“Emo” was probably a word you and your friends overused in the 2000s, when everyone listened to sad punk rock songs by Fall Out Boy and cut their hair to give themselves huge, goth-inspired side bangs. But being emo isn’t a phase—it’s a lifestyle, at least for those committed to the subculture.
When someone considers their style to be “emo,” they usually refer to wearing graphic muscle tees of their favorite bands and super tight skinny jeans. But perhaps the most obvious form of expression of being emo is through your hair.
The bigger the bangs, the more jagged the cut, and the darker the vibe, the more emo your look is. It’s a daring style that some people may consider over-the-top but is actually pretty creative. Here are 20 different emo hairstyles you can try to see what we mean!
Long, Straight Layers and Side Bangs
This right here is the classic emo hairstyle. Emo girls love to wear their hair pin-straight with tons of layers, to the point where their hair gets thinner and finer towards the ends.
Then, they’ll push all their bangs to one side, creating a flatteringly deep side part. Most times, these bangs will cover your eyes, giving you that brooding and mysterious emo-girl vibe.
Undercut with Long Hair
Here’s a more daring take on the emo long-hair look. To give off a bold and edgy vibe, try getting an undercut while still maintaining your waist-long tresses. The shaved sides will make you look striking and distinctive—something that many emo women go for when styling their locks.
You can do this look with both sides of your head shaved or just one side. If you choose the latter, make sure to push all your hair to the unshaved side to create that sultry deep side part to show off your smooth shave.
Another way to flaunt an undercut is by going all out and pairing it with a mohawk. But to elevate it, even more, incorporate the look of a classic mullet by leaving it very long towards the back, even if your front and sides are short. This is a great way for emo girls to do something daring with their hair but still retain some length.
Super Long Electric Blue Hair
But you don’t always have to go crazy with emo hairstyles. Sometimes, switching up your color is more than enough for you to earn how membership to the emo club. Take this girl, for example. She wears her hair down with her natural waves but in a vibrant, eye-catching electric blue for that emo, punk rock touch.
It’s easy to toss your hair in a bun when you’re feeling tired, but it doesn’t look that feminine. Get the best of both worlds by tying your hair in a half-up bun. This hairstyle looks even better when your locks have a color gradient, like black to blue!
Half-Up Pigtails with Bangs and Braids
Here’s a look that combines tons of creative elements in one emo look. Start off by giving yourself a full fringe and a blunt bob. Then, put half your hair up in pigtails, leaving the rest down to show off your pretty, chin-length cut. Lastly, plait small sections of hair near your temple into braids for a soft and femme finish.
Silver Space Buns
Space buns are usually seen as adorable and lively. But if you dye your hair a monochromatic color, like black, silver, or white, and put it up in space buns, we can almost guarantee you’ll look like an emo anime queen. Don’t forget to leave out a few pieces of hair at the front for a subtle messy look.
Donut Bun with Multiple Colors
A donut bun is a sophisticated way to keep your hair up and still make it look thick and lush. Many people wear it to formal events because it’s so polished, but did you know that adding some color to your hair can make a donut bun look super emo? Add multiple wild colors like red, yellow, and purple to make it look grungy!
Double French Braids
Who says braids are for little girls? Emo queens can rock them too! Do two simple pigtail French braids to show off your playful side while still flaunting that emo look. By the way, braids look extra beautiful on dyed hair because it shows off the depth of your color!
One-Length Cut and a Full Fringe
Emo hair doesn’t always have to be wild and crazy. Sometimes, simple, uniform, chunky-looking cuts are enough. An easy way to get that emo goth look is to get a thick, full fringe and get the rest of your hair cut in one length. Iron your hair to make it sleek and straight, and you’re done.
Teased High Ponytail
If you love grungy 90s hairstyles, you’ll love a teased, high ponytail. Not only is it cute, but it’s also super easy to do.
Brush your bangs so that they lay on one side, giving your that classic emo fringe. Then, use a teasing comb to brush back some of the sections on the top of your head to give your hair extra height. Lastly, gather your locks together and tie them into a loose ponytail.
Earlier, we saw a mullet mohawk. If that one was too long for you, go for a true blue mohawk with a touch of an undercut. Ask your stylist to give you a mohawk but to still leave a few centimeters of hair in the shaved area, giving it that freshly trimmed undercut feel.
Crimped Black and Blonde Soft Bob
Blunt bobs are great for emo girls because of their jagged appearance. But if that look is too harsh for you, soften it up by flipping the ends of your bob inward, making it look softer. If you want some extra texture, crimp some parts of your bob!
Super Spiky Purple Layers
Two things make this hairstyle incredibly eye-catching. First, we have the color. A deep, vibrant purple can easily grab anyone’s attention. Second, we have the haircut technique. If your hair is pin-straight, a layered scissor-cut will make your hair look super spiky and jagged, which is awesome for that emo look.
Double Bubble Braids on Red Hair
Want to go for a spooky look? Try bubble braids on your edgy-colored hair! Braids are usually cute and innocent-looking, but if you pair it with a badass color like deep red, you elevate it to something grungy and brooding.
Tall Spikes with Shaved Sides
Here’s one of the more extreme emo looks on this list. If you want to go all-out with your emo look, like the next time you go to a rave or emo concert, try this one out. Create tall spikes in your mane by adding a generous amount of gel and hairspray each time you make a lock of hair stand up.
Flipped-Out Layered Bob
Show off your two-tone bob by using hot rollers or flat iron to flip them outward. It gives them a retro 90s touch while letting your highlights and fun colors peek out from underneath your top section of hair. This look pairs nicely with wispy emo bangs.
Sidelocks and Baby Bangs
You can also try playing around with different lengths throughout your hair. In this hairstyle, we see sidelocks that are cut a little longer than the rest of your hair for that dramatic effect. The bangs, on the other hand, are shorter than the usual fringe, making them even more vivid and striking.
Long Hair with Beanie
If you don’t want to color your hair, you can always make do with a classic emo accessory—the beanie. Go for one in darker shades, like black or deep red, and pair it with the makeup of the same color. It’s a great way to make even the lightest hair colors seem dark and emo.
Pigtails with Long Side Bangs
If you want a brighter look to your emo hair, you can go for a fun and playful style, like pigtails. They look awesome on hip-length hair with a party color, like teal. Of course, for that signature emo touch, leave your side bangs down, even if they’re on the longer side.