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The Definitive Ranking Of The Wigs From "The Americans"

If the whole "spying for the Soviet Union" thing doesn't work out, at least the Jenningses could open up their own wig emporium.

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For those who don't know, The Americans tells the story of Philip and Elizabeth Jennings (Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell), Soviet spies secretly working in the United States during the Cold War.

How do they accomplish their missions without getting caught? TONS OF MOTHERFUCKING WIGS. All kinds of wigs. And although though the show is not solely focused on spying, but is also a nuanced family drama, we all know that the wigs are the series's heart and soul. And so, of course, one simple task remains — to rank the myriad wigs worn by these crafty Soviet agents. Generally speaking, this ranking does not include disguises that simply involved putting a hat over the characters' regular hair or just styling their regular hair differently, although there are some exceptions. Also, a lot of wigs reappear numerous times throughout the series. The goal was to include only the first instance of each wig. There are a few cases where wigs might be repeated in this list, but whatever, it can be tough to tell wigs apart sometimes. Basically, WIGS WIGS WIGS WIGS WIGS.

Now, let's get started.

47.

Season 2, Episode 8Elizabeth, Elizabeth, Elizabeth. There is SO MUCH going wrong here. The too-short hair is strangely choppy, as if someone had taken a pair of scissors to it and Elizabeth just saw it the next day and was like, "Eh, too late to change it now." And even though this about the wigs and not the outfits, let's just say that the hoodie isn't doing anything to help make the hair look better.
FX

Season 2, Episode 8

Elizabeth, Elizabeth, Elizabeth. There is SO MUCH going wrong here. The too-short hair is strangely choppy, as if someone had taken a pair of scissors to it and Elizabeth just saw it the next day and was like, "Eh, too late to change it now." And even though this about the wigs and not the outfits, let's just say that the hoodie isn't doing anything to help make the hair look better.

46.

Season 2, Episode 7There's a definite serial-killer vibe going on here. Which is great when you're trying to intimidate someone, but from a pure ~fashion~ perspective, is creepy as fuck.
FX

Season 2, Episode 7

There's a definite serial-killer vibe going on here. Which is great when you're trying to intimidate someone, but from a pure ~fashion~ perspective, is creepy as fuck.

45.

Season 2, Episode 2PHILIP NO YOU DO NOT LOOK GOOD WITH A PONYTAIL NOT AT ALL AND THAT MUSTACHE JUST MAKES IT WORSE OH GOD PHILIP WHY.
FX

Season 2, Episode 2

PHILIP NO YOU DO NOT LOOK GOOD WITH A PONYTAIL NOT AT ALL AND THAT MUSTACHE JUST MAKES IT WORSE OH GOD PHILIP WHY.

44.

Season 2, Episode 11Philip gives the lumbersexual trend his best shot. It does not work.
FX

Season 2, Episode 11

Philip gives the lumbersexual trend his best shot. It does not work.

43.

Season 1, Episode 12"Oh sorry, elderly lady from down the street who yells at me every time I walk past her house, I was looking for Elizabeth Jennings. Do you have any idea where she went?"
FX

Season 1, Episode 12

"Oh sorry, elderly lady from down the street who yells at me every time I walk past her house, I was looking for Elizabeth Jennings. Do you have any idea where she went?"

42.

Season 1, Episode 4One of many bobs that Elizabeth attempts to pull off. But again, it's waaaay too choppy and severe-looking. Did Moscow not send along a hairdresser to help you guys out?
FX

Season 1, Episode 4

One of many bobs that Elizabeth attempts to pull off. But again, it's waaaay too choppy and severe-looking. Did Moscow not send along a hairdresser to help you guys out?

41.

Season 1, Episode 13One of Claudia's few forays into the Wonderful World of Wigs™, this gray number screams Midwestern grandma. Which is the look she was going for, to be fair, but not really a look that works well for anyone.
FX

Season 1, Episode 13

One of Claudia's few forays into the Wonderful World of Wigs™, this gray number screams Midwestern grandma. Which is the look she was going for, to be fair, but not really a look that works well for anyone.

40.

Season 1, Episode 1Philip looks grimy, but like, a cool kind of grimy. Not cool enough to raise this wig any higher on the list, but the wig is giving its all.
FX

Season 1, Episode 1

Philip looks grimy, but like, a cool kind of grimy. Not cool enough to raise this wig any higher on the list, but the wig is giving its all.

39.

Season 1, Episode 8Is this the same wig as the one above, just less sweaty? Possibly. Is it giving off a slight No Country for Old Men vibe? Yeah, tbh. Should Philip take it to the woods, light it on fire, and never look back? Definitely.
FX

Season 1, Episode 8

Is this the same wig as the one above, just less sweaty? Possibly. Is it giving off a slight No Country for Old Men vibe? Yeah, tbh. Should Philip take it to the woods, light it on fire, and never look back? Definitely.

38.

Season 2, Episode 9The prodigal ponytail returns, and continues to look terrible on Philip. And Philip? Check your fake mustache. It kind of looks like it's coming off.
FX

Season 2, Episode 9

The prodigal ponytail returns, and continues to look terrible on Philip.

And Philip? Check your fake mustache. It kind of looks like it's coming off.

37.

Season 1, Episode 9Velma from Scooby Doo meets 1970s murderess meets dowdy middle-aged lady trying to think her way out of a midlife crisis. Stop trying to make bobs happen, Elizabeth. They're not going to happen.
FX

Season 1, Episode 9

Velma from Scooby Doo meets 1970s murderess meets dowdy middle-aged lady trying to think her way out of a midlife crisis. Stop trying to make bobs happen, Elizabeth. They're not going to happen.

36.

Season 1, Episode 5"Hey, did you know I'm ~hip~? You can tell because I'm smoking a cigarette and my hair swoops to the side."
FX

Season 1, Episode 5

"Hey, did you know I'm ~hip~? You can tell because I'm smoking a cigarette and my hair swoops to the side."

35.

Season 2, Episode 4This is more of a facial hair wig than an actual head wig. But this is perhaps the most Philip has ever looked like a disgruntled Russian man who just wants some damn peace and quiet.
FX

Season 2, Episode 4

This is more of a facial hair wig than an actual head wig. But this is perhaps the most Philip has ever looked like a disgruntled Russian man who just wants some damn peace and quiet.

34.

Season 2, Episode 3Fade in: Elizabeth watching reruns of Charlie's Angels. Farrah Fawcett appears on-screen, feathered hair blowing in the wind behind her as she pulls out a gun to take down some bad guys. Close up: Elizabeth's face. Eureka, she thinks. Feathered hair. The more feathering, the better. And scene.
FX

Season 2, Episode 3

Fade in: Elizabeth watching reruns of Charlie's Angels. Farrah Fawcett appears on-screen, feathered hair blowing in the wind behind her as she pulls out a gun to take down some bad guys.

Close up: Elizabeth's face. Eureka, she thinks. Feathered hair. The more feathering, the better.

And scene.

33.

Season 1, Episode 8No but srsly tho Elizabeth, stop trying to make bobs work.
FX

Season 1, Episode 8

No but srsly tho Elizabeth, stop trying to make bobs work.

32.

Season 2, Episode 6Elizabeth rocking that flight attendant chic look. But like, a mediocre flight attendant who keeps forgetting that glass of water you've been asking for.
FX

Season 2, Episode 6

Elizabeth rocking that flight attendant chic look. But like, a mediocre flight attendant who keeps forgetting that glass of water you've been asking for.

31.

Season 2, Episode 3One of the best bobs, but still bad. The extra large swoop in front is at least kind of fun, helping raise this one above the others.
FX

Season 2, Episode 3

One of the best bobs, but still bad. The extra large swoop in front is at least kind of fun, helping raise this one above the others.

30.

Season 1, Episode 13Philip heard that blondes have more fun and wanted to see if the rumors were true. He also decided to put on some tinted sunglasses just to round out the cowboy-turned-Vegas-gambler look.
FX

Season 1, Episode 13

Philip heard that blondes have more fun and wanted to see if the rumors were true. He also decided to put on some tinted sunglasses just to round out the cowboy-turned-Vegas-gambler look.

29.

Season 1, Episode 2I want to hate this look so much more than I do. It's stringy in front and bland everywhere else. But somehow, someway, this wig doesn't make me want to poke my eyes out. And that is a big accomplishment.
FX

Season 1, Episode 2

I want to hate this look so much more than I do. It's stringy in front and bland everywhere else. But somehow, someway, this wig doesn't make me want to poke my eyes out. And that is a big accomplishment.

28.

Season 1, Episode 11Dat facial hair wig tho. And a kind of ugly hat, but let's ignore that part for a minute.
FX

Season 1, Episode 11

Dat facial hair wig tho. And a kind of ugly hat, but let's ignore that part for a minute.

27.

Season 1, Episode 5Every once in a while, Elizabeth goes for the full-on schoolmarm look. Here she is at the height of her powers.
FX

Season 1, Episode 5

Every once in a while, Elizabeth goes for the full-on schoolmarm look. Here she is at the height of her powers.

26.

Season 2, Episode 4This looks like a perfectly nice wig that Elizabeth forgot to take care of and so it's kind of crunchy and smells weird and really needs to be washed or brushed or something.
FX

Season 2, Episode 4

This looks like a perfectly nice wig that Elizabeth forgot to take care of and so it's kind of crunchy and smells weird and really needs to be washed or brushed or something.

25.

Season 2, Episode 7The 'fro is not Philip's best look, but it gives off just enough of a hint of Bob Ross to keep the wig from true disgrace.
FX

Season 2, Episode 7

The 'fro is not Philip's best look, but it gives off just enough of a hint of Bob Ross to keep the wig from true disgrace.

24.

Season 2, Episode 9It's hard to see the wig here, which probably helps its cause. There's a little bit sticking out the back of his beanie, looking unkempt, which doesn't inspire too much confidence in how the wig would look sans beanie. Basically, the wig owes the beanie a lot for getting it this high on the list.
FX

Season 2, Episode 9

It's hard to see the wig here, which probably helps its cause. There's a little bit sticking out the back of his beanie, looking unkempt, which doesn't inspire too much confidence in how the wig would look sans beanie. Basically, the wig owes the beanie a lot for getting it this high on the list.

23.

Season 1, Episode 2Elizabeth gives bangs a try, and they almost work. She kind of looks like a librarian with a secret. But not a good secret, like that she brought extra ice cream for everyone at work. A bad secret.
FX

Season 1, Episode 2

Elizabeth gives bangs a try, and they almost work. She kind of looks like a librarian with a secret. But not a good secret, like that she brought extra ice cream for everyone at work. A bad secret.

22.

Season 2, Episode 8Possibly/probably the same wig-under-beanie from that really dark truck-driving scene listed above. But at least the hair looks a little more controlled here.
FX

Season 2, Episode 8

Possibly/probably the same wig-under-beanie from that really dark truck-driving scene listed above. But at least the hair looks a little more controlled here.

21.

Season 1, Episode 11And here we have Elizabeth's best "humanities grad student looking to drink away her problems after her adviser commented that her thesis' introduction just wasn't working."
FX

Season 1, Episode 11

And here we have Elizabeth's best "humanities grad student looking to drink away her problems after her adviser commented that her thesis' introduction just wasn't working."

20.

Season 2, Episode 13And here is Philip's best "graduate thesis advisor" look.
FX

Season 2, Episode 13

And here is Philip's best "graduate thesis advisor" look.

19.

Season 1, Episode 12Every once in a while, Elizabeth goes super vampy. This black wig says "Yeah, I'll sleep with you, but don't be surprised if I kick your ass after." The look is a liiiiittle harsh, which keeps it from ranking any higher.
FX

Season 1, Episode 12

Every once in a while, Elizabeth goes super vampy. This black wig says "Yeah, I'll sleep with you, but don't be surprised if I kick your ass after." The look is a liiiiittle harsh, which keeps it from ranking any higher.

18.

Season 1, Episode 7The same wig? Probably. But it looks a bit nicer in the light of day.
FX

Season 1, Episode 7

The same wig? Probably. But it looks a bit nicer in the light of day.

17.

Season 2, Episode 6Philip is giving us some full-on "concerned office manager" and you know what? I don't hate it.
FX

Season 2, Episode 6

Philip is giving us some full-on "concerned office manager" and you know what? I don't hate it.

16.

Season 2, Episode 3Philip knows he looks like a used car salesman, but he doesn't let that hold him back. He owns it. He will sell you a '76 Chevy, and you're going to like it.
FX

Season 2, Episode 3

Philip knows he looks like a used car salesman, but he doesn't let that hold him back. He owns it. He will sell you a '76 Chevy, and you're going to like it.

15.

Season 2, Episode 1Sex wig. Sex. Wig. SEX WIG. And she works it.
FX

Season 2, Episode 1

Sex wig. Sex. Wig. SEX WIG.

And she works it.

14.

Season 2, Episode 9I call this one "flustered housewife from the 2000s." Elizabeth was truly ahead of her time.
FX

Season 2, Episode 9

I call this one "flustered housewife from the 2000s." Elizabeth was truly ahead of her time.

13.

Season 2, Episode 10Does it look super fake? Yes. But is it still kind of a nice wig on its own merits? For sure. Those curls are a nice change of pace for Elizabeth, and she actually looks like she's enjoying wearing this one.
FX

Season 2, Episode 10

Does it look super fake? Yes. But is it still kind of a nice wig on its own merits? For sure. Those curls are a nice change of pace for Elizabeth, and she actually looks like she's enjoying wearing this one.

12.

Season 1, Episode 4It's unclear if this is a wig or if Philip just brushed his hair back in a new way. But it actually looks pretty good. Natural. And the wave in the front is a ~fun touch~.
FX

Season 1, Episode 4

It's unclear if this is a wig or if Philip just brushed his hair back in a new way. But it actually looks pretty good. Natural. And the wave in the front is a ~fun touch~.

11.

Season 1, Episode 12Claudia's wig for Clark and Martha's wedding is soooo much better than Elizabeth's. It looks appropriately formal without coming across like it's trying too hard. It gives Claudia a much more youthful look than her other wig on this list. In one word: yaaass.
FX

Season 1, Episode 12

Claudia's wig for Clark and Martha's wedding is soooo much better than Elizabeth's. It looks appropriately formal without coming across like it's trying too hard. It gives Claudia a much more youthful look than her other wig on this list. In one word: yaaass.

10.

Season 1, episode 1The Clark wig. A classic. A beautiful piece of work, a thread that draws us along through the episodes and seasons. Long live The Clark.
FX

Season 1, episode 1

The Clark wig. A classic. A beautiful piece of work, a thread that draws us along through the episodes and seasons. Long live The Clark.

9.

Season 2, Episode 1Philip the ramblin' man. The hair is simple and clean, which is much better than his long and/or ponytail-y wigs. And you know he's cool because he wears sunglasses indoors.
FX

Season 2, Episode 1

Philip the ramblin' man. The hair is simple and clean, which is much better than his long and/or ponytail-y wigs. And you know he's cool because he wears sunglasses indoors.

8.

Season 1, Episode 5~FuN, fLirTy, FrEsh~. One of Elizabeth's most natural-looking wigs, which helps to bring it to the next level.
FX

Season 1, Episode 5

~FuN, fLirTy, FrEsh~. One of Elizabeth's most natural-looking wigs, which helps to bring it to the next level.

7.

Season 2, Episode 4This might be the Clark wig making an appearance in a different arena (ugh, can't believe the wig would cheat on Martha like that) or it might be a new wig altogether. Either way, what's clear is that without the glasses, the wig is able to shine to a much greater degree. It looks distinguished, but not too old. Classic, but not too boring. Overall, strong wig game.
FX

Season 2, Episode 4

This might be the Clark wig making an appearance in a different arena (ugh, can't believe the wig would cheat on Martha like that) or it might be a new wig altogether. Either way, what's clear is that without the glasses, the wig is able to shine to a much greater degree. It looks distinguished, but not too old. Classic, but not too boring. Overall, strong wig game.

6.

Season 1, Episode 3Maybe the popped collar is shading how I view this wig, but it looks damn cool. Kind of like that moment right after a badass spy dismounts their motorcycle and removes their helmet, allowing the slightly windswept hair to reveal itself like the renegade it is. Work. This. Look. Elizabeth.
FX

Season 1, Episode 3

Maybe the popped collar is shading how I view this wig, but it looks damn cool. Kind of like that moment right after a badass spy dismounts their motorcycle and removes their helmet, allowing the slightly windswept hair to reveal itself like the renegade it is. Work. This. Look. Elizabeth.

5.

Season 2, Episode 1The mustache isn't the best, but I'll be damned if the rest of this look isn't near-perfect. The wig sweeps to the side in such a stately, glorious manner, you can't help but notice. It's like a gentle wave crashing on the sand, but with hair.
FX

Season 2, Episode 1

The mustache isn't the best, but I'll be damned if the rest of this look isn't near-perfect. The wig sweeps to the side in such a stately, glorious manner, you can't help but notice. It's like a gentle wave crashing on the sand, but with hair.

4.

Season 1, Episode 13Is that Elizabeth or is that a movie star? JK, it's Elizabeth. But she looks kind of like a Hollywood celeb, with the wavy blonde hair and oversized sunglasses. This wig brought out a STRUT in Elizabeth as she walked into what could have been her capture at the hands of Stan. But instead, the wig shone as she was whisked away from the scene by Philip. So yeah, this wig made quite the impression.
FX

Season 1, Episode 13

Is that Elizabeth or is that a movie star? JK, it's Elizabeth. But she looks kind of like a Hollywood celeb, with the wavy blonde hair and oversized sunglasses. This wig brought out a STRUT in Elizabeth as she walked into what could have been her capture at the hands of Stan. But instead, the wig shone as she was whisked away from the scene by Philip. So yeah, this wig made quite the impression.

3.

Season 1, Episode 1This is our first introduction to Elizabeth — a saucy blonde wig that doesn't take no for an answer. It's a powerful look, but one that gives us our first understanding of how much of a chameleon Elizabeth must be to succeed at her job. She doesn't just put on the wig, she inhabits it.
FX

Season 1, Episode 1

This is our first introduction to Elizabeth — a saucy blonde wig that doesn't take no for an answer. It's a powerful look, but one that gives us our first understanding of how much of a chameleon Elizabeth must be to succeed at her job. She doesn't just put on the wig, she inhabits it.

2.

Season 2, Episode 10YES PHILIP YES. I don't even care if this is a wig or just your regular hair styled differently, because it looks so damn good. The look is suave, modern, and totally in charge. The hair is no nonsense, unlike some of Philip's less successful wigs. If Philip could wear this hair all day, every day, the world would be a better place.
FX

Season 2, Episode 10

YES PHILIP YES. I don't even care if this is a wig or just your regular hair styled differently, because it looks so damn good. The look is suave, modern, and totally in charge. The hair is no nonsense, unlike some of Philip's less successful wigs. If Philip could wear this hair all day, every day, the world would be a better place.

1.

Season 2, Episode 6This is THE wig of The Americans. Elizabeth looks like the badass head of a sci-fi corporation that's about to take over the world with sentient robots or something. She looks poised, powerful, and utterly immaculate. The wave at the top, the way the wig plays against her similarly fabulous glasses, the color that is both bright and steely. This is not just a wig, it's a way of life. And it's absolutely perfect.
FX

Season 2, Episode 6

This is THE wig of The Americans. Elizabeth looks like the badass head of a sci-fi corporation that's about to take over the world with sentient robots or something. She looks poised, powerful, and utterly immaculate. The wave at the top, the way the wig plays against her similarly fabulous glasses, the color that is both bright and steely. This is not just a wig, it's a way of life. And it's absolutely perfect.

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