Teen Girl Hairstyles of the '90s

Written by mary johnson-gerard, ph.d.
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Teen Girl Hairstyles of the '90s
Hair styles in the 90s took on a whole new look and sent a new message. (Hair image by jura from Fotolia.com)

Hairstyles in the 90s took on a different approach from the previous decade. Hair got straighter again, layers that weren't feathered became popular and tousled looks were on the rise. Unless you were wearing a ponytail, hair was meant to look like you just got out of bed. Television, movie and music stars of the 90s gave teen girls new role models for hairstyles.

Long Layers

Beauty salons in the 90s were full of teen girls asking to look like Rachel from the television show, Friends. She sported a long layered look that was straight, but tousled around the crown of the head. Highlights were strategically placed around the face where the shortest layers framed the cheeks. This layered look was indeed one of the most popular hairstyles of the 90s. This was a mature hairstyle that allowed teen girls to have a chic unkempt look that was still stylish and flirty.

Short Shag

Short hair was making a comeback in the 90s. Teens wore hair cut short in a bowl style, layered cut like Demi Moore in the movie Ghost in the early 90s. Meg Ryan and Cameron Diaz inspired teens to wear their hair at chin length and in messy layers that were styled to look fringy and tousled. Styling products like pomades made an appearance on the hair scene to help hold the layers in their tousled places. These short shag styles made getting ready in the morning pretty simple, although it did take some time to get the tousled pieces to look just tousled enough.


The high ponytail was made popular by musical artists like Madonna and Shania Twain. Hair was pulled up as high on the crown of the head as possible and fastened into a ponytail. Many times teens didn't have enough hair to make a full ponytail, so the fake ponytail became popular. Human hair was attached to sturdy rubber bands that could be wrapped around a smaller ponytail to add length. Shorter, natural ponytails were popular in the teen crowd as well. Hair could be pulled on top of the head and secured with hairspray. These ponytails allowed teens to use hair accessories such as scrunchies and banana clips.

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