Bold and beautiful, alt hairstyles will take you to the edge and show off your provocative, unconventional style at a glance. From vivid colors and shaved styles to short cuts and all things distinctive, you’re gonna want to see this list of edgy alt hairstyles to shake things up.
What Are Alt Hairstyles?
Alt hairstyles – alternative hairstyles – are distinctive, edgy hairstyles that don’t follow the mainstream trends. Forget beachy waves, basic color palettes, and elementary styles that have been done to death.
Alt hairstyles are all about breaking new ground and foregoing the usual trends in favor of something a little more extraordinary, rare, and bold.
Mullets, wolf cuts, undercuts, faux hawks and mohawks, remixed pixies, and distinctively shaped and shaved styles are the root of most alt hairstyles. Vivid, bright colors and unexpected mis-matched textures and lengths also show up in a number of alt hairstyles.
You’ll see alt hairstyles described as punk, grunge, edgy, or androgynous. These labels are helpful for describing the general aesthetic, but alt hairstyles can’t really be put into a box.
Truthfully, these styles are whatever you want them to be. Alt hairstyles encourage us all to have a little more fun and let creativity take the reins when it comes to dreaming up your next hairstyle. But a little inspiration never hurts, right?
Take a look at some of the best alt hairstyles we’ve seen and collect ideas for your next bold, distinctive ‘do. We’ll also share some tips for mastering alt styles that help you show your unique sense of style through your strands.
20 Edgy Alt Hairstyles That Are Far From Ordinary
If basic styles and colors just aren’t doing it for you, alt hairstyles will open up a world of possibilities for your mane. From colorful hues that get attention to unconventional cuts and unexpected style silhouettes, there’s a bold and beautiful style here for you.
Take it all in and see what style elements you want to borrow to create your own unique and alternative look!
1. Rooty Tapered Platinum Faux Hawk
Leaving a hint of your natural dark roots lends platinum a little edge, but the real show-stealer is the tapered faux hawk style.
The central strip is left longer in the front with tapered length getting shorter toward the back. The sides are shorn shorter to create some distinction, and that makes it a great look for oval, round, and square faces.
2. Short and Spiky Peridot Crop
This energetic crop is tapered with a shorter back and sides to keep things simple. The bright, green-yellow peridot color is a creative spin on popular lime green shades and super-flattering on complexions with warm undertones.
Style the front upward and slightly back with some gel, twisting small sections with your fingers to form edgy spikes throughout.
3. Disheveled Rose Gold Undercut Pixie Faux Hawk
Can’t decide between an eccentric color or unique haircut? Why not do both, like this rose gold pixie faux hawk with shaved sides? The texture is disheveled and it’s really easy to pull off this style once you’ve got the right cut.
Shave the sides short up to the temples and leave a strip of length running from the front to the neckline. Style the top upward and muss up the back with a little gel or pomade and let it rock.
4. Ultra Violet & Platinum Pompadour Undercut
We see your Manic Panic and raise you an artful, two-toned ultra violet pompadour with platinum, short sides. This look requires some skill (or a great colorist) to pull off correctly, but it’s vivid and bold in all the best ways.
Tease the longer top at the roots, smooth the outer layer, and comb it back with a little hairspray for staying power. Keep the sides and back short for contrast and to show off the bright platinum.
5. Ombre Teal Half-Up Pigtails With Face-Framing Tendrils
One of our favorite ways to create fun alt hairstyles is pairing a trendy style (like half-up pigtails) with an unexpected color choice. Place your half-up pigtails a little lower for this look, securing them near the back of the head.
Ombre teal color leaves your natural hue in the roots and upper midshaft, while saturated teal takes over from there. Pull out a few face-framing tendrils on each side and you’re done.
6. White Blonde Short Tapered Crop
Pair an ultra-bright white blonde with an edgy tapered crop cut to embolden the look. The top is brushed forward in the style to form a precise line across the forehead and the shorter back and sides are directed downward for simplicity. It’s the perfect look to accompany your favorite wild and brazen accessories.
7. Multi-Toned Orange and Pink Lob
Borrow a couple of trendy elements – the lob haircut and center part – and turn them on their heads with multi-toned, smudgy orange and pink color. Shades of blonde, light orange, and orange-pink are the centerpiece of the look with no wild haircut needed to make a bold statement.
8. Vivid Blue Face-Framing Color Stripes With Jet Black Base
Basic black can be fun, but why not shake things up with twin stripes of vivid blue color around the face? This transforms the look to make it one of the easiest alt hairstyles.
You can keep your current cut and get all the edge points with this simple color duo. We like shorter face-framing layers to really draw attention to the bold pops of color up front.
9. Buzz Cut Bangs and Pigtails
This kid is proof that you don’t need wild colors to pull alt hairstyles together – just a little creativity and imagination. All eyes will be on you with short buzz cut bangs cut in a precise line and long hair styled in pigtails for contrast. This look screams confidence and comfort in your own skin.
10. Edgy Bantu Knot Crown
Protective bantu knots are a no-brainer if you’re looking for edgy alt hairstyles that suit coarse or coily hair textures. This style keeps your mane off your face and is the perfect complement to a bold eyeliner look.
Create the knots in a crown formation, starting with one knot in the center and continuing in even sections down the sides. Style the back in knots or leave it loose for a multi-textured style.
11. Gradient Pink-Platinum Cropped and Layered Bob
Why be pretty in pink when you can be distinctive, unique, and alluring in this bright color? Gradient pink descends from highly saturated rose tones at the roots to barely-pink toned platinum at the ends. A choppy, layered bob shows off the color gradient perfectly and brow-grazing blunt bangs balance the look.
12. Disconnected Mullet With Choppy Bangs
This mullet features disconnected length for the edge factor. The short length doesn’t blend into the much longer strands in the back and the short top is styled upward in a faux hawk for some volume and height.
Smooth the choppy, slanted bangs down and slightly to the side. Rock your hair’s natural texture for the length in back to bring it all home.
13. Jagged Cobalt Blue Bob With Asymmetrical Bangs
Cobalt blue is a rare and unique color to try with an alt hairstyle. We love how this version features two tones: A light UV blue and deeper navy with gray-violet tones.
Jagged, uneven layers shape the style with a cool, haphazard look while the asymmetrical bangs draw the eye upward in an off-center line. This makes it flattering on round, square, or heart face shapes.
14. Faux Undercut Teased Pompadour
Take a greaser pompadour to the next level with tons of teased volume and a faux undercut to focus all that volume on top. This look is shoulder-length and takes a little more time to pull off, but the results are worth it.
Heavily tease and backcomb the hair on top with hairspray to create volume, then smooth the outer layer and coil the top into a rolled pompadour look before pinning in place.
Twist sections from the sides back to keep the volume minimal there and tease the back before brushing downward to finish the look.
15. Messy Asymmetrical Bob With Precision Blunt Bangs
This little one knows how to rock trendsetting alt hairstyles! Precise blunt bangs are the focal point of the look, juxtaposing the messy, tousled, and heavily layered texture in the rest of the bob. A long tendril escapes the short haircut and keeps the style down to earth with a feisty touch of IDGAF.
16. Underdyed Blunt Mushroom Cut
This look creates a stark contrast between the platinum blonde on top and deep chocolate brown underdye on the bottom layers. A blunt mushroom cut gives you the precision of a bowl cut without the stacked, graduated layers that can add a lot of volume.
17. Pink Chin-Length Blunt Bob With Micro Bangs
Micro bangs attract the eye immediately and are pretty much synonymous with alt hairstyles now. Chop that fringe super-short and blunt to leave much of your forehead exposed.
Keep the ends blunt to mirror the fringe. Any color would work well with this edgy cut, but we’re kind of loving the contrast of baby pink with such a bold style.
18. Plum, Copper, and Auburn Pixie Crop
We’d never have thought to put plum, copper, and auburn together like this, but really love how dimensional and high-contrast it is. The copper in the central top section becomes the focal point of brightness among the deeper plum and auburn red tones.
A long-top pixie cut enables you to keep a few extra inches of length to show off these colors. Style the top downward and over to the side to copy the look.
19. Blue Crochet Dreads and Braids
Faux dreadlocks make it easy to try an alt hairstyle without fully committing to the look. A bright, electric blue makes the style a little more creative and fun.
With big, disheveled locs, smaller twists, and random braids scattered through the style, there’s a lot of texture and variation in this style. Part it deeply to the side for some extra volume on top.
20. Side-Swept Pixie Fade With Blotchy Pink Color
This look combines a long-top pixie with a bald fade for a distinctive and unconventional style that’s actually really easy to care for. Blotchy pink and blonde color makes it stand out.
And the longer top gives you a chance to change the look up as needed. Brush it down and forward, then push it slightly to the side for an easy alt hairstyle that will brighten up your world.
Alt Hairstyles Tips and Things to Consider
Rocking a bold and distinctive look is a lot easier when you know all the tips and tricks. Here’s what you need to know to make sure your alt hairstyle turns out the way you want and is simple to care for and style.
- Confidence is absolutely key. If you’re going to shrink with a bold alt hairstyle, why wear it in the first place? Choosing a statement cut or color means you’ll need unshakeable confidence to go along with it. Your unconventional hairstyle is sure to make a splash in every room you enter, so hold your head high and remember that your hair is your personal expression, not a reflection of current trends or beauty ideals.
- Certain colors are known for fading fast. While bold and bright colors are fun to wear, they’re also known for fading a lot faster than natural-inspired colors like blonde, brown, red, and black. Soft pastel shades can start fading in just 1-2 weeks! If you’re choosing a vibrant shade of color for your style, make sure to factor in regular touch ups and toning to keep it looking good, or come up with a backup plan for switching colors once the fading sets in.
- Disconnected and asymmetrical cuts are a pain to grow out. Before you get an edgy cut, know that certain types of asymmetrical and disconnected styles are a total pain to grow out. With one side longer than the other, uneven layers, or shaved sections, you’ll have a crazy situation on your hands as your strands begin to grow out of the cut’s shape. You’ll have to go as short as the shortest section to even things up again or keep getting the same cut to fix the issue, so keep this in mind.
- Vivid colors can stain your hair. Since you’ll have to bleach your hair before applying a bright and vivid color (like blue, purple, pink, or green), your hair will be very light and somewhat damaged before you even apply your color of choice. The intense dye pigment molecules are prone to hanging around for a while and may stain hair even after the color has washed out. If that happens, you may need color correction or a darker color on top to cover it up.
- Keep your face shape in mind. While it’s important to choose alt hairstyles that will suit your sense of style, you’ve also got to consider how it’ll look with your face shape. Round faces need more volume on top and less on the sides, while heart faces need side volume and look best in chin-length styles. Take a look at this guide for more tips on choosing a cut that suits your features: What Haircut Should I Get (Women)? | All Face Types.
Is an Alternative Hairstyle Right for You?
Taking a step off the beaten path and choosing alt hairstyles instead of mainstream trends might be the best decision you’ve made for your mane in a long time.
By letting conventional ideas of what’s pretty, feminine, and acceptable fall to the wayside, you can finally break through to what you think looks good. Use this guide to gather all the alt hairstyles inspiration you need.
But don’t forget to put your own spin on it. You might choose a bold and edgy pixie fade, a versatile bob, or a disconnected mullet to let your style shine through.
Maybe you’ll dye your hair your favorite color, choose multiple shades you like, or come up with a wild color scheme for your mane. As long as your creativity and ideas are taking the reins, you’ll be rocking alt hairstyles that boost your confidence and command attention when you enter a room.
Keep your options open and be willing to switch things up when your style changes over time. Who knows what cool and crazy style you’ll be rocking next?