A nod to the 90s: The best and most cringe-worthy hairstyles
As a child of the 90s, I had more than my fair share of questionable hair moments, including (but not limited to) butterfly clips, hair mascara, scrunchies, tendrils, partial pigtails and crimped hair. You name it, I tried it - and I have the #tbt photo evidence to prove it.
Yep, the 90s were all about wild experimentation. And while there are many styles we’d rather forget (hair jewellery, I’m talking about you), it seems Gen Y and Z are hell bent on bringing back some of the decade’s iconic looks. Designers and stylists have got a case of the 90s nostalgia, and we’re loving it.
So grab your brown lipstick and tattoo choker and let’s look back on the ridiculously amazing (and just plain ridiculous) hair trends of the 90s...
Remember that episode of Sex And The City when Carrie claimed no respectable New York woman would be caught dead out in public wearing a scrunchie? Behold SJP, a born and raised New Yorker, in all her 90s scrunchied glory.
It wasn’t a holiday unless you came back with a strand of your hair wrapped in coloured thread. I want to formally apologise to all mothers who subsequently spent hours unravelling these the day before school started.
Yeah, I was guilty of this one. Sarah Michelle Geller and Alyson Hannigan rocked it, as did my tween idol, Clueless’ Alicia Silverstone. Clearly, up-dos in the 90s had to be spiky and topped off with twisted strands. A ballet bun? As if!
Rewind to the plastered baby hair of Chilli from TLC - they’re kiss curls, or as we’re so affectionately calling them these days, baby burns. As in, sideburns for your forehead. Ummm, what? Sorry FKA Twigs and Katy Perry, we’re going to pass on this one.
Hair accessories were all the rage - and plastic butterfly clips were queen of them all. How many did you have? Be honest.
These beloved hair crystals were applied in a meticulous fashion, and tended to accompany more than one 90s hair trend. Cue mini ponytails, spiky hair and twisted sections, they’re a style best left in the past. Hindsight, hey.
As someone with dead straight hair, the crimper was part of my teen beauty arsenal, along with body glitter and Lip Smackers. Now, I’m ready to let my inner fifteen-year-old bust out the sawtooth wave once again thanks to Chanel, Stella McCartney and Beyoncé, who’ve been crimping away. Next purchase? The VS Sassoon Total Crimp.
Because our parents would never let us permanently colour our hair like Christina Aguilera’s, we went rogue with hair mascara. Clumpy, wet-blue ends never looked so good.
No one did the 90s hair thing better than Gwen Stefani and her multiple top-knots. Thanks to Marc Jacobs, Miley Cyrus and Rihanna, this ‘do is making a hair-raising comeback.
The hair flick
Taking a leaf out of the Olsen twins’* book, our girl-next-door flipped bobs were just made for the hair flick. Hair accessories optional.
*Have sneaking suspicion Drew Barrymore got there first.
If you take away one thing from the decade, it’s that nothing was out of the question. Think Jennifer Aniston’s faux dreadlocks, created by twisting sections of hair. When I saw Jen do this, I was SO JEALOUS. Now, I’m just confused.
Baby Spice single-handedly turned these into a sensation. Accessorise with a Chuppa Chup, platform shoes and mini backpack. #spiceupyourlife
We can’t talk about 90s hair without nodding to its iconic haircut, the Rachel, which took off around the world and remains one of the most popular hairstyles in history. Layered and shagged, it’s legendary.
What 90s hair trends did you try?
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