Data sports another android haircut that seems to have been designed specifically to help him blend in. It’s a simple, straightforward haircut that, among other things, covers all the makeup necessary to hide LED-addled props in his hair. In a break from the examples offered by androids like the Terminator and Ash from Alien, Data wasn’t designed with a human haircut to surrepticiously blend in so much as to help him acclimatise himelf as a human being.
As a result, there’s a certain uncomfortably mechanical feel to the style. In discussions around Star Trek Online’s character creation options, Data’s haircut has been referred to as “Slicked Back 02” (as opposed to “Slicked Back 01,” which we’re told is “a great Major Kira look).
Data’s physical strangeness (his twitchiness, yellow eyes and skin) is curious precisely because it is his hair that humanises him, in precisely the same way as the Borg Queen’s cyborg baldness sets her apart. Consider the freakiness of a bald Data… it doesn’t even bear thinking about. I can’t help but feel they missed a trick not making Lore bald.
Moreover, it’s interesting to note that Data owns a cat, just like the cat in Alien. Coincidence? Probably, but that’s life.