Even though I write about hair for a living, I can’t see the scaffolding that goes on behind an incredible chop the way a hairstylist can. The 90s haircut is an excellent example of this. It looks so low-key and casual at first glance that it seems effortless – like a no makeup-makeup situation. But as we all know, even barely-there beauty looks have a magic formula.
One account that’s great for taking you behind the anatomy of a chop is @thehairbros. Top London hair duo Nick Latham and Sean Paul Nother regularly post videos explaining exactly which layers go where and why. Their recent ‘90s haircut explainer looks at how the chop can work wonders, especially on fine hair. Plus it taps into a wider movement away from the “beautiful but more noticeable ‘70s and ’80s layers we’ve been seeing over the last few years,” towards a “softer movement” which they predict will gain a bigger fandom in 2024. “90% of this haircut is carved or ‘sliced’ creating a haircut that looks like it had grown out this way rather than the straight out of the salon vibe,” they say. So it’s perfect for a relaxed, undone look.
What is the ’90s haircut?
The ‘90s haircut introduces soft gentle layers to give fine hair lift and attitude, without making it too choppy or stringy.
Fine hair “shows up lots of layers if you don’t cut it in well,” Sean points out. The idea, he says, is to create “’90s piecey-ness around the face [without] lots and lots and lots of layers. I want it to flow nicely, almost as if the cut was done a few months ago.” He explains that “around the eyes and cheekbones” there should be “a little bit of grown-out shape, but it needs to be able to tuck behind her ears.”
How to get the ’90s haircut?
If you like to know the nitty gritty, Sean talks through the process like he would to a fellow stylist. And while we don’t plan on getting the scissors out ourselves, it’s good to know what’s going on so we can explain clearly what we’re after to our hair stylist.
“The first thing I like to do is take a small section and start from the hairline to about one finger in front of the ear. When you slice it, basically you’re opening and closing the scissors really gently. You want to imagine you’re moving a hot knife through butter, it should just flow through the hair, there shouldn’t be any jagged lines,” he says. Sean explains that the next section should start below the first one. “That should initially give you a really good shape to begin with,” he says. “Remember, we’re not trying to create any harsh lines in this hair. Especially on finer hair, it’s really important to make it flow. And because it’s a ‘90s shaping we’re going for, we want to create a slight V at the front.” At the end, he checks the layers still tuck behind the ears.
Even if you’re looking for a cut that looks thicker, don’t be afraid of a bit of trimming. “It’s important to note, lots of people are scared of losing hair, but you have to lose a bit of hair in order to gain some volume, even if your hair is slightly fine,” Sean says.
How to style the ’90s haircut?
A low-key cut pairs well with low-key styling. “I think the sign of a great haircut is that it should start sitting nice anyway before you put the product in,” says Sean. But “an undone ’90s look that gently frames the face” works perfectly, he says, recommending Chiffon Mousse by R+Co for soft movement. “If your hair is a little bit finer, a great product to use is Hairstory Undressed, and if you’re lucky and you’ve got slightly thicker hair, Hair Balm by Hairstory is fab,” Sean adds, noting: “avoid anything that promises massive volume”.
“When the hair is dry, I like to get a little bit of Oi Oil by Davines on my hands (but you can use any oil, just go easy on it) and using your fingers like a comb, gently pull your fingers through the hair, but keep your fingers quite wide apart, so you’re not completely dragging out the natural texture,” Sean says. “Then I like to use a little bit of Undressed spray afterwards just to soften it and make it look a bit more lived in. That’s it really. The haircut should dry nicely on its own tucked behind the ears.”
How to wear the ’90s haircut?
As for how to wear the cut, we have some more inspo below…
For more from GLAMOUR’s Senior Beauty Editor, Elle Turner, follow her on Instagram @elleturneruk
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