In news that probably won’t surprise you, the 90s are back in a big way. Dad sneakers, brown mascara, braids, you name it - it’s living on a Pinterest board. And though sometimes questionable, the 90s is the one trend that has proved its staying power, beating just about every decade.
And what’s the best part of this retro trend? You guessed it - the hair. When you think of monumental hair moments in history, the 90s had its fair share of iconic hairstyles that still live on today. It was the decade that brought us the Rachel, crimped waves, butterfly clips, anything sparkly and stretchy headbands (hello J-Lo), yeap, the 90s provided plenty of inspirational fodder we can still apply to our strands today.
So to take a trip down memory lane, we rounded up 4 iconic 90s hairstyles that prove to be just as popular today as they were when they first broke out on the scene. From scrunchies, hair clips and an up-do that would make Cher Horowitz proud, these looks are easy to re-create at home and will look good no matter what your age.
Scrunchies. This 90s kid staple has been popping up in stores and Insta feeds everywhere and we’re into it. Practical (they hold your hair up after all) and cute, scrunchies are a no-brainer when it comes to hair accessories.
Coming in a range of colours, varieties and sizes, scrunchies have come a long way from their primary school beginnings. We’d even call them chic. Getting a makeover with luxe materials (silk, velvet) and fresh designs (think scrunchies as bows), the return of the scrunchie has the potential for some major cool factor. Plus, the soft material is far easier on your hair than tight elastics. Still not convinced? Here are 2 ways to wear them that will definitely convince you otherwise.
The Half-up High Pony
The half-up pony is the perfect style if you're indecisive. You have some hair up, most of it down, plus a scrunchie to give the look something extra. Perfect for girls with thin or flat hair, the key to this look is to create more texture and body before you go in with your scrunchie. Use a wave or texturizing spray or go in with your favourite styler to create natural bends, fluff up your strands and instantly make them appear fuller. Britney would be proud.
A trend, within the trend, let us introduce to you: the Jumbo Scrunchie. Recent Pinterest reports indicate that scrunchies are the trending hair accessory of 2020 and when it comes to wearing them, the bigger - the better. And there’s no better way to show off your new scrunchie than with a braided hairstyle.
Go full 90s by going for double dutch braids or keep it simple with a 3-way braid or a fishtail style. There’s no wrong way to wear it.
2. 90s Hair Clips
The 90s was the decade of the hair accessory and its hair clips have stuck around for the long haul. From barrettes, to banana clips and even the humble bobby pin, these old-school hair staples have found their way to the A-lister mainstream, holding back the hair of influencers, models, and celebrities. Trend-setters like Bella Hadid, Ariana Grande and Solange (just to name a few) have all ‘grammed photos of themselves wearing their favourite clips.
No matter what your style, there are plenty of ways to incorporate your choice of clips into any hairstyle, but here are a few of our favourite ways to wear them.
The High Pony
We blame this one on Ariana. Chunky Hair Clips have become as synonymous with the singer as thigh-high boots, sweater dresses and a high ponytail, which is why we couldn’t think of anyone better to represent this look. Though Ariana has always rocked a high pony, in recent months she has slowly been integrating hair clips into her already iconic style. We personally love the fact that hair clips bring some quirk to this super-sleek style, while also working to tame away any pesky flyaways. Multi-tasking at its best.
The Middle Part
This look screams Cruel Intentions, or for all you younger readers just think Dua Lipa in her video Break My Heart. This look is pinnacle 90s and super easy to do at home, all you need is a centre part, flicked out ends or even some hair crimping and you’re done.
The Perky Pony
Jaw clips have had all of the attention in recent months, but the banana clip deserves its time in the spotlight. More timeless than your 10 year-old-self would have thought, these curved clips with small teeth can be used to instantly perk up your ponytail + create the illusion of longer fuller hair. It’s also the perfect tool to create an on trend faux-hawk, a personal favourite for the rock chick in us. Simply put your hair up in your chosen style, clip it in place and you’re good to go!
Headbands can often be a polarizing hair trend. They can either make you feel totally put together or conjure up memories from a primary school photo you'd really rather forget. But the return of the headband is fully back in swing, thanks to fashion week and multiples celebrities rocking the look. Not sure how to wear a headband without looking like a 5-year-old? We're here to help. Whether you’re feeling sporty or more Cher in Clueless - here are the three inspirations you need.
The Wide Headband
Though sporty in nature, wide headbands aren’t just for wearing to the gym. For a slightly different way to wear the wide, flat headband, follow Cher’s style and secure your headband over your middle parting for a more modern look.
Top tip: A wide headband is also a super-simple way to disguise day-three hair. Simply pull your hair into a low, loose bun with a scrunchie and top it with a thick elastic headband and you’re ready to take on the day.
Hair turbans, bandanas and scarves were the late 90s, early 00s accessory that swept through the zeitgeist, beloved by everyone from Beyoncé in her Destiny’s Child days, to Christina Aguilera and everyone’s favourite, the Olsen twins. The vibe was a little bit bohemian, but a little bit pop princess too - depending on the vibe you’re going for. More restrained than their 90s counterparts, today’s headwraps are less bedazzled and more low-key, coming in crochet, silk and pastel designs. A hair turban can be worn with beachy waves, smooth and sleek tendrils or even to adorn a bun or simple ponytail - simply choose your pick and get ready to wear your hair like its 1999.
The Accordion Headband
Yeap, everybody’s favourite 90s headband is back and it’s giving off all of the best kinds of retro vibes. The accordion headband is endlessly versatile and practical, thanks to its flexible hold and shape, plus not only will it provide some lift but it won’t pull or snag the hair either. Just make sure the rest of your hair is slick to keep the look polished.
4. 90’s Up Dos
The icons of the 90s imparted many lessons: How to smize, how to wear crop tops, and how to throw your hair up and make it look impossibly chic. From the runway to shopping for groceries, the decade’s icons piled their hair high - and never over thought it. Kate Moss made a case for a minimalist bun and Gywnth taught us that the only thing better than a messy pony, is a messy pony with long, detached tendrils. The name of the game here is to look like you haven't tried, which is perfect for when you’re running out the door on a Monday morning. Some call it the lazy girl updo, we call it supermodel-worthy. Here’s how to wear it.
The Tight Updo
The model-off-duty look is revered for a reason. Simple, classic and well, easy to do, many a 90s supermodel loved to wear their hair pulled straight back into a securely tied bun or ponytail. The key to prevent this look from feeling too ‘meh’ is all in the details. Firstly tame those flyaways by prepping the hair with a straighter or hot air brush first and if like us, the perfect top knot always seems easier than it actually is to achieve, try the Top Knot Bun Maker. Easy-to-use, this foolproof kit means you can achieve a voluminous-looking bun in seconds.
Top Tip: Remember to work in some hair oil to prevent frizz to your look throughout the day. You can also zhuzh this look up with a hair tie or - you guessed it - a scrunchie. Anything in silk for the evening, or in a minimal hue will keep you firmly in the model-off-duty territory.
The Baby Tendrils
90s girls were all about an undone look, as evidenced by the trend of leaving just two straight strands of hair out in the front of an otherwise polished style. A look often rocked by Bella Hadid, a sleek updo with baby tendrils will look good all year round and can be worn casual or dressed up. Easy enough to create at home too, this hairstyle flourished during lockdown due to the fact that it can be created in a matter of minutes and can hide multiple DIY hair sins. Simply secure your hair in either a half-up pony or bun and leave out the bang area and you’re done.
Top Tip: To create a super sleek look, use a hair oil and bristle brush to slick back your hair and tame any flyaways.