Punk hairstyles are making a major comeback thanks to musical talents like Willow Smith and Maid of Ace stomping their way onto the scene, complete with Doc Martens and wallet chains.
We’ve gathered up a list of hardcore hair ideas to help you fight the man and look good doing it. Then, we made a style guide to show you a few things to consider.
What Is a Punk Hairstyle?
With origins in the late 60s and early 70s, punk has proven its staying power. For anyone who’s ever fallen for a bad boy, sympathized with the villain in a movie, or gotten a little googly-eyed over a leather jacket, there’s something about the “anti” of this hairstyle that is so appealing.
Just like with all great music movements, a subculture developed around the punk music scene. From the Seattle grunge punks in flannels and ripped jeans to the Brit punks in plaid trousers and band tees, DIY-centric looks seen at underground shows have forever influenced the fashion world.
Punks embrace freedom and a willingness to shock traditional sensibilities from head to toe, so it’s no surprise hair trends emerged on the scene.
Some of the edgy inspiration created in the culture includes:
- Messy, unruly, untamable locks
- Mohawks and faux hawks, especially ones that are spiked
- Unnatural colors ranging from delicate pastels to eye-catching neons
- Shaved sides and designs
- Unkempt, unwashed strands
- Self-expression– anything goes, no holds barred
If you need some hair envy inspiration, we’ve gathered up 30 looks that showcase the versatility and creativity of punk hairstyles:
Punk Inspiration: 30 Ways to Rock the Trend
1. Messy Mullet
Mullets are uber-trendy right now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t punk things up a bit. Razored layers add a dimension that comes to life with a bit of hair wax, while the voluminous mop-top harkens back to the iconic punk mohawk.
2. Metallic Teal Angled Undercut
We’re in love with the chilly undertones of this teal dye job, creating color shifts that appear almost metallic. Because the shaved sides are still brunette, it creates shadows on the roots that add even more edge to a classic punk hairstyle.
3. Hi-Contrast Punky Pastels
Pastel hair colors bring back memories of the late nights spent elbow-deep in a jar of Manic Panic dye trying to achieve that perfect shade of high-octane hair color, only to end up with something closer to muddy water. Fortunately for this rocker chick, her blended coral ‘hawk turned out just right.
4. Pixie Perfect
Keep things simple with a disheveled pixie. It’s a super low-maintenance option perfect for late-night live shows or date nights with the drummer from a local underground punk band. Just run your fingers through your hair, and you’re good to go!
5. Platinum Psychobilly Wedge
Platinum blonde lends a more femme fatale feel to the classic Psychobilly wedge. It’s certainly a bold choice and one more suited for someone with an oval face to balance things out.
6. Smoke Stack
Punks are stealing the stacked bob. The delicate taper of this extra short bob is giving us early 90s rebel girl vibes, made even more perfect with a smoky sapphire with just a hint of dark grey undertones.
7. Blunt Bob
For the riot grrrl who works a 9-5, the blunt bob easily transitions from mornings at the copy machine to evenings raging against the machine. Wear it in gentle waves for a professional setting, then create a face-framing straightened style to add a bit of after-hours edge.
8. Ombre Girly Bowl Cut
Who knew bowl cuts could be so flirty and fun? Punk hairstyles are all about pushing the envelope, and this dreamy spun-sugar-colored coif does just that. Like a cherry on top, the blunt bangs add a touch of sweetness to an already saccharine look. Talk about fringe benefits.
Read Next: Bowl Cut Inspiration
9. Side Slicked
Who says punk can’t be chic at the same time? This adorable take on the side-swept bang goes against the grain with its dramatic upwards swoop. Very sassy, very spunky.
10. Orange Crush
Give your hair a citrus twist with warm shades of orange, red, and yellow. Be your own little bit of sunshine while fighting authority with a jaw-dropping loose braid that shows off every facet of your color transformation.
11. Permed Fauxhawk
Embrace your curls with a sexy fauxhawk. You’ll want to arm yourself with plenty of bobby pins and hairspray, but it’s totally worth it for this rockstar coif.
12. Bubblegum Curls
How stunning is this voluminous mohawk? Millennial pink and messy curls are a match made in heaven. Leave the shaved sides blonde to take this modern look the extra mile.
13. Shaggy Blonde Mohawk
Leave your mohawk shaggy to open up all kinds of styling options. Wear it loud and proud in liberty spikes, try a dutch braid down the middle, or use a little pomade in the front for a punky pompadour.
14. Fuschia Fringe
Show the world your true colors with a dramatic combination of Betty Bangs, braids, and a spiky bun. This is a quintessential punk look with a femme twist, thanks to the neon pink dye job.
15. Mile High Tease
There’s nothing wrong with loving grungy punk and classic ‘70s hair bands. This fashionably frizzy look pays tribute to both genres by teasing a fauxhawk to the max.
Read Next: How to Tease Your Hair
16. Two-Tone Pigtails
Not ready to give your hair the chop but still want a punk look? Start with a shock of white against jet-black hair. This high contrast look is made even better with pigtails for an extra dose of whimsy.
17. Part-Time Spikes
Paralegal by day, punk by night. If you have thin hair, you can texture it into a part-time mohawk. We’re digging the dramatic burgundy under layers that add a certain grungy je nais sais quoi.
18. Center Braided Side Swoop
A classic side swoop undercut is even better with shaved designs and a braided part. It’s youthful and fun, with just a hint of radical rebellion.
19. Fashionable Flyaways
Birds of a feather rock together. This asymmetric quiff takes basic blonde up, up, and away with some serious seagull in flight vibes. It’s just strange enough to be considered avant-garde hair, especially when paired with that feathered collar.
20. Tapered Emo Mullet
Emo teens in the early aughts adopted this version of a mullet with enthusiasm, often dying it into alternating stripes of color appropriately called raccoon tails. Revive the look by skipping the stripes and opting for a bright auburn.
21. Modern Pageboy
We’re suckers for a get-up-and-go punk look, and this modern pageboy is giving us exactly that. Nix the heavy fringe in favor of a more subtle choppy swoop, but leave a little length in the back to get the classic pageboy curl-under. Plus, it’s short enough to hide under your favorite band merch hat on bad hair days.
22. Raven Waves
For every girl who was disappointed by a box dye promising glossy, gorgeous black hair, this luxe raven wave hairstyle is proof that the right hairdresser makes all the difference. Grow your smoky strands long for maximum styling capability.
23. Colorful Betty Bangs
Pinup goes punk with this colorful take on Betty Bangs. Keep your fringe as the focus with a low-key style for the rest of your hair.
Read Next: Bob With Bang Ideas
24. Dark Root Shag
Dark shadow roots are on-trend right now. Make them punk with a piecey shag in your favorite shade, complete with blonde highlights that shine through. It’s a great way to give your locks a break from bleach while embracing the punk trend of breaking with tradition.
25. Ultra Long Deathhawk
When you’re ready to truly embrace your inner grunge queen, celebrate with a teal deathhawk that speaks for itself. Keep it long enough to pull out face-framing curtain bangs and leave a few accenting sidelocks when shaving the sides.
26. Rowdy Ringlets
Leave your ringlet curls untamed and pull them up into a messy fauxhawk for a temporary punk look. The more voluminous and messy your curls, the higher the ‘hawk will stand. Be sure to lay on the hairspray to keep your curls from drooping after an impromptu workout in the mosh pit.
27. Contrasted Undercut
A disconnected undercut is tres chic, especially when you keep things au natural on the sides. Finish with an icy blonde upsweep, acid-wash denim shirt, and black lipstick for an edgy 80s throwback.
28. Crimped Copper
If you have a mane of hair, it can be tough to get texture into it with a curling iron because of the weight. Crimping solves that problem, and we especially adore the look with this coppery-orange hue. Skip styling your roots to avoid adding too much volume near the scalp.
29. Shaved High Pony
Futuristic and high-fashion, this shaved pony is a whole new take on the mohawk. Keep the top extra long, then style into a high ponytail that would leave Ariana Grande’s hairstylist shaking in their apron.
30. Edgy Ultraviolet Mohawk
Up the ante by combining a typically masculine cut with an uber-feminine color. We love this shocking ultraviolet. Contrast the eccentric colors by keeping it styled in a sleek pompadour.
Things to Consider
It takes guts to go all the way with a punk haircut, but the beauty of this style is that it’s all about using your hair as a canvas for self-expression. That opens up infinite possibilities for colors, cuts, and techniques that can be as wild as you want them to be.
Before taking the punk plunge, keep these considerations in mind:
- Choose a style that works for your professional lifestyle. Unfortunately, not all punk looks translate well to a professional setting. You can still pull off an edgy look with a side-swept pixie or razored lob without risking a blow to your career. You may want to skip out on the more extreme look, though.
- All of those fun colors can take a toll on your hair. If your hair is naturally dark, you’ll need to bleach out the pigment before you can pull off a bold color. Take care of your hair by following guidelines for safe bleaching, restoring hydration, and giving your strands a break to recover.
- Don’t try this at home. Punk hairstyles are a statement about rejecting materialism and the status quo. Still, you’ll definitely want to link up with a professional stylist before you whip out the scissors and dye. A hairdresser can help you realize your vision while keeping your punk look from becoming more drastic than you expected.
- Experiment with accessories, too. Are you still nostalgic about butterfly clips? Obsessed with the oversized pearl pins you’ve seen all over Instagram? Then try them out! Clips, ribbons, and barrettes can crank your unique hairstyle up to 11.
- Keep your brows in mind. To dye the brows or not to dye the brows? That question is entirely up to you. Natural brows can look bold in contrast to wild hair colors, but so can bright pink ones.
Is the Punk Hairstyle for You?
Ready to unleash your inner anarchist? A punk hairstyle lets everyone know that you’re willing to buck tradition, make a statement, and show some serious courage (at least when it comes to your hair).
Whether you go for a subtle mussed pixie or a towering mohawk, the most punk hairstyle you can choose is the one that makes you feel gorgeous. Your hair is a canvas, so create some art!