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The emo subculture is generally defined as an attitude that is heavily influenced by emo bands. "Emo," which is a blend of the two words "emotional" and "hardcore," music started in the 1980s with rock bands that had roots in the hardcore punk movement. A significant portion of an emo's individual style is his or her hair, which is usually dark in color, and may, or may not, be styled to garner attention from onlookers. There is some degree of standardization among girls' emo haircuts, with all styles sharing a few basic principles, such as the presence of bangs and the main color being black.
By far the most important element of any emo hairstyle is the fringe, or bangs, that are worn long so as to cover one eye. No matter where the hair is parted, the fringe should begin on one side of the face and be drawn across one eye to the other side. The fringe can be level, layered, or tapered across the bottom, but must be held together with a styling product so as to form a definitive shape. Girls' emo haircuts are distinguished by the bangs worn in this manner. In fact, with few exceptions, both men and women of all ages and ethnicities in the emo culture can be seen with bangs worn this way.
Another key element in emo style, especially concerning girls' emo haircuts, is hair color. The most common color scheme for emo hairstyles is solid black; however, many girls' emo haircuts are accented in all or part of the hair with bright coloring. Colors such as pink, yellow, green, purple, or red are commonly used to accent a certain portion of the hair, or randomly streaked through the hair to create a highly individualized look. Coloring is most commonly found on the fringe, so as to accentuate its presence.
While shorter girls' emo haircuts are popular and commonly accepted, many girls choose to wear their hair in a longer emo fashion. A popular style for longer hair is a reverse taper, with the hair at the front of the head being grown longer, and tapering to a shorter length in the back. This creates a dramatic look that frames the face, especially when styled with a long, colored fringe. It is more common to see a blond color with this hairstyle, and is usually combined with a darker color around the roots, as well as on the underlying layers of hair.