Skrillex currently boasts the most meme-able hair in music; Deadmaus’s mouse ears and pop stars with candy-hued ‘dos can’t quite compete. But behind every edgy haircut comes a story, and his trademark half-buzzed look is part of a bigger trend: as The New York Times recently reported, the asymmetrical, side-shaved ‘do – sometimes called the “undercut”– is experiencing a fashionable revival among young creatives worldwide. “The old-school coif has become a go-to haircut not just for Web designers in heritage-brand clothing, but for fashion designers and D.J.s in the style capitals of Europe,” Alex Williams writes.
Interestingly, the edgy haircut also carries sinister historical connotations: it was a popular look among the Hitler Youth. Indeed, Marilyn Manson, who has knowingly sported the look, has dabbled in mock portrayal of fascist imagery throughout his career. But for most wearers, the look is tied to more benign cultural influences: in Stockholm, some call it the “synth,” referring to the aesthetics of “Eighties bands like New Order and Modern English.” Win Butler of Arcade Fire also favors the look. Even R&B songstress Cassie has created her own related style, a customized “faux-hawk.”
While Skrillex’s hairdo is the one that has made it to the Draw Something Hall of Fame, industrial (and buzzcut) pioneer Trent Reznor reminds us that nothing comes from nothing. When a mischievous Nine Inch Nails fan uploaded early 1990s footage of the band performing on the goofy TV show Dance Party USA, the clip became instant Tumblr fodder but Reznor took it in stride, joking on his Twitter: “Come to think of it, Skrillex may indeed owe me some publishing on that hairdo…”
If Reznor seeks more proof of plagiarism, he may want to check out our gallery, “Skrillex Hair: A Retrospective.”
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