The Best ‘90s Hairstyles We’re *Still* Rocking Today (and Yes, ‘The Rachel’ Is on the List)

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a collage of 90s hairstyles with jennifer aniston, zazie beets and rihanna
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As a ‘90s baby, I might be biased in saying the decade had some of the best beauty looks. Seriously, we were the first to use butterfly clips, introduced ‘The Rachel’ and made crimping our hair cool again. In fact, there are so many hairstyles and haircuts from the era that are still popular today. If you want to take a trip down memory lane, here are the 20 best ‘90s hairstyles to try out in 2024. 

‘80s Hairstyles to Bring Back This Year (Without Looking Totally Dated)

90s hairstyles barbie ponytail
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1. Barbie Ponytail

Before Barbiecore, we had this trendy ponytail inspired by our favorite doll. From Ariana Grande to Gabrielle Union, this ‘90s hairstyle has been a celeb-favorite. The star of the show is really the flipped ends, which can be achieved by using a blow dryer and a round brush. Don’t forget to apply hairspray to keep it in place all day. 

90s hairstyles jennifer lopez rocking a voluminous blowout
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2. Voluminous Blowout

Pinterest predicts big hair is in and this voluminous blowout is at the top of our list. The ‘fluffy hair’ trend was all the rage back in the day, with supermodels like Cindy Crawford and stars like Danielle Fisher (Boy Meets World) making it their signature look. Divide your hair into sections and wrap each part around a round brush before directing the blow dryer at the roots for a bouncy ‘do. There’s also the option of applying rollers or pins for even more volume. 

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3. Half-Braided, Half-Down

The classic half-up, half-down style has always been around, but the ‘90s girlies took it one step further by adding some braids. As Michelle Cleveland, celebrity hairstylist and educator at the Hair Addict Salon, previously explained, “Everything from the ‘90s is back, including this twist hairstyle. I love this look because it’s fun and easy to achieve.” It also lets you show off your natural texture and play around with protective styling. 

90s hairstyles face-framing tendrils
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4. Face-Framing Tendrils

This style has been everywhere in the last couple of years (and even sparked a new trend back in January). It’s pretty simple to achieve—just leave two loose strands out, so they can sit nicely on either side of the face. Whether you have wavy, straight or curly locks, these face-framing tendrils look great on all hair types.

90s hairstyles a photo of zazie beets rocking a heartthrob bob
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5. Heartthrob Bob

What do Leo DiCaprio, Erik von Detten and Nick Carter have in common? This short, layered haircut that works for all genders. It made a big comeback in 2022 as a low-maintenance style, and we expect to see more of it in 2024. 

90s hairstyles the bixie
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6. The Bixie

This hybrid cut combines two of our favorite styles into one edgy look: the bob and the pixie. Popularized by Winona Ryder and Meg Ryan, the ‘Bixie’ takes the classic bob technique of long layers (that sit right at or past the chin) and shorter pieces near the hairline and crown reminiscent of a pixie. As Sunnie Brook, celebrity hairstylist and a global ambassador for Biolage, previously told us, “The cut leaves the hair just long enough to tuck behind the ear with a fresh take on the curtain fringe trend.” 

7. Space Buns

If you think we left space buns in elementary school then you are sorely mistaken. This double bun look is just as cool on adults—just check out Ms. Robyn Fenty herself. Whether you’re attending a festival or a night out with friends, it’s an easy style to recreate at home. Once you divide your hair down the middle, create two high ponytails on each side and wrap them both around each hair tie. You can always take it up a notch by leaving two face-framing strands out, dabbling in a half-up, half-down situation or laying down your edges—honestly, the possibilities are out of this world (get it?).

8. Butterfly Clips

Despite their popularity in the early aughts, butterfly clips first emerged in the ‘90s. The retro accessories bring a colorful touch to any hairstyle. Use them to push back your bangs or add in some side twists and decorate the sides for your next shindig. There really is no wrong way to wear them.

90s hairstyles a photo of gabrielle union rocking box braids
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9. Box Braids

Box braids became the protective style in the ‘90s, even though they date back to 3500 BC. Everyone from Brandy to Janet Jackson to Beyoncé has sported some version of them. They’re not only versatile, as you can wear ‘em up or down, but they’ve inspired modern styles like goddess braids, Marley twists and more. 

90s hairstyles a photo of jennifer aniston rocking the rachel cut
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10. The Rachel

Jennifer Aniston is a ‘90s icon and so was her mane. ‘The Rachel’ became the most requested look back in the day and we definitely see the appeal in 2024. The trendy cut features short layers in the front to frame the face, a voluminous top and flipped-in ends that make it such a signature Friends look. It’s still so well known that Aniston herself even brought it back during awards season. 

11. Baby Braids

Although they were introduced in the ‘70s, baby braids gained more popularity around the late ‘90s. The decade was all about being playful and fun, so these tiny plaits were just what we needed. The quick style starts by parting the hair down the middle and grabbing a small section of hair on each side of the face. Then, braid each section into a double twist or French style and secure the ends with elastic bands. 

90s hairstyles a photo of zendaya rocking tousled curls
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12. Tousled Curls

Inspired by Mariah Carey, Drew Barrymore and Sarah Jessica Parker, the tousled look requires just a dollop of mousse to really bring out your pattern. The ‘90s taught us that it’s OK to embrace a little frizz every once in a while.

13. High Pigtails

If you want to look like your favorite pop stars of the decade (we’re looking at you, Spice Girls and Britney Spears), some high pigtails are the way to go. Wear them the classic way or try a half-up, half-updo that will surely win you brownie points at the next ‘90s party. 

14. Chunky Highlights

Move over, money pieces. From Christina Aguilera to Kelly Rowland, chunky highlights were all the rage. Nowadays, some are taking a subtler approach—ala babylights or ribboning—but the color-blocking technique is still around if you’re looking to walk on the wild side. 

90s hairstyles a photo of lupita nyongo rocking a scrunchie
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15. Scrunchies

Another accessory that defined a decade? Scrunchies. Now, the large hair ties were invented in the 1960s, but they got super popular around the ‘80s and early ‘90s as a statement piece for a high ponytail or bun. They’re chic and functional, which describes many hairstyles of the era. 

90s hairstyles a photo of bella hadid rocking a claw clip
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16. Claw Clips

Yup, we’re still on the accessories train because claw clips were huge in the ‘90s. If you want to unleash your inner Rachel Green, pop one of these babies on for a casual look. 

90s hairstyles a photo of michelle williams rocking a pixie
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17. Pixie

This short haircut was most famously sported by Nia Long, Gwyneth Paltrow and Winona Ryder. The pixie features tiny bangs and piece-y layers for texture—and the edge we often associate with the ‘90s. 

90s hairstyles a photo of blake lively with crimped hair
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18. Crimped Hair

This technique dates back to the ‘70s, but became the ‘it’ style by the early ‘90s. From Tyra Banks to Blake Lively, the ultra-wavy style screams party hair, however, gone are the frizzy finishes. In 2024, we’re seeing more of a beachy vibe, with softer and subtler crimps.

natural hair trends for fall a photo of solange knowles wearing micro box braids
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19. Micro Braids

Like many hairstyles on this list, micro braids made a huge comeback in August 2023. The baby sister to the classic box braids style, the plaits are a bit smaller and thinner in size, and usually done closer to the scalp. 

20. Layered Braids

Brandy was all of our hair inspo in the ‘90s and this layered braids style is proof. The protective style offers volume, length and depth. As Cataanda James, a hairstylist and brand educator for The Mane Choice, previously shared, “Layered braids mimic a myriad of layered cuts on loose, individualized hairstyles. [This protective style has] long layers that usually fall below the shoulders and are cut so they’re face-framing.”

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about face matte fluid eye paint review chelsea candelario

Associate Editor, Ultimate Fangirl, Aspiring Beauty Guru

Chelsea Candelario is an Associate Editor at PureWow. She has been covering beauty, culture, fashion and entertainment for over a decade. You'll find her searching the internet...