90s ‘Dos, Just for You
It’s not breaking news that 90s nostalgia is super hip right now. Children of the 90s, such as myself, are now in their twenties– a time when life gets downright complicated by jobs and relationships and a lot of other junk. Most of us long for simpler times– times when new episodes of Clarissa Explains It All were on the air, times when we looked good in spandex bike shorts. As a result, crop tops, tied-up blouses, long skirts, and “Mom jeans” started appearing on the main thoroughfares of every stylish city from coast-to-coast. But another great style contribution from the 90s that is oft forgotten? The hairstyles. Inspired by my dear friend Heather— who breathes 90s teen culture and has sported every one of these ‘dos on like, multiple occasions– here’s some hair-spiration that will take you straight back to the Clinton era (cue the hazy mists of Time and the sultry sax solos):
1) A tiny braid or hair wrap:
Remember how that hot mess Rayanne Graff on My So-Called Life always had a bunch of little braids and ribbons in her hair? Well, ribbon it up, sister! Ribbons and beads are super cheap at any craft store, and every girl should be good at tiny braids after years of giving her Barbie dolls corn rows (or was that just me?). Hair wraps– which I was certainly a fan of back in the day when I was a chunky prepubescent corn-rower– just take some 79-cent embroidery thread, a how-to video, and some pizazz. Voila— you’re Rayanne without the alcohol abuse problem or the daddy issues (I mean, I hope so)!
2) Dip-dyed color:
We all know that gettin’ your hairs did is super pricey, especially in NYC. So why spend megabucks on natural-looking highlights when you can look like root-y trailer trash, which just happens to be very “in” at the moment? DIY color says that you are a fan of Nirvana, have home-done tattoos and suffer from existensial malaise, which, let’s face it, is most twentysomething Brooklyners today. So dip those ends in bleach and Manic Panic until they break off, people! What’s that smell? No, it’s not Teen Spirit, it’s your hair disintegrating.
3) A Scrunchie:
I was a bit too young to ride the Grunge Express all the way to Flannelville, so most of my personal 90s fashion memories are a bit more Stephanie Tanner (pre-meth addiction) than Courtney Love (eternal-drug addiction). Thus, the scrunchie played an integral role in my coming-of-age. Add one to a high ponytail or a top knot to look like a member of The Babysitter’s Club showing up to her first day of work with Jackie Rodowski. “Mid-90s thirteen year old” is so hot right now, and you can find scrunchies at the 99 cents store in a variety of colors and fabrics.
4) Raver buns:
Grunge or teeny bopper not your thing? Try a hairstyle from another underappreciated 90s demographic– ravers. Riding the tail wave of the club kid era that began in the late 80s, 90s ravers liked to fashion themselves in the vein of Japanese Drag Queen Princess Leias. To take your bass-bumpin’ Chun Li’s to the next level, add some clips and other snappy hair accessories purchased for cheap from the drugstore— your goal is to look like a big neon baby doll.
5) A French braid or a Topsy Tail:
Strangely, Mormon-chic hair also made many appearances during the 90s. Crazy feathered bangs (let’s please not resurrect that particular 90s trend) were often paired with dowdy braids or librarian-esque Topsy Tails to create a sort of reverse-mullet effect (electrocuted psycho in the front, reserved sister-wife in the back). I’m advocating a comeback of these Prairie Woman looks in homage to one of my favorite pastimes during that last decade of the twentieth century– playing Oregon Trail for hours on end. Who knew that Little House locks could be so 90s, which could be so now? Postmodernism at it’s finest, babe.
Well, that’s it– give yourself a hair wrap, put on those Adidas shell tops, and flip on “The 90s are All That.” Kick back and remember the simple days before your boyfriend dumped you or you threatened to get your English roommate deported because she aborted on your towels (ugh, there I go bringing personal experiences into this again). Whether you’re suffering from quarter life melancholia like your’s truly or not, one thing is for sure– 90s ‘dos are a do.