Life Style

From J.Lo to Jennifer Aniston, These ’90s Hairstyles Need to Come Back

Ah, the ’90s. An era defined by MTV, halter-neck tops, and more boy bands than we care to count. Some of our absolute favorite pop culture moments were born out of this decade, and when we think back on it, we can’t help but relish in the wonderfully wild ’90s hairstyles.

From messy buns to a broad selection of fringes, and, of course, butterfly clips galore, there was something special about the hair trends from this time. The It girls of the era, such as Britney Spears, Janet Jackson, and Gwen Stefani, were serving up enough inspiration to carry us right into the following decade.

If you’re as nostalgic as we are, then you’ll love this roundup of the 20 most quintessentially ’90s hairstyles we would low-key wear today. We might get some strange looks, but hey, we’ll never shy away from an adventurous beauty look. Keep reading for our favourites.

1. Tiny Twists

Best '90s Hairstyles: Alicia Silverstone

Photo:

Getty Images

The only thing that could make this style more ’90s is a butterfly clip placed at the end of these tiny twists. This half-rolled hairstyle, also dubbed “picture-day hair” by the primary school set, ruled the decade.

ASOS DESIGN Pack of 6 Hair Mini Butterfly Hair Claws
ASOS DESIGN
Pack of 6 Hair Mini Butterfly Hair Claws
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The golden hue gives these little beauties a major upgrade. 

2. The Winona Pixie

Best '90s Hairstyles: Winona Ryder

Photo:

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The subtle layers and laid-back styling made this pixie cut an instant hit when Winona Ryder debuted it in the late ’90s.

Ouai Matte Pomade
Ouai
Matte Pomade
£16
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Pixie cut devotees know the power of a great pomade—this one smells good, too. 

3. Micro Braids

Best '90s Hairstyles: Brandy

Photo:

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No one rocked micro braids quite like Brandy Norwood. This was her signature hairstyle on her hit TV show Moesha as well as in her real life.

Aveda Dry Remedy Daily Oil
Aveda
Dry Remedy Daily Oil
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Treating your scalp to some T.L.C. is a must when wearing protective hairstyles. 

4. Bumped Bob

Best '90s Hairstyles: Angelina Jolie

Photo:

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The soft curl added to this classic bob adds an interesting element to the hairstyle. Shown here on an angelic-looking Angelina Jolie, this spin on the bob would make us do a double take if we saw it walking down the street today.

Oribe Grandiose Hair Plumping Mousse
Oribe
Grandiose Hair Plumping Mousse
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Go big or go home with our favourite mega-volume mousse. 

5. Feathered Fringes

Best '90s Hairstyles: Tiffany Amber Thiessen

Photo:

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There was a period of time when it seemed like every TV character was sporting these voluminous, feathered fringes. From D.J. Tanner to Kelly Bundy and, of course, Tiffani Thiessen’s Saved by the Bell character, Kelly Kapowski, these bangs were the mark of a cool girl.

Amika Blow Dry Brush
Amika
Blow Dry Brush
£100
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A blow dry brush will help you get that voluminous fringe just right.

6. Claw Bangs

Best '90s Hairstyles: Tatiana Ali

Photo:

Getty Images

On the other end of the fringe spectrum were these claw bangs, defined by face-framing, peekaboo pieces.

Moroccanoil Ceramic Barrel Boar Bristle Round Brush
Moroccanoil
Ceramic Barrel Boar Bristle Round Brush
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Never underestimate the power of the perfect round brush.

7. Teeny Double Dutch Pigtails

Best '90s Hairstyles: Britney Spears

Photo:

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This easy hairstyle screams ’90s. Britney Spears fashioned her short haircut into two messy plaits fastened on the ends with elastics and just enough hair peeking out of the bottoms for a playful ‘do.

Boots Clear Polybands 150s Boxed
Boots
Clear Polybands 150s Boxed
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Invisible elastics will do the trick. 

8. The Flip

Best '90s Hairstyles: Drew Barrymore

Photo:

Getty Images

From the pencil-thin eyebrows to the dark lipstick and the leopard-print collar, this photo of our queen Drew Barrymore is like a time capsule into the ’90s. Her flipped hair (and those enamel hair clips) is another huge clue as to which decade we’re looking at.

Boots Complete Styler
Boots
Airwrap Complete Styler
£450
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When your go-to ‘do calls for a multipurpose tool. 

9. Bedazzled Bandanas

Best '90s Hairstyles: J. Lo

Photo:

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Okay, so in all fairness, this photo was taken in the year 2000. But it’s important to call out here because it exemplifies the influence that ’90s hip-hop had on style and culture well into the decade that followed. J.Lo’s bedazzled bandana accentuating her braided hairstyle is proof.

Jack & Jones Paisley Bandana in Red
Jack & Jones
Paisley Bandana in Red
£8
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A classic bandana never goes out of style—it’s an accessory you can wear almost anywhere. 

10. Jumbo Box Braids

Best '90s Hairstyles: Janet Jackson

Photo:

Getty Images

Janet Jackson’s braids circa Poetic Justice were (and still are) a legendary look. The addition of this newsboy cap solidifies it as one of our favourite looks of hers.

Cantu Shea Butter for Natural Hair Coconut Curling Cream
Cantu
Shea Butter for Natural Hair Coconut Curling Cream
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Keep your braids healthy and hydrated with this daily moisturising treatment.

11. Butterfly Clips

Best '90s Hairstyles: Gwen Stefani

Photo:

Getty Images

Stefani wasn’t afraid to push the envelope when it came to hair. But here, we see her adopting a trend that took hold of just about every ’90s girl: the infamous butterfly clip. It was such a thing.

Urban Outfitters Gold-Tone Butterfly Hair Clip Set
Urban Outfitters
Gold-Tone Butterfly Hair Clip Set
£8
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Gold butterflies feel slightly more now than ’90s. 

12. Shortest Possible Platinum Pixie

Best '90s Hairstyles: Jada Pinkett Smith

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Jada Pinkett Smith showed us plenty of short haircuts in the ’90s, but this bleach-blonde, barely there cut takes the cake. 

Tigi Bed Head Mini Manipulator
Tigi
Bed Head Mini Manipulator
£6
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Fight frizz and humidity on shorter styles with daily use of this texturising and thickening styling paste. 

13. The Hilary Banks

Best '90s Hairstyles: Hilary Banks aka Karyn Parsons

Photo:

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Everything about The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is a perfect representation of ’90s life, but nothing compares to Hilary Banks’s perfectly coiled coif, which she’d often top with a statement hat or oversize bow to tie her ensemble together. 

Briogeo Curl Charisma Rice Amino + Avocado Leave–In Defining Cream
Briogeo
Curl Charisma Rice Amino + Avocado Leave–In Defining Cream
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If you are naturally curly, then you already know the importance of using products specifically formulated for curly hair of all shapes, sizes, and patterns. 

14. Messy Bun + Wispy Tendrils 

Best '90s Hairstyles: Gwyneth Paltrow

Photo:

Getty Images

Don’t be fooled by the name: The messy bun could be a super-chic look. Paltrow proved this point on a ’90s red carpet, where she kept with the undone theme by letting some face-framing curls hang loose.

T3 Whirl Trio Interchangeable Styling Wand Set
T3
Whirl Trio Interchangeable Styling Wand Set
£240
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Just wave this magic wand, and voilà! 

15. The Rachel

Best '90s Hairstyles: Jennifer Aniston

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Do we even need to explain? Didn’t think so.

Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer
Revlon
One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer
£60
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We have a feeling Rachel Green would have sworn by this handy little contraption.

16. The Sky-High Pony

Best '90s Hairstyles: Tyra Banks

Photo:

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Leave it to supermodel Tyra Banks to claim even more height with this sleek high pony. The flipped curl and swooshed bang add that much more ’90s flair.

Wet Brush Pro Detangler
Wet Brush
Pro Detangler
£14
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It never hurts to go back to great basics. 

17. Antennae

Best '90s Hairstyles: Jennifer Love Hewitt

Photo:

Getty Images

Nineties 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.

Mason Pearson Tail Comb
Mason Pearson
Tail Comb
£10
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Perfect for creating antennae at home. 

18. Two Braids

Best '90s Hairstyles: Mariah Carey

Photo:

Getty Images

In an era marked by plenty of grungier styles, this almost childlike style really stood out. Note the clipped bangs as well.

Scunci No-Slip Grip Open Center Stay Tight Barrettes
Scunci
No-Slip Grip Open Center Stay Tight Barrettes
£6
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Don’t underestimate the power of a simple-looking hair clip. Anyone growing out a fringe knows exactly what we mean. 

19. Chunky Highlights

Best '90s Hairstyles: Kelly Rowland

Photo:

Getty Images

Apparently subtlety just wasn’t in style in the ’90s. Kelly Rowland’s lurid streaks, coupled with her choppy cut, were clearly meant to stand out.

Manic Panic Hot Hot Pink Hair Dye
Manic Panic
Hot Hot Pink Hair Dye
£12
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We’re fully in support of bringing back (temporary) colourful highlights. 

20. Scrunchies

Best '90s Hairstyles: Sarah Jessica Parker

Photo:

Getty Images

Scrunchie madness was such a defining trend of the ’90s. They were perfect for securing any kind of ponytail or even just wearing around one’s wrist like a bracelet. You know, just in case.

ASOS DESIGN Pack of 5 Skinny Scrunchies
ASOS DESIGN
Pack of 5 Skinny Scrunchies
£8
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Fact: One can never have too many scrunchies. 

Next: 24 Products That Actually Make Your Hair Thicker.

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