and Recreation, fans are left to wrestle with new twists. How will Leslie (Amy Poehler) and Ben (Adam Scott) make their forbidden romance work in the heat of her political campaign? How many more episodes until Tom’s new business venture, Entertainment 720, goes under? But when the credits roll each week, the plotlines of Pawnee’s denizens are secondary to the biggest ongoing mystery on network television: What. Is the Deal. With Rob Lowe’s hair?

Rob Lowe is not just a handsome man, but quite possibly the handsomest man. It’s kind of his thing. So seeing him with even one hair out of place is the equivalent of you or I literally walking around wearing a live wolverine as a hairpiece. But since this season began, Lowe’s Chris Traeger has styled an unkempt helmet of hair that begs for some explanation. Any explanation. Like, does Chris think long, lumpy hair protects his immune system? I keep waiting for one of the characters to call him on it, to let us know that they’re in on the joke. And to reassure us that Rob Lowe’s real hair is okay.

Well, turns out, Suave Lowe is on his way back. According to the show’s executive producer Mike Schur, the mystery behind Traeger’s hair was not a Parks and Recreation thing. Rather, Lowe simply needed to keep his hair longer for a movie he was doing for Lifetime. (Damn you, Drew Peterson.) “His hair will go back to last year’s style around episode 5 or 6,” Schur says via email.

Sadly, though, the re-suavication of Rob Lowe’s locks won’t draw any special mention from the show’s writers or characters. Viewers are just supposed to pretend that his bushy rough-cut never happened. Good luck with that.

Read more:
‘Parks & Rec’ recap: Born and Braised

Comments (72 total) Add your comment
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  • Kate

    I love this. Been thinking it all season and your comments led me to the full on belly laugh I’ve been needing for about 3 weeks. Thank God the suave hair is on its way back.

    • Bernadette

      Thank you Mandi! My sister has been mumbling under her breath during every episode “This is not acceptable hair – even on Rob Lowe.”

    • jmo

      Indeed. I’m in agreement! Not so much a WTF? moment, more like a WTH (huh?) every episode.


      • Emily S

        It looks like he is trying to grow a “Bieber”.

      • RR

        how come every time a man grows bangs, 14 yr olds think its a Bieber thing? Come on! The Beatles invented that haircut. Garage bands had it for a decade before it became the “bieber”

    • Aura Lee

      I have too. I knew he had grown it for the Lifetime movie but had hoped it would be back to normal on P&R. Thank goodness it’ll be gone soon!

    • LOL

      Why couldn’t he have at least combed it back, then?

      • Roger

        I know. Just because you have long hair doesn’t mean you can’t comb it.

      • lucy2

        I agree – this is the show that sculpts “The Swanson” and gave Leslie “The Mayor”, surely they can slick that mess back!

    • Sage

      i am a 26 year old woman, and i am noticing more and more gray hair by the day. this is dsrnuibitg on many levels! i can’t believe that i am actually sprouting enough gray and silver hairs that people notice. 2. the hairs themselves are not just gray- they are wirey, they do not straighten under a blow dryer, and worst of all, break very easily. i’m worried that as the older and grayer i get- the less and less hair i will have. if all of my hair eventually turns gray (which i’m sure it will as my family is all gray) and if they all continue to break off into 4 inche spikes- i’ll be bald!! what should i do? anyone else experience this?? i have tons of gray, wirey spikes sticking out of my head!!

  • Erin

    Glad I am not the only one that thought it looked ridiculous.

  • Chase

    I tweeted him about it, but no response. Weird. :p Parks & Rec=best show ever.

    • Will

      You think it’s weird that a celebrity didn’t respond to your tweet? Yeah sometimes I wonder why Amy Poehler doesn’t text me

      • Regina

        Chase put a :p after weird, which for us young people, means like just kidding. But you are too old to understand.

      • Lame Child

        No we understand your stupid emoticons or whatever clever name they have. We “older” folks just ignore them. That way you have to exlpain it, and the next time you use it, you might think twice about that. If you have tell somone the emotion behind the comment, than maybe it’s meaning/purpose wasn’t that well thought out.

    • Mis

      Why is it when your hair turns gray that the strands are much thckeir than the rest of the hair ?I have dark blond hair so it doesnt’ show too bad but those crazy gray hairs seem to stick up unless i use hairspraythanks Josh, that was what i was wondering !!i have straight hair that won’t even hold a curl longer than an hour or so

  • tvchick

    Its actually been distracting me during his scenes…like you, I kept waiting for the “and what is up with Chris’ hair?!” comment.

  • Dave

    Yeah, I was also wondering about his hair. I thought I was the only one. It seemed like it wasn’t a hairstyle that Chris would have.

    • Will

      RIGHT! Chris is a perfectionist when it comes to his body, so the unkempt hair is a bit odd

    • Hiroyuki

      - If I didn’t know you, I would swear it was your natural color. I used to be blond, very blond, and now I’m some stgnare in between and I almost want to dye it just so that I can be concretely something.And then stress about it.And then undo what I had done.And if that’s your zombie look, WOW!October 14, 2010 4:45 PM

    • Aruna

      Well, today is the most important day of the year-your biahdtry. Happy Birthday to the most beautiful girl in the world. I love your pearls of wisdom-and I am sure that hair is blond, not gray. (You haven’t had any kids yet-how could you get gray hair?) Ha Ha, just kidding. Have the best biahdtry ever, Pidge. We adore you! Love forever, Mom, Dad, Grandpa and Punkie

  • Flyer

    While he’s bringing back better hairstyles, could Mike Schur also do something about Alicia Florick’s new hairstyle on “The Good Wife”? I realize it’s not Schur’s show, but don’t these show runners all get together for drinks or something at the end of the day?

    • Lisa

      And also Damon from ‘Vampire Diaries’. Not good.

      • Mother Nature

        Please start a petition to fix Damon’s hair. I will sign.

      • umadbro?

        THIS. He’s starting to grow the little batwings around his ears that Sam gets on Supernatural. For the love of God, beautiful men, trim your hair so I can continue to shamelessly objectify you!!!

    • asher

      @Flyer – I love Alicia’s new do on this season of “The Good Wife.” I think it’s a sexy look to go with her sexy new attitude.

    • Tajah

      Alicia’s hair is terrible. Fix it, producers!

      • Alisson

        You have a few options here.obviously I would asumse you don’t want to have horrible regrowth untill its long enough the cut the color out so instead I would recommend having as light a color as you can acheive on the already colored hair, this way when the grey grows out it won’t be as noticeable as it would with dark hair.If you can’t get your hair to a lighter color your only options would be a short cut or yes a wig.

      • Azeem

        Ohhh,,wie geil und recht sie hat!!!!Alle gehen natural,,,nur ich bilbee texlaxed,,,leider nicht mutig genug:-(Hey sis.ich liebe deine seite,,und werde sie weiter empfehlen,,,xxxxmal daumen hoch!!!

    • Sheila G

      Did you notice that Alicia’s new hair do showed up early the next morning after Willgate in the Presidential Suite? Her sytlist was up early and available?? Huh???

    • mkaffeine

      Alicia’s hair looks like Lauren Bacall if Ms. Bacall had been a minivan-driving suburban mother. Another entry in the Odd Hair Sweepstakes is Timothy Hutton’s (dyed? woven? sprayed?) hair in “Leverage”!

  • khm

    I thought he was trying to bring back his Sodapop haircut from The Outsiders.

  • nunya

    LOL – I’ve been wondering the same thing! He went all Jim Halpert on us! :P

  • tracy bluth

    I know, his hair looks awful. That was probably the reason he wasn’t able to convince the Eagleton office to give Leslie’s birth certificate.

    • Betsy Knope

      Very funny. I literally laughed out loud.

    • Bagus

      I like it! Very cute and stylish.I also enyoejd picking out books on the shelves behind you. There is some good stuff there! Is that Reading Like a Writer I see?Erinb4s last [type] ..

  • kate middleton

    This has really bothered me too.

    I figured it was bc of the Drew Peterson movie.

  • Dean

    I like it. I think it looks good. What’s the big deal? TV characters often changes their looks from season to season. Plus it’s good fooder for April.

    • Flyer

      Well it would be good fodder for April, if the writers would actually have her SAY something about it! I loved how on “The Good Wife,” when actor Titus Welliver (Glenn Childs) had to have his hair changed for a role, one of his staff members warned, “Don’t say anything about his hair!” The line was funny and at least acknowledged to viewers that yes, it did look different.

      • ParksAndRecFan


        Well, they DID acknowledge April’s new hairstyle. Ann remarks on how she likes April’s new haircut and asks where she got it in an attempt to get her to talk. (Didn’t work. Her response: “Prison”)

  • Thank You!

    Thanks for addressing this – it has been driving me crazy since the beginning of the season! I understand that he needed to keep his hair longer for another project, but they could’ve styled it back and out of his face! I’ve been wanting to jump into my tv and push it out of his eyes for the last few weeks! Glad to know all will return to normal soon enough.

    • abadstroller

      Even with it a little bit longer, they could have at least zshuzsh’ed Rob’s hair back with a thick hairbrush and some hair product! Combing that qorqeous thick hair down and using no hair product to keep it under control is a coiffure SIN!

  • asher

    Love this article, been thinking the same thing…he’s just not as sexy with this current hairdo!

  • Karate Pants

    In what kind of a world, exactly, does the importance of looking like Drew Peterson upstage the importance of looking like Chris Traeger?

    • Flyer

      You have just hit the nail on the head! Good one!


    Glad to know. The weird longish messy hair seemed so opposed to his P&R character’s personality. They could have combed it in a neater way at least.

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