The 90s are back! The latest co-op? Hair: dreamy pastels, space buns, and more.
If you’ve been keeping up with makeup, hair, and fashion trends these past few years, you know that the 90s are coming back in full force: brown lipstick, frosted eyeshadow, flannels, Chuck Taylors, and tattoo chokers are all the rage. And while the “Clueless” era of hot pink lips and plaid miniskirts were awesome, there was another side of 90s youth culture of equal beauty: grunge. The grunge movement, accompanied by tracks from Nirvana and Pearl Jam and headed up by the styles of Courtney Love and Donita Sparks, forwent the uber-feminine styles of the 80s and embraced an androgynous, slept-in, punk aesthetic. While the Cher Horowitzes of the 90s were all about glamor and style, the Courtney Loves were disheveled, dark, and sexy.
One of the best parts about the grunge era was the hair: instead of the hair-sprayed-to-heaven looks of the 80s, grunge was about embracing natural hair texture and showcasing a “dirty” look. Part of the 90s grunge subculture included third-wave feminists and chola girls, who were expressing femininity in a fun, tongue-in-cheek way with pigtails and space buns. But since you probably don’t want to walk into the office actually looking like Courtney Love, here are some great ways to pull off the updated 90s grunge hairstyles in a modern, updated way.
90s Trend: Manic Panic Locks I Updated Trend: Pastel Colors
Drew Barrymore and Gwen Stefani rocked awesome Manic Panic looks back in the 90s grunge scene: bright turquoise, deep fuchsia, and mustard yellow were all fair game. And while we love unconventional colors, monochromatic primary colors are just not really what most modern women are going for. For a more mature, trendy take on that 90s trend, try the newest craze in hair color: pastels! Light pinks, lavenders, and even mint green are beautifully subtle ways to channel your Marie Antoinette while rebelling a little. Make sure to highlight and lowlight your locks to keep it looking dimensional, not flat.
Still a little gun-shy of these unconventional tones? Try pastel tips: this 90s take on the modern ombre look involves dying the last few inches of your hair that pastel hue. It’s much easier on your hair, and it gives you a chance to try the color out.
90s Trend: Space Buns I Updated Trend: Half-Bun
The space buns of the 90s were for grunge girls with a girly edge: Bjork, Britney Spears, and the Spice Girls all wore their hair in this cheeky take on feminine beauty. And while the double-bun look is adorable on a very specific type of girl (re: 18-25, does not have a desk job, is usually at a music festival), space buns aren’t super accessible to the rest of us. So to modernize this trend, try the newest 90s-style bun that has everyone from the Kardashians to the Olsen twins swooning: the half-bun. To do this, simply take the top half of your hair, starting just above the tops of your ears, and fasten it as you would a ponytail, pulling it through into a bun. And the rest is up to you–curl the bottom, straighten it out, or just throw some sea salt spray in there for an appropriately grungy 90s look!
Bonus: because it literally takes about five minutes, this style is perfect for day-after hair. Just make sure to use some dry shampoo in order to keep your locks looking fresh!