The 11 Most Iconic Hairstyles from the 90’s

The 1990's, much like the Eighties, was a decade that featured unique hairstyles. The 90's was strongly characterized by materialism and consumerism. However, this capitalistic mentality took on new forms as new technology, such as cable television and the internet, began to emerge and grow. A strong sense of multiculturalism dominated the Nineties, and new movements like grunge, hip hop and the rave scene spread. More than ever, hair became a way to express individuality, and men and women alike tried new styles that emphasized fun and originality. With greater access to celebrities, made possible through television and the internet, actors, singers and models were the absolute standard of beauty and hair trends throughout the decade.

Scroll down to see our list of the top 11 hairstyles that have us nostalgic for the 1990's!

The Rachel Hairstyle


Jennifer Aniston

When Jennifer Aniston took on the role of Rachel Green in the insanely popular TV show, Friends, she inspired millions with her famous bouncy, square-layered hairstyle that came to be known as "The Rachel." Women across America copied the look which was universally flattering and could be cut in a variety of lengths. Despite its immense popularity, however, Aniston has stated that the look was "the ugliest haircut" she'd ever seen, and soon switched up her locks after the second season of the show.

[Image credit: NBC Universal via Getty Images]

The Flipped-Out Bob Hairstyle


Drew Barrymore

This wasn't the first time that a short, flippy bob became a popular look, but actresses like Drew Barrymore helped to re-popularize this 60's-esque style, as well as keep it fresh with super short bangs. The look gave off a fun, sweet vibe that many women mimicked during the 1990's.  

[Image credit: Time & Life Pictures via Getty Images]

Mini-Buns Hairstyle


Gwen Stefani

Also known as bantu knots or Zulu knots, this look became popular after Gwen Stefani, then-singer for the band No Doubt, was seen sporting the look on multiple red carpets. The style involves sectioning off hair into diamond, triangle or square shapes and then twisting strands into small, tight knots all over the head.

[Image credit: Tim Mosenfelder via Getty Images]

Crimped Hairstyle


Christina Aguilera

Beginning in the late 1980's and taking off in the following decade, hair crimping is a method of creating small, sawtooth waves in naturally straight hair. Nineties girls and women would achieve this popular look by braiding wet hair overnight, or by using a crimping iron for perfectly crimped hair. Pop stars like Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera helped to re-popularize the style after its initial mid-Eighties peak.

[Image credit: Chris Weeks via Getty Images]

The Winona Hairstyle


Winona Ryder

The pixie has been a popular hairstyle for decades, and is continually re-done each new decade. During the 1990's, actress Winona Ryder took the hair world by storm when she opted for a stylish, piecey pixie cut. Suddenly, every woman wanted the gorgeous, feature-highlighting look, and the pixie received yet another revival.

[Image credit: Ron Galella, Ltd. via Getty Images]

The Box Braid Hairstyle


Janet Jackson

This hairstyle provided a new twist on the classic braid. To create a box braid, four strands of hair are woven together to create a square, box-like shape. The look was especially popular amongst African-American women during the 1990's, and still maintains a certain level of popularity today.

[Image credit: KMazur via Getty Images]

Curtained Hairstyle


Leonardo DiCaprio

The curtained look became an incredibly popular style amongst men during the 1990's. Named for the look of long strands of hair in the front, often parted in the middle, that fell to either side of the face, much like curtains, the style adorned the heads of Nineties teenage heartthrobs everywhere. The curtained haircut also included shorter, sometimes shaved hair in the back and on the sides, and was sometimes shaped into a bowl cut, with fringe pushed equally across the forehead.

[Image credit: Barry King via Getty Images]

Butterfly Clips


Sarah Michelle Gellar

Hair accessories saw an explosion in popularity during the Nineties. Everything from bucket hats to hair wraps to scrunchies were popular, but nothing saw quite the level of demand as the butterfly clip. Named for its shape, butterfly clips came in a variety of colors, were often sparkly, and were as functional as they were fashionable. Often, girls would use the clips to hold back small ponytails or create half-up styles that were also incredibly popular during the decade.

[Image credit: NBC via Beauty Riot]

Super-Straight Hairstyle


Britney Spears

After a brief curly hair trend during the early part of the decade, celebrities began shunning the mega-curls and perms of the Eighties, and instead opting for extremely long, straight locks. The use of straightening irons became a standard part of many women's hair routine in order to achieve the sleek look.

[Image credit: Jeff Kravitz via Getty Images]

Girly Up-Dos


Jennifer Love HewittEmma Bunton

During the 1990's, women began donning girly hairstyles including high pigtails and tight, slicked-back up-dos. Pop stars like the Spice Girls, as well as celebrities like Jennifer Love Hewitt helped to popularize these pre-pubescent looks. While pigtails were typically worn with straightened hair placed high on the head, up-do's were generally gelled sleekly back, then curled and pinned in place. A very popular style involved pulling two small locks of hair out on either side to create face-framing strands.

[Image credit: Time & Life Pictures and JMEnternational via Getty Images]

Frosted Tips



Another extremely popular look for men during the Nineties was frosted tips, a look that involved bleaching just the tips of hair, and then spiking hair up with gel. The style was equally popular among international pop stars and elementary school boys throughout the decade.

[Image credit: Jeff Kravitz via Getty Images]

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