I am a huge fan of CHAINREACTIONCORE, comprised of the many Orange County moshcore bands who played at the legendary OC venue Chain Reaction in the 90s and 00s. At the center of that scene is Javier Van Huss– if Keith Barney is the John Lennon of CHAINREACTIONCORE, Jav is the Paul McCartney, having done time in just about every bands including 18 Visions, Bleeding Through, Throwdown, the Mistake, and Enewetak. He also runs the excellent hardcore-war-stories blog Some Dudes Tell Stories, which is an amazing trip down memory lane for those of us who came up in the 90s West Coast hardcore scene.
Aside from being a blogger and the definitive CHAINREACTIONCORE bassist, he is also a hair stylist. It would not be an exaggeration to say that 18 Visions during the Jav years laid the foundation for what we know as “scene” today, so all you kids should probably listen to the dude who arguably invented this shit! I am thrilled to present the first of what I hope will be many posts from Jav– thanks bro, you are really touching some lives here!! The kids need you!
- Sgt D
Hi. I’m Jav, and I hate Scene Hair.
Not for the reason you might think (because it looks fucking ridiculous), but because YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG. How can I make this judgment, you may ask? Well, when you have been doing hair for over ten years, and you have taught in some of the most prestigious beauty schools in the country, and learned from the best hairstylists in the world, then YOU can be the judge too!
No matter where I go it seems, 10 years later I’m still known as “that guy who used to play in 18 Visions (when it was good)”. And yes, we DID have a hand in helping the young “scene” look. I did my first Scene haircut while i was still in beauty school, in 1999, on a young James Hart. He wanted this Scene haircut similar to the girls in South County at the time, a haircut we called either DUCK BUTT or THE SHOTGUN BLAST: Short and spiky in the back, long and bob-like in the front, possibly with bangs.
This look is still cultivated today, mainly by 15-18 year old boys who’s waist size is about as big as my 7 year old daughter. Some people call these jerks fgtz, but I would rather look at Johnny Scene than some hipster riding a fixed gear with a Padawan tail and ironic moustache. Now, THOSE guys are FGTZ!!!
I’ve been trying to trace the roots and history of Scene hair, but i can only tell you what inspired US in the beginning: ORGY. The techno-goth-rocker-industrial-glam playboys who scored a minor hit with their cover of New Order’s “Blue Monday“. Every day on our way to beauty school, James and I would pass by the Virgin Megastore in Costa Mesa, and see these GIANT posters of the members of Orgy. These jerks had pointy hair and lipgloss and eyeliner and we were transitioning from wearing JNCOs with basketball jerseys to having to wear all black for school.
Keep in mind, flat irons weren’t really around yet (only the awesome black and gold Hot Tools ones), so we had to make our hair straight by using half a can of Murray’s a week. We started playing around with coloring our hair because it was easily accessible to us at school. Soon, we were spray painting everything gold and licking everything in sight. And trust me, people fucking hated us. I still read about how we RUINED the scene.
After a couple of years, bands like From Autumn To Ashes started picking up on the “fashioncore” thing, and it spread from there to bands like From First To Last, and then out of control. Soon, teens from Los Angeles to Leeds were running to MAC and HOT TOPIC to out-Scene one another.
With the advent of the internet, high speed connections, and YouTube, it soon became easy to take matters into your own hands when it came to your hair. You no longer had to try and find someone to try and do your hair, you could go to a website and buy color, extensions, or find how-to’s. You could just click on YouTube and see some 15 year old asshole cutting her own hair with a fucking BIC RAZOR.
This video makes me sick to my stomach. Watching this idiot butcher her own hair make the anger sharks swim. Sure, we’ve all had hair emergencies, and had to take matters into our own hands, or experimented with hair color, but this is just insane. I used to show videos like this in my classroom, to demonstrate what NOT to do, and after a few minutes the air was like with *gasps* and general comments like OMG! WTF?, and plenty of LOLZ.
As a snobby hairstylist, I hate scene hair because it does look fucking stupid 95% of the time, but I also hate it because it’s DIY. Yes, the “punk” aesthetic has crept it’s way into Scene somehow. So, what’s wrong with a little DIY? Well, IT FUCKING TAKES FOOD OUT OF MY CHILD’S MOUTH, YOU FUCKING TWAT. Yes, I make money off of doing hair, and when you butcher your shit in the mirror at home, it takes business away from me. Plus, I CAN DO IT BETTER THAN YOU. And if you watch most of the videos on YouTube about doing your own hair, it’s little girls who most assuredly still live at home and don’t pay for SHIT, so I’m sure can afford to pay at least a little to make sure you don’t look like a fucking neon raccoon.
Now, I wouldn’t trust just ANYONE to do Scene hair, because to tell you the truth most people that do hair SUCK at it anyway. I would suggest giving your stylist a mini-interview. Start with some basic questions:
- “OMG did you see the new Millionaires video?”
- “Which do you like better, Johnny Cupcakes or Umbrella?”
- “Can you make me look Scene?”
If your hairstylist either has no idea what you are talking about or tells you get the fuck out of their chair, it’s time to look for a new stylist.
Now, I realize that Scene is all about individuality and expressing your inner creativity, but I cannot tell you how many times I have thought about approaching someone who looks Scene and telling them “ZOMG UR Doing it wrong, let me fix it”. So why don’t I? Well believe it or not, I really don’t want to offend these people (at least to their face). I really do respect your right to be Scene, I am just telling you right now that I (or hopefully another hairstylist) can do it better than you.
If you don’t believe me, come see me to get your hair done.