Whilst gyaru is the 'name' for the style there are many different sub-styles such as Ganguro, Himegyaru and Agejo. Whilst most of these may seem very foreign to an outsider any gyaru worth her salt is going to know the difference between the different types of gyaru. Let's start at the basics.
Gyaru is a Japanese street fashion (if you haven't guessed by now!) which is the transliteration of the English word, 'gal'. Gyaru is a fashion that is inspired by both Western aesthetics as well as fashion. Sometimes people call it 'Asian girls dressing like white girls'. I could go into how gyaru are viewed by Japanese society but I'll keep that post for another day. Now we've had our brief introduction I can start going into the different sub-styles of gyaru.
Agejo is a style that can also be referred to as kyabajo. The agejo style is very glamorous and quite sexy and quite often worn by hostesses which is where kyabajo comes into the style. Some of these girls are not hostesses but many are; if you're unsure what a hostess is they're typically girls who dress glamorous in order to attract men. The girls sit with the men in exchange for money; sexual services will sometimes come into the equation but that depends on the gyaru.
The gyaru who follow the agejo sub-style often have hair which is dyed brown or blonde which is usually styled in curls or up-do's. The use of extensions and wigs are popular within the style. As you can see the style is very girly and as previously mentioned, glamorous. It's not uncommon to see an agejo with brand-named bags and jewellery and if they're a hostess they'll often be wearing dresses which are slightly over the top. Magic Monroe is a popular brand for these type of gyaru. A popular magazine for these type of gyaru is 'Ageha' which actually started the name for this sub-style!
Manba is one of the most well known gyaru styles overseas. It was born from the yamanba sub-style which died out back in 2003 and is considered one of the more extreme gyaru styles. The style always seems to be changing so it can be a little difficult to keep up with the evolution of the style.
Gyaru who follow manba often have a dark tan and highlight their features with white make-up; this make-up is particularly focused around the eyes, lips and with a stripe on their nose which makes them look a little like a panda bear. They wear club wear with lots of neon colours and this is layered over other clothes. Their hair has a tendency to be bright colours or blonde and will either be braided or cut into a mullet style. Some manba carried on wearing diamantes around their eyes as a call back to the yamanba style whereas some of them do not. The main differences between manba and yamanba are their choice of make-up and clothes. Manba make-up will often include various colour of eye shadows and coloured lashes which weren't featured in yamanba. In addition, yamanba included frequent use of leis and Hawaiian prints whereas manba does not.
Despite being a sub-style, manba has another sub-style called tsuyome manba which is even more extreme and uses copious amounts of accessories.
Banba is often seen as a lighter version of manba but in reality it's pretty much a style on its own. It's a more toned down version of manba.
The tans are much lighter and the make-up is a lot more subtle. The ever so popular nose-stripe isn't quite as blocky as it would be and the neon hair colours aren't as common. The clothing they sport is a little different too as the colours aren't as neon coloured or dramatic as manba. However their make-up is still a little extreme; false eyelashes are much more extreme and some banba have a tendency to use lots of glitter!
B-Gal is a sub-style which is identifiable by the clothes. Clothing in this style tends to be a bit more on the R'n'B style of things so they include sexy dresses, sneakers, caps, etc. The style is quite colourful!
Having a tan is important to being a B-Gal and must be upkept 100% of the time. Hairstyles in this style are very recognisable such as cornrows and extensions are a must. Hair can also be wavy and some B-Gals dye their hair a plethora of colours. You could say that rasuta gyaru is a sub-style within b-gal; rasuta gyaru wear lots of Jamaican flags and straw handbags and listen to Bob Marley.
Ganjiro, or Shiroi Gyaru are gyaru who aim to keep their skin "beautifully white" (bihaku) and apply sun-block. They follow all the gyaru trends as they come and so but just without tanning their skin.
Some ganjiro do tan their skin but only very lightly. Having pale skin has recently started to become popular in gyaru so it's not uncommon to see gyaru without a tan. Of course it can be difficult to follow some of the styles where darkened skin is popular (such as manba) but lots of other gyaru styles can be applied to the ganjiro image.
Amekaji is an "American Casual" style. It's a casual style that can be worn on a day to day basis. Clothing in this style has a tendency to be 'American' like but with a unique twist on it.
One of the most prominent brands that is found in this style is Cocolulu so you could say that this style is the carry-on from the now outdated coco-gyaru. This style often makes an appearance in the winter as the clothing can be very warm!
Oneegyaru is the sub-style name which represents all of the gyaru who have left high school and become an 'adult'. The style is sophisticated as it is supposed to be a little more grown up than other gyaru styles.
Oneegyaru have a tendency to wear high brand items and stiletos and boots are popular. It's almost in the same vein as agejo but just not quite there. It's one of the most popular styles and as gyaru grow up, a lot of them are considered oneegyaru. Most popular magazines have a tendency to target this style as it is quite broad and gyaru following other sub-styles can easily take inspiration from the ever fashionable oneegyaru.
Lots of people will have heard of this style. Himegyaru literally stands for "princess gal" and is almost the epitome of feminine. It's often recognised by the puffy, curly, beehive style hair but the clothes also play an important role. The only time it is ever acceptable for a himegyaru to have her straight is if it's in a up-do or short.
Himegyaru clothes are usually pink, white, blue, red or even black and usually dresses. Bows are common within the style and one of the most popular brands is Jesus Diamante. Basically the whole style is based around what a princess should look like but there is a sub-style within this which is a lot more relaxed called himekaji-casual hime. This style is usually very expensive to upkeep as being a princess has a price tag!
'Mode' is the Japanese term for 'high fashion' and currently a very popular sub-style within gyaru. It's a much more mature way of wearing gyaru fashion and looks very sophisticated and sexy. The sub-style places an emphasis on designer brands (such as Chanel, e tc.) instead of casual wear. Although it's not necessary to wear designer brands it's important to give the impression that you do.
False lashes are still used in this sub-style although the large, curly hair isn't required. The style focuses on making dramatic silhouettes through sleek lines and bold patterns. The substyle has it's own particular stores such as Emoda and Murua.
Gaijin is the Japanese word for 'non-Japanese', so a gaijin gyaru is a foreign girl who is wearing the gyaru style. They follow the rules of gyaru style and will most likely fit themselves into one of the sub-styles.
There are many, many styles of gyaru. Some of them are dying, some of them are dead and some of them are active. However it's all about wearing what you want to wear and looking how you want to look; you can fit into more than one sub-category of gyaru! Styles I haven't included include Kogal (literally child gal) who are gyaru who are still in school, and the infamous ganguro style as it is now dead. There are also sub-styles for gyaru male counterparts such as gyaruo.
All pictures were sourced from Tumblr!
Other Posts In 'February Gyaru Month'
❥ Let's Talk About Gyaru
❥ 15 Popular Gyaru Brands
❥ 9 Essential Gyaru Magazines