If you take a stroll down memory lane, you’ll remember that the ‘90s was an era of many popular beauty and hair trends, especially when it came to hairstyles for Black women. Many of these hairstyles are well-suited for short, medium, and long hair, so it’s easy to see why ’90s Black hairstyles are a top pick for beauty lovers.
If you’re game for taking a walk on the retro side with your ‘do, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading for 15 of the best ’90s hairstyles for Black women that will make a lasting impression today.
1. Finger Waves
Why we love it: Finger waves are one of the most timeless ’90s Black hairstyles. They flaunt an S-shape that adds personality and sass to your look, and they’re a gorgeous pick for anyone with short hair that’s looking to embrace an old-Hollywood glam vibe.
How to get the look: This is a style you can actually DIY. Start by washing your hair with the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Curls Moisture Push Shampoo and L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Curls Moisture Seal Conditioner. Once your wash session is complete, apply a healthy amount of hair mousse, such as the L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle BOOST IT Volume Inject Mousse, throughout your hair.
Use a rattail comb to create a deep side part and comb your hair downward. Starting right below your part, use a comb to create an S-shape. Repeat on the other side, then let your hair air dry.
2. Short Pixie Cut
Why we love it: Short pixie cuts work wonders to accentuate your features. You’ll also be able to play with the length and angles for a customized look.
How to get the look: Cutting your own pixie is not ideal, especially if you’re not a professional hairstylist so we recommend scheduling a salon appointment for this one. Ask your stylist to cut your pixie to suit your face shape. Remember to bring a photo for some inspo — we know a few ‘90s singers and actresses that you could easily reference for this.
3. Sleek Strands With Swooped Bangs
Why we love it: Sleek strands are always on-trend, and pairing them with swooped bangs takes your look to the next level that embodies the ‘90s.
How to get the look: Consult with your stylist about cutting your fringe at an angle. Your bangs should slightly cover one of your eyes to really nail the look.
4. Mushroom Cut
Why we love it: This R&B-divas inspired haircut is a fabulous way to give your strands movement. It's such a staple from the decade and fits many face-shapes.
How to get the look: Play it safe and leave this haircut in the hands of your stylist.
5. Jumbo Box Braids
Why we love it: Jumbo box braids are a chic style that minimizes your time in the styling chair (versus average size box braids).
How to get the look: You can get jumbo box braids at home or with a stylist. If you’re going the DIY route, cleanse, condition, and dry your hair, then create a part about one-inch by one-inch and separate it into three pieces for braiding.
Grab some braiding hair and separate it into two pieces with a loop at the top, then loop that piece of hair around the base of your hair and start braiding, blending your two parts of braiding hair into your natural hair down the length of your braiding hair.
6. Micro Braids
Why we love it: Micro braids are a versatile 'do that can be styled just like your natural hair. Since these braids are on the small and thin side, you’ll be able to achieve a full look with tons of movement.
How to get the look: The technique with box braids and micro braids are similar, but micro braids are on a much smaller level so it’s better to head to the salon. Keep in mind, you can experience breakage if your braids are installed too tightly with this style, so tell your stylist to use a loose hand.
7. Sock Bun With Baby Hairs
Why we love it: A sock bun with baby hairs is a classic updo style that helps you maintain a polished and put-together appearance. The pairing also works in your favor to keep your strands tucked away while adding a bit of flair to your look.
How to DIY the look: Grab a sock bun maker and smooth your hair into a ponytail, then pull the length of your ponytail through the center of the sock, ensuring all of your strands are within it. Bring the sock back up to the ends of your ponytail and tuck the ends of your hair around it.
Flip it inside out and roll the bun down the ponytail. Pin any stray hairs in place with a bobby pin. Place a dime-sized amount of hair gel, like the L’Oréal Paris Studio Line Mega Gel, on an edge brush and curl the baby hair toward your hairline. Wrap your hair with a silk scarf for a few minutes to set your style.
8. Silk Press
Why we love it: A silk press is a natural hairstyle that gives your strands movement, body, and a shiny finish. Plus, it requires less heat than the traditional press and curl look.
How to get the look: Start with clean hair, apply a heat protectant like the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Weightless Blow Dry Primer, then blow dry your strands. Starting as close to the root as possible, slowly flat iron your hair all the way to the ends to make each pass count. Repeat this on one-inch sections of hair, passing over each one with your flat iron until you have a silky, soft mane.
9. Bantu Knots
Why we love it: Bantu knots are a stunning protective style that allow you to rock mini buns throughout your mane.
How to get the look: Create a one to two-inch section in your hair and start twisting from the root to the ends — your hair will begin to twist into itself. Twist the section tightly around itself to form a tiny bun and secure with a hair elastic.
10. Spiral Curls
Why we love it: Spiral curls provide your mane with a bouncy and well-defined look, and they also put your texture on full display.
How to get the look: Use a heat protectant then grab a small-barrelled curling iron. Curl a one-inch section of hair at a time, holding the curling iron about a half an inch from the root. Curl your entire head, then finish with the L’Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Extra Strong Hold & Volume Hairspray.
11. Buzz Cut
Why we love it: A buzz cut is the true definition of low-maintenance styling. This style is simple, chic, and you don’t have to worry about spending hours in the mirror to perfect it each day.
How to get the look: Consult with your stylist about cutting off your hair, and you can also get creative and add a little scalp-design element into the mix.
12. Jumbo Twist Pigtails
Why we love it: This cute hairstyle is easy to do, and the added accessory of bobble barrettes adds an extra ‘90s effect.
How to DIY the look: Part your hair into two equal sides vertically, then take one side and gather it into a high ponytail. Then, divide strands of your ponytail into two and twist them around each other until you get to end. After this, you can secure the ends with a hair tie or a bobble barrette, and you can also add a barette to the top of your ponytail. Repeat the process on the other side of your hair.
13. Pin-Curled Updo With Piecey Strands
Why we love it: Pin-curled updos are perfect for flaunting texture and keeping your strands tucked away. These styles typically add hair extensions into the mix for a full and defined finish. They also provide your mane with an elegant and versatile spin that can transition from day to night with ease.
How to get the look: Since this look requires adding extensions into your updo for a full look, you’ll want to consult with your stylist.
Edited by: Témi Adebowale, Photo Credit: Neyhairs, IG/@neyhairs_, Photo Design: Sarah Duvivier
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