The original 1970s punk scene was a musical and political movement that started in the U.K. The look associated with this was utilitarian and deconstructed, with dishevelled hair that lacked grooming or styling. Both men and women might have had short, home-cut tufts, or part of their heads shaved. By the 1980s, the punk image was losing its political connotations, being absorbed by fashion. In the U.S. punk style was mixed with the commercial rock of the era, and rock stars wore punk-looking teased and dyed locks. Modern short punk cuts are influenced by all of this rich heritage.
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Any short, modern haircut can be made to look more punk-style. You need a cut that looks textured and messed-up easily. Undercuts, which have been popular since the late '90s, involve clipping hair shorter underneath and leaving the top layers a little longer. This sort of cut creates body but loses the girlie edge of many women's styles. To style, smooth a dab of gel or wax in to hair from underneath. You can either spike short top layers up in an obvious punk style, or just use the gel to let the hair sit up gently and messily. This shows off the textured, short hair underneath. For a really stark punk style, you could have the section underneath shaved.
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The modern emo fashion movement traces its roots back to the 1980s punk-rock music scene. This has since become a popular teen fashion movement. Emo girls wear their hair heavily layered, often short and dyed. Asymmetric cuts and long, side-swept fringe are also a distinctive feature of this style. Short hair is cut with long layers, that are easy to smooth out with straightening irons, and the weight of the hair is towards the front. The back might be cut thinner or shorter but a heavy chunky fringe and sides fall down around the face. The structure of the cut is often complemented with colour, with bleach blonde and black being the most popular.
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Bright '80s-style punk colour is best when shown on a layered cut. A short version of the shag cut is ideal for this as it is easy to style to show off layers, as well as easy to mess up. Shag cuts are multilayered cuts, with the shorter layers usually around the top and crown but modern versions of this come in many forms. Being a popular women's cut, your hairdresser will be able to find a modern version perfect for you. Once you have the basic cut, you can go for one bright colour all over, or bring out the layers with chunky bleached and dyed sections. Processed, coloured hair has a drier texture than normal, so use this to your advantage and style your shag-cut with a little wax for modern definition.
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If you are interested in the roots of punk, you could wear a more authentic '70s inspired style. American punk icon Patti Smith had famously unkempt hair on the cover of her 1975 album, "Horses." This sort of style is not about looking fashion-perfect and is easy to wear on short hair as well. Have your hair cut with a heavy fringe that skims the eyelids and do not use any styling products, or you risk killing your inner '70s punk. Make a part wherever your hair falls naturally and mess your style up with fingertips whenever you have the chance. Ideal short cuts for this type of look are the bob and longer crops. If you want to wear an authentic mohican, have your hair cut short or shaved all over, leaving the top section longer. You can then spike this up with hair-gel.