Iconic hairstyles of the 90s
The hairdressing business is enormous in the U.S. and throughout the world. Nothing makes us feel quite as impressive as when we have a slick new hairstyle to show off to family and friends.
Changing up your hair, however, can be daunting. You can browse a haircut website, look for inspiration in magazines, or look to the stars for the latest trends. Once you’ve decided on a new look, you’ll need to book into a trusted salon to take the plunge.
While some haircuts are cool one minute and dated the next, other hairstyles have continued to stand the test of time and are requested over and over again throughout generations. The 90s saw some of the most iconic hairstyles of all time brought to our attention. The rise of boybands meant men’s hairstyles were all about bleach and floppy curtains. At the same time, all women old enough to go to the hairdressers in that era will remember the hairstyle named after a particular F.R.I.E.N.D.S. character that proved to be one of the most requested haircuts in salons of all time.
So, whether truly flattering or worryingly terrible, here is a roundup of the most memorable hairstyles of the 90s.
The Rachael has to be the opener of any list discussing 90s haircuts. Despite Jennifer Anniston hugely disliking the cut personally, with F.R.I.E.N.D.S. being the most successful sitcom on T.V., this super layered, ultra-flattering style was the one women across the world became immediately obsessed with. It continued to be a highly requested cut for years to come.
Another hugely successful actress in the 90s was Drew Barrymore, and her choppy bob that flipped out at the ends was all the rage during this decade. This fun, flirty style was both youthful and fresh and could be slicked down or messed up depending on whether one was opting for a more sophisticated or funky vibe.
Winona Ryder captured our hearts in 90s films such as Reality Bites and Girl, Interrupted. Her hairstyle also caught the attention of fans, and her cute pixie cut, though not a style everyone could pull off, was one that many a woman sported with pride.
Zulu knots were a particular 90s trend led by none other than fashion icon and all-round trendsetter, Gwen Stefani. Zulu Knots were cool, creative and took a bit of work to get right, but were well worth it. To replicate the look, you’d part the hair into different sections forming diagonal patterns across the scalp and twist the hair into several mini buns to finish.
While many might associate crimping with the 80s, the trend actually continued well into the 90s, and that middle ground between a full-on perm and sleek and straight was born. Crimped hair was pretty labor-intensive and meant braiding one’s hair into lots of mini plaits when it was still wet and then letting it dry. Though in the 90s crimping machines were invented to do all the hard work for you.
That middle-parted, floppy hair that swept from each side of the face to meet in the middle was a man’s hairstyle affectionately known as curtains, and it was big news in the 90s. All the boybands had them, all the male actors had them, and all the women, for some reason, no one is now sure of, swooned over them. Thankfully, this is one trend that didn’t make it into the millennium.
Another iconic male style that stuck around for longer than perhaps it should in the 90s was frosted tips, and we can thank major boyband N’SYNC for the look. While most self-respecting gentlemen would claim to have sidestepped this trend, dig around in enough old photo albums, and you’ll find that the majority shamefully succumbed to it at one stage or another. This style was all about keeping your roots dark but bleaching the ends a super cool, icy blonde. Of course, despite all the best advice, many did try to create the look at home, leading to some pretty shocking hair bleach disasters!
Rocking feathered bangs was another classic 90s look that has, in some part, stuck around today. Feathered bangs could help soften more structured cuts and frame the face for a more feminine and textured style.
Many of these 90s hairstyles might be considered old fashioned today, but others, or at least versions of them, have stuck around, been given a contemporary twist, and as still as popular today!