Short Emo Hair Inspiration and Styling Tips

Suffering from #allofthefeels? Wear your heart on your sleeve (and then some) with short emo haircuts. 

You’ve rocked out to the music and you’ve probably donned the outfits here and there. But are you ready for a true commitment to the emo (“emotional”) lifestyle? One of the telltale hallmarks of this subculture—popular with angst-ridden teens, for the most part—is its hairstyle. Short emo hair is a look that features a long, side-swept fringe (most often to the right, for reasons unbeknownst to us Older People) and a mullet-inspired haircut with sharp, razor-cut layers. Emo short hair is typically dark in color, i.e. blacker than the hearts that misunderstand you, and may sometimes have bright highlights or neon streaks.

Read on as we deconstruct the details in emo haircuts for short hair:

While there are certain haircuts and colors that help define your look as an emo hairstyle, styling your cut is really important for defining that emo look. Keep scrolling to find out top styling tips for short emo hair.

1. Go for a Modern Mullet

short emo hair in a mullet cut
A long, black mullet with a side-swept fringe is the trademark emo look.

Like the scene hairstyle, which uses the shag as inspiration, short emo haircuts are a throwback to rocker hair of eras past. This style typically has a mullet-like shape and is top-heavy with a full, eye-covering bang for the best #sideeye ever. The lengths are full of razored layers that result in a piecey texture that is usually left to brush the nape or collarbone area.

2. Go Dark… Really Dark

short emo hair with streaks
Black hair with streaks is a popular look.

If you haven’t already, go with high-contrast hair color. This means dyeing your hair black or, in true rockstar fashion, platinum blonde. Some people attribute a black hair color as one of the main characteristics of emo hairstyles for short hair, as it denotes angst or a deeper, darker outlook. Others like to accentuate their shade with some punky neon highlights or streaking (because, hey, there is a light that never goes out, after all). Whatever the case may be, concentrate your streaks on the fringe area or around the layers near your face for maximum impact.

To keep your hair color vibrant, use Nexxus Color Assure Shampoo and ConditionerThis cleansing conditioner works double duty by cleansing and moisturizing your hair at the same time.

3. Wash Often

Whether you have deeply side-swept or micro piecey bangs, fringe haircuts tend to look greasy over time. Look into a clarifying system that removes dirt and product buildup without stripping—all that mattifying gel can weigh your locks down, not to mention what those bangs laying flat on your forehead can look like after a long day rockin’ out. Cleanse your hair regularly with a shampoo and conditioner that clarifies without drying it out, like TRESemmé Volume Pro Pure Foam Shampoo and TRESemmé Pro Pure Light Moisture Conditioner.

4. Blow-dry at an Angle

short emo hair in a bob
Clean up the edges by wearing it in a bob cut.

After washing, blow-dry your hair downwards at an angle to help your fringe lay flat. Blow-dry bangs first, as they dry the quickest. Hold your nozzle downwards from your part line to create the perfect side-sweep. Finish off the rest of your hair by power-drying (or shaking the nozzle all around) until hair is 90 percent dry.

5. Finish with a Texturizing Agent

Short emo hair is nothing if not dripping with texture (and #pain). Seal the deal with a texturizing product, like Suave Dry Texture Finishing Spray on the fringe and side areas. Twist the product and dispense through wet hair for a more wet-look finish; use on dry hair for a choppy, punky feel without the crunch.

Finish with a non-sticky hairspray, like TRESemmé Compressed Micro Mist Extend Hold Level 4 Hair Spray, to lock in your look. You’re all set!

From deeply side-swept bangs to bright and bold hues, check out emo hairstyle inspiration below.

1. Choppy Bangs

girl with choppy bangs
Emo hair has choppiness to it.

Having choppiness, especially within your fringe is a big quality of emo hair. The choppy effect adds more edge to your look which is definitely the vibe you’re going for.

2. Two-Toned Hair

girl with black and pink pigtails
Try out two colors with a bold look like this.

Emo hair is all about being yourself and trying unique styles too. A popular look within emo hair is two-toned styles. If you want to make a statement opt for a look like this where one half of your hair is black and the other hair is a bright color, like pink.

3. Deep Side-Sweep

short emo hair in platinum
Platinum is a girlier take.

The deep side-swept bangs are one of the most defining characteristics of emo hair. This look is often paired with shaggier, chop cut and can be achieved by asking your stylist for thick angeled bangs. Hold the fringe in place with hair spray and you’ll be good to go!

4. Emo Hair Shag Haircut

girl with blonde shag haircut
Try out a shag for an edgy look.

Emo hair often draws inspiration from shag haircuts because of the thick choppy layers. A shag also adds a bit of edginess to your style, making it the perfect way to test out emo hair.

5. Bold Hair Color

girl with bright purple hair
Try out a bold hue.

Ready for a big hair change? Try out a vibrant hue like this purple color.

Whether you’ve had an emo haircut for years and you want to try out bright hair color, or you’re new to the style and opting for a shag cut and thick bangs, there are many ways you can start incorporating emo hair into your style.

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