At WiseGEEK, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.

Learn more...

What are the Different Types of Emo Hairstyles for Girls?

Alex Tree
Alex Tree

There are thousands of different emo hairstyles for girls, ranging from long and choppy to short and spiky. These styles are frequently dyed two or more colors and have side-swept bangs that cover the forehead and sometimes the eyes. Every emo haircut has at least one layer, but its uniqueness stems from the fact that emo hairstyles for girls can have as many layers as desired, placed just about anywhere. In addition, there is no standard dye color used, so an emo haircut might be black, blonde, and red on different layers. The hair can also be any length, from extremely short to back length.

Short emo hairstyles for girls generally refer to cuts shoulder length or shorter. This cut usually has many layers to give it volume, in addition to requiring hair gel or hair spray to keep it spiky. Short emo haircuts are also popular on boys, though this gender rarely uses more than one color of hair dye, if any at all. Due to the shortness of these cuts, they are sometimes not able to fall in the eyes of the wearer, which is often desired from emo hairstyles for girls. An advantage of having a short emo hair cut rather than a long one is that it is easier for the wearer to re-dye and style and is normally cheaper at a salon.

Emo fashion may include black nail polish.
Emo fashion may include black nail polish.

Long and choppy emo hairstyles experienced a drastic gain in popularity in the early 2000s. These hairstyles can be as long as desired, and some girls get hair extensions solely to have this type of emo haircut. The hair is usually cut in layers with little hair left at the bottom, with the upper parts of the hair achieving much volume and spikiness. While some girls have their emo hair dyed a solid platinum blonde or deep black, others choose to dye it two or more colors. With this type of hair style, any color or combination of color is acceptable.

Most emo hairstyles for girls have bangs that sweep across the wearer’s forehead. There are essentially three ways to style an emo haircut with side-swept bangs. First, the wearer can sweep them far enough to one side that they do not interfere with her vision. The bangs are then gelled or sprayed so that they stay in place. Another way to wear emo bangs is to slightly sweep them to one side so that they hang down in front of the eyes. Lastly, emo bangs can be combed directly down to rest on the forehead.

You might also Like

Discussion Comments


@pastanaga - To me, that's the whole definition of emo though. Someone who is more concerned with looking good, as well as tragic or dramatic, than with the real depth that other trends tend to provide. I mean, yeah, people who dress in goth styles and consider themselves to be goth might be trying to shock (although I don't agree that they never try to look good. Good is a relative term after all) but they are also trying to make a real statement about norms and society.

My impression when I see pictures of emo hairstyles for girls is that it's all about the look and there is no substance behind it. And, honestly, that's OK. Girls can have whatever hairstyles they want and follow a different trend every week, for all I care. I don't think anyone should be shamed for it. But emo is only a trend, or a look, and not a real movement, with a philosophy, like punk or goth.


@browncoat - Like a lot of styles the term emo seems to have been through a kind of revival where people have started to embrace it as a legitimate form of expression rather than a default for people who aren't expressing themselves well.

I've also heard the emo style described as "scene" though, so some people might prefer that. And there are definitely some cute emo hairstyles for girls. They tend to be interesting without losing an appealing look, while punk and goth hairstyles generally just set out to shock without trying to look good at all.


I don't actually know many people who would identify themselves as actually being "emo". Maybe that has changed since I was a teenager, but back then it was considered a bad thing, like a term for teenagers who were too dramatic and dark, without actually subscribing to a real goth or punk aesthetic.

You might be able to identify emo girl hairstyles by mapping common trends, but I can't imagine someone going to a stylist and asking for something that looked "emo" unless it was a joke.

Post your comments
Forgot password?
    • Emo fashion may include black nail polish.
      By: NinaMalyna
      Emo fashion may include black nail polish.