Stylist Interview: How to Style Emo Hair

punk model with emo hair

LoveToKnow Hair spoke with Derrek Hawkins and Megan O'Connor, colorists and stylists with the Richard Scott Salon and Day Spa in Mount Kisco, New York, about how to style emo hair and the popularity of this trendy look.

About Derrek and Megan

Derrek Hawkins and Megan O'Connor are colorists and stylists who have worked with such lines as Goldwell, Framesi, Redken, Aveda, and Wella. Derrek's work has included working with rock bands for over two decades, including Stabbing Westward and other musicians.

The Interview

How do you define emo styles?

There is no true definition of the emo style. One can have a 1980s new wave style or a 1970s-inspired grown out shag with a strong side part.

What are the steps of how to style emo hair?

To cut a classic "emo" style, a stylist can combine basic technique to disconnected layers of all lengths. The razor is a popular tool with this style because it helps to create a certain texture.

emo boy

What highlight colors are popular in emo styles?

Every color can help create an "emo" look, but darker colors with chunky white highlights really enhance the look.

How would you recommend converting an emo style into a professional look?

Washing the hair would be a good way to convert the style to a more professional look for the daytime. Products that enhance the emo look are usually wax or a pomade, because they make hair look oily.

Derrek also recommends keeping accent colors on the interior of the hair, then they can easily be styled beneath the hair and hidden for a more professional look.

How do you recommend caring for an emo style to avoid hair damage?

The simplest way to care for the hair is to not overuse a straightening iron.

What are the biggest problems you have seen with emo styles?

The emo style can cause damage to one's hair with over-straightening or over bleaching the hair.

How has the emo or scene look changed over the years?

emo bangs

The emo look began with the punk rock movement in the Washington, D.C. area in the late 1980s. It has since evolved to include all aspects of rock and became more melodic, and the look has become more glamorous.

With whom are emo looks most popular today?

The emo look is more popular today with everyone from elementary school kids to professional adults. It is a look that is associated to today's musicians, including The Strokes, Interpol and My Chemical Romance.

Thank You, Derrek and Megan!

LoveToKnow Hair would like to thank Derrek Hawkins and Megan O'Connor for their insights into how to style emo hair and keep it looking great. For more information about the Richard Scott Salon and Day Spa, visit the salon at 15-17 South Moger Avenue, Mount Kisco, NY, call (914) 242-1700 or check out the website,

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Stylist Interview: How to Style Emo Hair