7 Hairstyles That Defined the ’90s

On Monday, just as Friends celebrated its 20-year anniversary, Courteney Cox appeared on Jimmy Kimmel and dropped fun-fact-bomb: she was always a little envious of ‘the Rachel’ haircut. Weren’t we all? It was the Friends haircut that almost every ’90s girl had to have. Of course, it wasn’t the only option out there. Here’s a breakdown of the most memorable hairstyles from the era of Doc Martins and Manic Panic.

1.  The Rachel

OBVIOUSLY we have to start with The Rachel. In 7th grade, a girl in my class got this haircut and I’ve never been more jealous of a person in my life. (She and her boyfriend—remember, this was 7th grade—were also referred to as Ross and Rachel, which totally filled me with jealousy). This hairstyle is basically all layers: it’s “piece-y” and “chunky” and all kinds of awesome. It’s also paired with a tight white T-shirt and a mini skirt. Very ’90s.

2.  The Topanga

Another lady who only needs to go by her first name, Topanga Lawrence has hands down the best hair I’ve ever seen. It goes in stages as Boy Meets World progresses: first crimped, then straight, but always luxurious. This hairstyle was/is everything! (OK, technically this is multiple hairstyles, but they’re all amazing.)

3.  The JT in N’Sync Mac And Cheese Hair

I was always more of a JC girl myself, but a certain level of appreciation was always aimed towards Justin Timberlake just because he was right out front. This hair is not one I’ve ever seen anyone try in real life, but it is magnificent, and it certainly was iconic. The hairstyle is. . .inexplicable. I know I’m not the first person to call it Mac and Cheese hair but I also hope I’m not the last. [Prayer hands emoji]

4.  The Mini Buns

Most notably seen on Gwen Stefani, I’d say, this look popped back up on Miley’s head last year and mine at a 90’s party this year:

It’s an intense hairstyle, but definitely keeps you cool in the summer!

5.  The Red Kool-Aid/Manic Panic Look

Seen on Angela Chase, Tai in Clueless, and Ginger Spice. I was desperate to dye my hair, a thing I didn’t end up doing until I was 20 years old. And what was the first color? You guessed it! Purply red!

This hairstyle is still the best: Bold, fun, and perfect for any hair type!

6.  The Alicia Silverstone

Alicia Silverstone was basically the mascot of the ’90s. Aerosmith videos, Clueless, The Crush; I mean, come on! Her hair is kept long and straight and blonde. And it’s delightful. This hairstyle is very All-American, very girl-next-door, and perfect for any role Alicia Silverstone ever played (including, of course, Excess Baggage.). Duh.

7.  The Bowl/Mushroom Cut

Poor boys in my middle school who had this haircut. It was primarily seen on ’90s resident hotties Devon Sawa and my own personal FIRST CRUSH, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, so I can’t blame the guys for trying to replicate it. Yes, it does indeed look like a mushroom or the result of a bowl being placed on your head. But hey, can you think of an easier haircut to give or receive? Kudos to that.

What are you top ’90s hairstyles? Let me know if I left your favorite out!

(Rachel image , Gwen pic , Spice Girls pic )

Filed Under
 •  •  •