Emo hairstyles are almost always unrestrained and uncluttered with accessories. They will sometimes appear somewhat wild and unruly and wearers often deliberately create the uncontrolled appearance to their hair in order to communicate their emo individuality. This look can sometimes be misunderstood by observers such as parents and teachers who might interpret the apparent unruliness of the hairstyles as rebellion or indicative of aggression. Most emo youth however, see the styles as an outward manifestation of their inner emotions, creativity or identity.
There is no stipulation on the length hair should be and emo hairstyles can be worn either long or short. Some styles are achieved simply through cut, color and brushing while others may need to apply liberal amounts of hair gel to keep the styles in place. Emo hairstyles may be washed as frequently or infrequently as the wearer chooses.
The whole concept of emo is about distinctiveness and individuality and each wearer will strive to create their own unique look. However, in a similar way to artists, emo youth are inspired by others especially those considered icons of the emo movement such as musicians and other celebrities. This is why although similar themes reappear throughout emo culture, no two emo hairstyles are ever exactly the same.