Ah, the ’90s. An era defined by MTV, Lisa Frank notebooks, and more boy bands than we care to count. (For the record, we think 98 Degrees was super underrated.) 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 bangs 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 favorites.
1. Quasi Cornrows
The only thing that could make this style more ’90s is a butterfly clip placed at the end of these pseudo cornrows. This half-rolled hairstyle, also dubbed “picture-day hair” by the elementary school set, ruled the decade.
Urban Renewal Vintage Extra Mini Metallic Butterfly Clip Set ($10)
The metallic gold gives these little beauties a major upgrade.
2. The Winona Pixie
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 ($24)
Pixie cut devotees know the power of a great pomade—this one smells good, too.
3. Micro Braids
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.
Mielle Rosemary Mint Scalp & Hair Strengthening Oil ($10)
Treating your scalp to some T.L.C. is a must when wearing protective hairstyles.
4. Bumped Bob
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 ($39)
Go big or go home with our favorite mega-volume mousse.
5. Mall Bangs
There was a period of time when it seemed like every TV character was sporting these voluminous, feathered bangs. 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.
Drybar Buttercup Blow Dryer ($169)
You’ll need a reliable blowdryer to get those bangs just right.
6. Claw Bangs
On the other end of the bang spectrum were these fringe bangs, defined by face-framing, peekaboo pieces.
Moroccanoil Ceramic Barrel Boar Bristle Round Brush ($72)
Never underestimate the power of the perfect round brush.
7. Teeny Double Dutch Pigtails
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…