Emo Haircuts: The New Mullets?

“And it doesn’t help that I couldn’t get my hair to do that flippy thing either, like that guy from that band can do…”

~ from “The Emo Song,” by Adam and Andrew

Emo haircuts are one of the latest fads of the 2000’s. While all the rage amongst the teenage set, many argue that the emo hairstyle is destined to become a historical laughingstock, grouped right in beside the classic mullet style. But even with such scary accusations floating around, emo haircuts continue to gain popularity. Just what makes a haircut emo? Here’s a few tips, in case you’re looking to get your hair cut in this trendy new style:

In order to fully understand the emo haircut, one must realize that emo is one of the many branches off the punk and gothic sub-cultures. As the name “emo” (short for “emotional”) implies, these youngsters promote themselves as the more sensitive individuals of the 2000’s. Depression and angst is considered the norm, and the dangerous practice of “cutting” (inflicting harm upon oneself, using any number of sharp objects) runs rampant amongst these teens. Low self-esteem is often idealized and the emo haircut reflects this – often obscuring at least half of the individual’s features from view.

The emo haircut is usually worn in one of two ways – either a short and spiky cut with longer bangs, or a long shag cut. Regardless of which style is chosen, however, there are a couple of similarities between the two types. The first, and perhaps most important part of the emo haircut, is the long fringe of bangs. If you want your hair style to truly be considered “emo,” then you simply must have the bangs – worn down over the face and then brushed off to the side, they should ideally cover one eye, giving the individual that desired “lost puppy” appearance.

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The flippy bang look is achieved through a number of means, dependant upon the emo teen’s hair type. If the hair is curly or wavy, great lengths are often taken in order to make the hair hang straight and lay correctly. This often involves hair irons or straighteners, a blow dryer and a plethora of products, ranging from hair wax, smoothing lotions, hairsprays, anti-frizz serums and everything in-between. The ideal emo bangs are a fringed wall that the emo teen uses, in order to protect himself from the harsh world and various stares of those who simply don’t understand.

The emo hairstyle is preferably dyed black, as well. Granted, not all of them are able to do this, due to restrictions from their “parentals” but if they’re lucky, they have the more hip parents that will allow them this freedom of expression. In addition to dying the hair black, many emo kids will also bleach and then re-dye sections of their hair, coloring them in bright hues with names like “acid green,” “nuclear orange,” or classic hot pink. Sometimes, these more wild dye jobs are simply a few streaks here and there, or perhaps the process of “tipping” is used, where just the ends of the hair are re-colored. In more drastic cases, however, the individuals entire bangs or one side of their head can even be colored in these outrageous shades.

So your child wants an emo hairstyle… Do you allow it? Some believe that it’s good for a child’s self-esteem to grant them their desired freedom of expression, but there are a good many others who will argue that the emo sub-culture is more harmful to its followers. Many parents out there will just shrug and say that it’s “only a haircut,” and that you “have to let them experiment and rebel a little.” While this may be all very well and good, ask yourself how many adults now wish that they would have listened to their mothers, in those moments of temporary insanity, back when they wanted to get their hair cut in a mullet? Now there’s something to think about.