90s Hair Styles Are Taking Over, Which One is Your Favorite?

90s Hair Styles Are Taking Over, Which One is Your Favorite? I Mirra Skincare

Similar to makeup trends and outfit trends, hair trends are known for defining an era. Whether it was the finger waves of the 1930s, the big hair of the 1980s, or the beachy waves of the 2010s, hair trends come and go… but in some cases, they also come back. Recently, beauty trends of the 1990s and 2000s have made their return and are completely taking over the new beauty scene. Especially on social media sites like TikTok and YouTube, more and more beauty influencers have been uploading tutorials on 90s hair styles and how you can achieve them at home. In terms of creativity and timelessness, 90s hair styles definitely seem to take the cake, as there are so many 90s hair styles that are perfect for any occasion and any hair type. Check out these top 90s hair styles and see which one you’ll rock next!


1. Butterfly Clips

2. Zigzag Hair Part

3. Spiky Pixie Cut

4. Micro Braids and Jumbo Braids

5. Chunky Highlights

6. Antenna Bangs

7. Spiky Bun

8. Space Buns

9. Baby Spice Pigtails

10. Wispy/Claw Bangs

11. The Rachel

12. Top Ponies/Knots

13. Feathered Hair/Bangs

14. Crimped Hair

15. Natural Waves and Curls

16. High Pony with Scrunchie

17. Bantu Knots

18. Baby Bangs

Key Points 

  • Hairstyles in the 90s were commonly defined by adding a whimsical and fun touch (usually accessories) to simple and casual looks. This included zigzag hair parts, butterfly clips, jewels and beads, and more.
  • Hair in the 90s covered all ends of the spectrum – trends really didn’t follow any certain rules, as personal style was also emphasized during this decade since so many 90s hairstyles could be sported on multiple different hair types.
  • Bangs in the 90s took every shape and form – including claw bangs, wispy bangs, braided bangs, antenna bangs, feathered bangs, baby bangs, and more.

Butterfly Clips

Via Getty Images

Butterfly clips were all the rage in the 90s and 2000s and have recently made their reappearance in hairstyles today. They were the ultimate 90s hair accessory and were paired with many different looks to add a fun and youthful accent to the hair. Common 90s hairstyles that used butterfly clips as a sort of colorful decoration included top knots and ponies and braids. Plus, they were commonly used to hold back bangs out of the face (1). Since they could be used on every hair type, it was also common to see butterfly clips used in full afros and in natural, curly hair. Other common accessories used to “decorate” hair or pin back hair in the 90s included:

  • Colorful bobby pins
  • Colorful hair clips and barrettes
  • Colorful elastic bands
  • Flowers and flower clips
  • Colorful string
  • Beads
  • Jewels
  • Bandanas
  • Claw clips

Zigzag Hair Part

Via Getty Images

A common way to make 90s hairstyles pop was to switch up the middle part by creating a zigzag shape. To achieve this look, you’ll need a comb with a pointed end or anything you can use to carve the shape into your hair and create perfect lines. This hair part was worn with a ton of different 90s hairstyles, such as spiky buns, pigtails, and ponytails. Since it can be worn with so many versatile looks, the zigzag hair part became super popular and even was used to add a whimsical and eye-catching touch to a simple hair look.

Spiky Pixie Cut

Via Getty Images

The spiked pixie cut was popularized by 90s icons like Halle Berry and Winona Ryder. The choppy cut and tousled locks gave the haircut a sort of spiky look which was super popular in the 90s. With the tiny bangs and loose locks, the haircut worked perfectly to give off an effortless and laid-back look (2). To achieve this look, you should definitely see a professional to give you the right cut and can use styling gel to further give the hair a spiky appearance.

Micro Braids and Jumbo Braids

Via Getty Images

Braids and twists were very common in the 90s thanks to icons like Janet Jackson and Brandy. Box braids, jumbo braids, and micro braids were all common along with braided pigtails and braided bangs. Brands, who was commonly seen with micro braids on her hit show Moesha,  was also commonly seen with micro braids that cascaded into loose curls at the ends (2). On the other end of the spectrum, Janet was known for her jumbo braids as seen in the film Poetic Justice.

Chunky Highlights

Via Getty Images

Darker hair with light, chunky highlights that didn’t match in size all over the head was so common in the 90s that it continued on into the 2000s. While some rocked their natural hair colors, others took it to the next level with various colors (pink and red were common), especially in blonde hair, to add an extra oomph to their look (3).

Antenna Bangs

Via Getty Images

A lot of popular hairstyles in the 90s were known for framing the face and looking almost undone to give an effortless appearance. A common trend in the 90s was to pull the front pieces of the hair out (especially if you otherwise had a really put together up-do) to both frame the face while giving the illusion that the front pieces fell naturally. Antenna bangs were also common with messy buns to further contribute to the “messy” look (1). These bangs are so common today and a lot of people have started to braid their antenna bangs to further pay homage to the 90s.

Spiky Bun

Via Getty Images

Hair gel was a beauty lover’s best friend in the 90s due to the fact that so many spiky looks were popularized. The spiky bun was one of those looks that have since been rebirthed by celebrities like Bella Hadid and Dixie D’Amelio. To achieve this look, you’ll need gel and a comb in order to slick the hair back into a tight bun. Then, using your gel, flick out the end pieces of the bun to give the appearance that there are spikes coming out of the back.

Space Buns

Double buns and side buns, more commonly known as space buns, were one of the biggest hair trends in the 90s, especially when it came to music festivals and raves. Commonly worn by icons like Mel B, Britney Spears, and Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century, the hair trend has stuck around and made a reappearance in the beauty scene today. Since they’re so versatile and can work for every hair type, it makes sense why they’ve stayed so popular over the years.

Baby Spice Pigtails

Via Getty Images

Pigtails were another very common trend in the 90s, and it wasn’t just for kids. Whether they were braided pigtails or not, they’ve made an appearance on almost every celebrity in the 90s, but especially Baby Spice. Known for her iconic pigtails, a lot of her looks have resurfaced today – namely her hairstyle of wearing the hair down and leaving two pigtails on top of the head.

Wispy/Claw Bangs

Via Getty Images

You can thank television icons like DJ Tanner from Full House and Ashley Banks from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air for the classic trend of wispy/claw bangs in the 90s. As mentioned previously, 90s hairstyles were known for framing the face, and wispy/claw bangs were often sported with every hairstyle in the era. To achieve this look, you should see a professional to cut your bangs and then use a barrel brush while blow-drying the hair to create full, wispy bangs. Gel can also be used to separate the pieces of hair in order to give it the “claw” look and have pieces of the forehead visible.

The Rachel

Via Getty Images

Has there ever been a haircut more iconic and decade-defining than the Rachel? Named after Jennifer Anniston’s legendary character in Friends, the haircut first appeared on the 20th episode of the show after her hairstylist Chris McMillan decided to change things up with a long fringe, highlights, and choppy layers that blended into the long bangs (4). The haircut was totally different than what anyone had in the 90s, which made it so popular, but also hard to achieve. Even Jennifer recalls being unable to maintain the classic Rachel look without her stylist. While the look has come back, it’s definitely not any less high maintenance, as it takes the right stylist to cut the hair correctly, regular trims to keep the layers looking sharp, and a lot of dedication to blow-drying and brushing the hair in a specific fashion to look right.

Top Ponies/Knots

While there doesn’t seem to be an exact name for this look, it was so common in the 90s and 2000s and has since been repeated today. To achieve this look, you’ll need small elastic bands and a comb. Start by brushing the hair back and into small sections on the top of your head. Twist the sections of hair at the root of your scalp and secure them with an elastic at the upper middle of the head.

Feathered Hair/Bangs

Via Getty Images

Cher Horowitz, Cindy Crawford, and Kelly Kapowski were hair icons in the 90s because of their big feathered hair and bangs that seemed to act like a toned-down version of 80s hair. Natural volume and fullness were key to achieving this look, which involves blow-drying the hair upside down (1). To further achieve this look, you can see a professional to add layers to your cut and get advice on the best volumizing products for your hair. It was also common with this hairstyle to completely flip the hair to one side to give the illusion of more volume.

Crimped Hair

Via Getty Images

Crimped hair was a hit in the 90s with icons like Lizzie McGuire, Melissa Joan Hart, and Christina Aguilera rocking the look. If done right and strategically, crimping adds a chic, bold, and editorial look to the hair, which is why it’s made a comeback with some beauty influencers today (1). To crimp the hair, you can use styling tools like the crimping iron and hair straightener. In order to achieve crimped hair with a straightener, you’ll need to braid small sections of hair around your head and run the straightener over the braid to give the appearance of crimped, crinkled hair.

Natural Waves and Curls

Via Getty Images

While some stars opted for very put-together and structured looks in the 90s, others rocked their natural and voluminous curls, such as Mariah Carey, Nicole Kidman, Julia Roberts, and Jessie from Saved by the Bell. These looks called back to the effortlessness and playfulness trend of 90s hairstyles. Today, a lot of beauty enthusiasts have followed suit and ditched their heat tools for essential hair products that enhance their natural, big, and bouncy curls.

High Pony with Scrunchie

Television icons like Stephanie in Full House and Topanga in Boy Meets World helped popularize high ponytails with scrunchies in the 90s. Recently, there’s been a big resurgence of scrunchies in comparison to hair ties as both a hair accessory and something casual and loose to wear on your wrist that won’t give you marks in case you need to tie your hair up later. Ditching the black, nylon elastics of the 2000s, scrunchies of the 90s were brought back by Gen Z, which was especially seen with the “VSCO girl” trend in the past few years (5). Scrunchies are big and colorful, which definitely ties into 90s hair culture.

Bantu Knots

Via Getty Images

Bantu knots originate from the Zulu people in southern Africa and are a beautiful protective style for Black women. The look was commonly seen on icons in the 90s, such as Halle Berry and Mel B, and has never really fallen out of style, as you can see current celebs like Rihanna and Cardi B sporting them. To achieve this look, the hair is to be sectioned off and coiled into buns by twisting the hair around itself all over the head.

Baby Bangs

Baby bangs, or short bangs that cover a small portion of the forehead, are definitely not a new trend, as they date back to the 1950s with icons like Audrey Hepburn sporting them. In the 90s, they made a comeback with movie stars like Natalie Portman, Drew Barrymore, Courtney Cox, and Janeane Garofalo from Reality Bites popularizing them again. These above-the-brow micro bangs were known to be a staple of a “cool girl” in the 90s and definitely have the same reputation today (3). While it’s always recommended to see a professional to cut bangs, baby bangs can have a bit more leniency, as it’s said that the more DIY they look the better.

Written by Selena Ponton 


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  1. https://www.byrdie.com/90s-hairstyles-5114785#toc-butterfly-clips
  2. https://www.whowhatwear.com/90s-hairstyles/slide4
  3. https://www.harpersbazaar.com/beauty/hair/g36145820/90s-hairstyles/
  4. https://www.biography.com/news/jennifer-aniston-hated-the-rachel-haircut-friends
  5. https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2019/09/time-is-a-neon-scrunchie/597454/



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