'90s Hair

In The Seventies, people wore their hair long. In The Eighties, they wore it extra big. And those hairstyles went right out of style as soon as The Nineties rolled aroundnote , bringing its wave of Grunge and Gangsta Rap with it.

Nineties hair isn't just one defining trend. Often the hairstyles, like the clothing of the era, would be the most casual and low-maintenance styles possible. For men, this meant letting hair just fall wherever it may, creating a distinctive style, referred to as "curtains" or a "bowl cut". For girls this meant simply tying it back so it wouldn't get in the face. In the mid-90's (roughly 1994 until about 1997), it was also very common for teenage and college aged boys to wear their hair like Kurt Cobain.

It wasn't all grunge, however. Getting closer to the Turn of the Millennium, newer style experiments came into play. Crimpers, a hot new invention, meant people with straight hair could iron it into becoming curly and wavy. If you were into the hip-hop scene, some other hair oddities would be to arrange your hair grow your hair into something resembling a Beehive Hairdo with a flat-top, or to shave words into the back of your head. For the ladies, this would include things like cornrows and crazy braids. A little bit of '80s Hair had been retained, reserved specifically for extra large bangs. Also, after Eminem hit it big in early 1999, a lot of teenage and college aged boys immediately began cutting their hair short and combing it in the style of Marshall Mathers.

While there's no single hair trend for the 90's, any number of these styles can date a production.

And if you're looking for slick crops for men and pompadoured updos topped with feathered hats for women, kindly go to the other Nineties. The kind of Nineties that happened a century before.

Men

  • Spiky gelled hair
  • Frosted tips (dyeing just the ends of the hair blonde or other colors)
  • Fauxhawk
  • What Brits call "Curtains", as seen here, here and on Leo
  • Bowl Cuts
  • Shaved Hair Outlines
  • Finger Waves
  • Dyed Short Afros
  • Surfer hair
  • Bleached hair
  • The Kurt Cobain haircut (ie. shoulder-length hair combed to the sides and greased up)
  • The Eminem haircut, but just narrowly

Women

  • Feathered bangs
  • Pigtails
  • Long Hair
  • Crimping and tiny braids and cornrows
  • The Rachel.
  • Thick Box Braids
  • Thick Box Braid Top Ponytails
  • Crimped Side and Top ponytails
  • Tiny Braids with beads
  • Asymmetrical bobs
  • Afro Puffs
  • Short Feathered Bobs

Unisex

  • Streaks

80s Carryover

  • Scrunchies
  • Side ponytails
  • Flat Top
  • Mullets
  • Bangs (for women)
  • Perms (albeit only until about 1993)


Examples

Film
  • The article Hocus Pocus, which came out in 1993, says that the main character Max Dennision's hair dates the movie to the decade (not to mention they state outright it's 1993 in dialogue). I'd best describe his hairstyle as "curtains".
  • 90s culture is really lampshaded in The Brady Bunch Movie to emphasize how out-of-place the stuck-in-The Seventies Bradys are compared to the rest of the public; likewise, one Peter's Jerkass classmates has a mullet.

Live-Action TV
  • "The Rachel", or the hairstyle worn by Jennifer Aniston as Rachel in the first few seasons of Friends, shown on the page. Other celebrities were also seen wearing it after Friends got big. Women would go to their hairdresser and ask for a Rachel cut. Funnily enough, by all accounts, Aniston herself despised it.
  • Danny Bonaduce once poked fun of the mullet he had back in The Nineties when he recounted his transvestite hooker incident on an episode of World's Dumbest....
  • A few of the guys have hairstyles that look very 90s. Leonard's curtains and Howard's bowl cut to name a couple.

Music
  • At the height of their popularity, the members of *NSYNC often experimented with strange '90s hairstyles that often involved gel spiking and odd colors.
    • Their peers Backstreet Boys and other fellow pop acts would also go crazy with the hair experimentation well into the 2000s. Things got considerably toned down after 2003.
  • Our Lady of Rage, one of the only female rappers associated with Dr Dre, Snoop Dogg, and the rest of the Death Row Records "Dogg Pound", released a song called "Afro Puffs" on her solo album, regaling her use of that hairstyle.

Newspaper Comics
  • Jeremy and Hector of Zits both had very 90's hairstyles until they were updated later on. But Jeremy still wears his iconic flannel shirt.

Video Games

Western Animation
  • Part of Mandark's origin story in Dexter's Laboratory involved him completing his Start of Darkness by taking out a bowl and cutting his hair in the bowl's exact shape, including the chips at the side.
  • Hey Arnold!'s best friend Gerald's beehive afro is clearly a product of the show's time.
  • Daria has this with the boys (spikes, curtains, a cross between curtains and dreadlocks) while the girls wore their hair long (Fashion Club and Daria), pigtails (Stacy and Brittany), long and in tiny braids (Jodie), and asymmetrical bobs (Jane and Andrea, albeit spiked); there are also mentions of scrunchies in the tie-in books with Quinn sometimes wearing her hair in a high ponytail.
    • The show it spun off from had hairstyles that carried over from the 80s, like mullets and the girls still fluffed their hair.
  • As Told by Ginger has this to a lesser extent (having started in the year 2000). Several boys wear their hair spiked up or in curtains while girls wore scrunchies (derided in one episode as being "so Nineties") and Miranda wore Afro Puffs when she didn't have a top ponytail. Dodie's distinctive pigtails have been worn since she was very young (in the 90s). One old film strip shown Ginger's father with a long curly mullet style.