The 9 Most Iconic Black Hair Styles From The ’90s


The nineties were a time of major trendsetting in fashion and beauty, especially within the black community. We had R&B singers like Erykah Badu serving goddess vibes with her wrapped locs and SWV, giving us every variety of up-do’s we could dream of. It was a time were creativity and originality unified, and an era and greatness was born.

But, what’s old is always new again, and that holds true with beauty trends. The hottest hair trends we see today can be credited to the major influences the ’90s had on its following generations.

Here, we listed nine of the most iconic hairstyles from the ’90s ranging from R&B divas to red carpet bombshells. Keep reading below to see which classic look was your favorite and which one you’ll be trying again.

Aaliyah: Swoop Bang

There’s much to admire about Aaliyah. She displayed how to perfectly balance having ladylike qualities and a tomboy swag. Her music, personality, and creative crew (Missy, Timbaland & Magoo, Ginuwine) were more than enough to captivate an audience. But it was her iconic look that stole the show – a long layered wrap with a deep swoop bang.

Sade: Slick Ponytail

There’s no doubt in our mind that Sade Adu’s name is rightfully placed next to the word “classic” in the dictionary. Women didn’t have to do much in the ’90s to showcase their beauty, and Sade was certainly one that embodied that truism. Her iconic slick back ponytail matched with a bold red lip and sultry voice reminds us how timeless beauty and simplicity are synonymous.

Brandy: Braids

Micro braids were a true staple in the ’90s, and you can thank Brandy for that. She introduced us to the many different types of braids to choose from and showed us how easily we could style them. She gave us bobbed box braids, micro braided up do’s, and curly braids fit for royalty in Cinderalla. Versatility was an understatement when it came to Brandy’s endless braided styles.

Halle Berry: Pixie Cut

If Halle Berry’s signature short pixie cut wasn’t on your stylist’s radar, then you were going to the wrong stylist. Halle rocked this cut for nearly three decades and inspired a new wave of short hairstyles on Black women. This haircut signified a confident woman who radiated in her inner beauty.

Mary J. Blige: Blonde Hair

Mary J. Blige was doing blonde hair long before it became a culturally taboo topic. The Queen of R&B graced red carpets, album covers, and magazines with a multitude of styles in one unique hue. Whether she was singing the blues in up-dos or breaking it down in a low bob, Mary always made sure her locks were as noticeable as she was.

Missy Elliot: Finger Waves

It wasn’t always Missy’s mesmerizing videos or versatile singing skills that kept us hooked; it was her signature finger waved hair too. A simple yet unique cut was the perfect style for Missy’s vibrant personality and energetic songs. It’s no wonder why this multi-talented trendsetter knew exactly how to update this 1920’s classic hairstyle to an essential 1990’s hip hop look.

Janet Jackson: Tousled Curls

Yes, we love Ms. Jackson in her timeless Poetic Justice braids, but the real Janet Jackson hairstyle is her brown tousled curls. From “That’s The Way Love Goes” to “Anytime, Anyplace,” Jackson created a signature look that will always remind us of the easygoing feeling of the ’90s.

Lil Kim: Blue Bob

If there was one thing, Lil Kim was in the 90’s it was a trendsetter. She changed her style notoriously and pushed the envelope with every single look. She’s rocked everything from ombre pink hair to Chanel printed hair, but her most iconic style was the blue bob she rocked in her classic “Crush on You” video.

Lisa Bonet: Bohemian Locs

Lisa Bonet was the quintessential free-spirited soul we all admired in the ’90s. Her cascading bohemian locs were a part of her signature style matched with a mysterious gaze. Occasionally she’d accessorize with cowry shells and gold accents, amplifying her boho look.

*Featured image credit: @lilkimstreetteam

Destinee A. Hughes


Destinee A. Hughes is the Editor-in-Chief of 3-Hues.com where she discovers the best beauty products, wellness treatments, and sex & relationship topics.

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