In nearly all movies or images of the Bride of Frankenstein (actually the bride of Frankenstein's monster), she has some curly white hair on each side. Is there ever an (in-universe) explanation given for this?

Is this meant to be an effect because of the revival with high voltage electricity? (If so, why doesn't the monster have grey hair?)
Is she also described this way in the book, or is this an invention of the movie makers?

Frankenstein's monster and his bride

  • High prices for peroxide? Oct 30, 2015 at 15:19
  • @Mr Lister: Isn't she based on victors wife in the book? Never read the book, but thought that would be a subplot there. If not, then sorry, ignore that part...
    – kl78
    Oct 30, 2015 at 15:34
  • Are you sure it's actually white? It could just be a light color that looks white due to the filming method.
    – Rogue Jedi
    Oct 30, 2015 at 16:32
  • TV Tropes calls this a Skunk Stripe. Also note that the same bride of Frankenstein is used as the main image of the trope.
    – Flater
    Sep 18, 2017 at 13:11

3 Answers 3


The look was designed by Jack Pierce for the 1935 movie Bride of Frankenstein, as was so iconic that it's remained in the public consciousness as the look for the bride of Frankenstein.

It's well known that the hair is mostly based on a bust Jack Pierce had seen of Nefertiti, and the white streaks he added on his own.
enter image description here

It's conjectured that they were supposed to be reminiscent of lightning bolts, as it is guessed here, http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title/69663/Bride-of-Frankenstein/articles.html Certainly also the black and white colors were motivated by the fact that the movie was black and white, and so it makes a great visual contrast.

  • 1
    I see in that article the suggestion that this hairstyle inspired later movies, but nothing about Pierce being inspired by earlier or contemporaneous movies. Oct 30, 2015 at 19:40

I just happened to re-read the original novel a couple of days ago. Victor destroyed the "bride" before she was ever... enlived? revived? awakened? animated? Before she was completed and brought to life. The "bride" was, like the first monster, made from random parts; there was no connection with anyone Victor knew and she was never really described. Neither creation is ever given a detailed description in one paragraph; it's mostly left to the reader's imagination. The partial descriptions given here and there in the book include: yellowish skin stretched thin enough to be almost translucent, black hair, black lips and fingernails, watery gray eyes, approximately eight feet tall. It's movements were quick, smooth and graceful.

This is the most complete single description of the original creation, from chapter V:

"How can I describe my emotions at this catastrophe, or how delineate the wretch whom with such infinite pains and care I had endeavoured to form? His limbs were in proportion, and I had selected his features as beautiful. Beautiful!—Great God! His yellow skin scarcely covered the work of muscles and arteries beneath; his hair was of a lustrous black, and flowing; his teeth of a pearly whiteness; but these luxuriances only formed a more horrid contrast with his watery eyes, that seemed almost of the same colour as the dun white sockets in which they were set, his shrivelled complexion and straight black lips."

At any rate there's no mention of white-streaked hair. I'm sure that was a product of the movie's creators, probably meant to evoke the lightning (also not in the book) used to animate the movie version of the monsters.


In the pic above, to me, it looks like shock for the white and curly waves, the curly waves look like DNA and came from the temples,the curly waves also look like it took an electrical hit at the temples to create life with newer DNA.

  • Do you have any evidence for this, or is it just speculation?
    – Blackwood
    Sep 18, 2017 at 1:48
  • 4
    if it intended to evoke DNA, that would be quite the scientific prophecy since the double helix wasn't discovered until 1953, about 18 years after the Bride film (1935) :D
    – NKCampbell
    Sep 18, 2017 at 2:02

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