Celebrities Are Bringing Back Bouncy '90s Curls This Spring

It's giving Julia Roberts.

Bella Hadid, Nicola Peltz, and Megan Thee Stallion wearing '90s Curls

@bellahadid, @nicolaannepeltzbeckham/Instagram, Getty Images

The '90s have pretty much taken over everyone's moodboard, and whether you're pulling from '90s alt-culture, minimalism, or supermodel style, the decade has something that you can reference in your everyday style. It comes as no surprise that '90s beauty has resurfaced too, and the most recent beauty look that celebrities are loving are '90s curls, which are all about springy definition without the added fluff of a '90s supermodel blowout. Ahead, everything you need to know about the trend.

Sarah Jessica Parker '90s Curls

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Where We’ve Seen It

Well, the '90s, of course. Look to icons who enhanced their natural spirals with tight perms like Nicole Kidman, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Julia Roberts. Their curls had a spring-like shape and were well-defined, which created the appearance of distinct, bouncy ringlets. It's different from the wave and curl patterns that have been trending since the 2000's, which all seem to melt into one another, creating large, swoopy curls or beachy waves,

Nicole Kidman with her '90s Curls

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Kidman resurrected her own '90s curls in a recent selfie, and stars like Bella Hadid, Megan Thee Stallion, and Emily Ratajkowski have all been spotted in their own version of the throwback curl.

Latto wearing '90s Curls

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Why It’s Trending

Trends always ebb and flow, and as we start to leave the fluffy blowouts behind, hairstyles are going down a sleeker path (it's why stars are opting for an "undone" blowout instead of a more voluminous look). '90s curls also offer sleek definition with their springy texture while still maintaining the volume that comes along with curly styles—and the side part most celebs are pairing with the curls give them a true throwback feel.

Nicola Peltz wearing '90s Curls


"Most trends resurface and have a moment every 20 years or so, and now it’s the '90s time," says Fekkai stylist, April Story. "Hairstylists are serving up long tendrils with ponytails, big 90’s curls, and heavy face-framing layers. With summer around the corner and effortless hair trending, we’re going with the flow of our hair—just a slightly polished version."

How to Get in on The Trend

Although the trend mostly relies on curling your hair for a springy finish, everyone’s hair has different bends and textures, so here’s a breakdown of how to achieve the look for each hair type.

Curly Hair

If you already have curly hair, then you’re ahead of the curve in terms of styling, and can simply air-dry your natural hair. Story notes that you’ll first want to detangle your damp hair with the Fekkai Clean Stylers Prime Mist ($26) and then apply a glossing cream and hair oil by brushing the product through your hair for even distribution.

Megan Thee Stallion with 90s curls

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After that, Story says, “Using 1/2-1 inch sections, finger curl the hair to enhance your wave or curl pattern. Allow your hair to fully air-dry.” Story notes that you can go in with a curling iron or wand to touch up your hair once it's fully dry. Then, finish off with a flexible hairspray that utilizes humidity resistance. You can also achieve this style by using flexi-rods and sit under a hooded dryer for a quicker style, or sleep with them in your hair overnight.

Wavy Hair

Wavy hair can easily mimic a ‘90s curl, and the pros recommend working with your natural texture. “Do not be tempted to blow-dry your hair straight and then add in the curl,” says Fekkai Stylist, Eli Pjetraj. “If you have wavy hair, it’s always best to add curls in to enhance your natural waves. This will be less damaging, and I am an advocate for healthy hair and less heat damage.” First, apply a hair cream and a few drops of hair serum to damp hair from root to tip to introduce hydration and maintain hold. After that, Pjetraj says, "Lightly layer on Super Strength+ Protein Powerbond Mist ($28) and distribute through the length with a wide tooth comb or your fingertips. Next, you can leave your hair to air-dry, or I recommend a Dyson diffuser for a faster finish.”

Emily Ratajkowski

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Once your hair is completely dry, use a narrow-barrel curling iron to create defined ringlets. “The aim is to blend and add definition alongside your natural curls," notes Pjetraj. While you might have the habit of curling all your hair in one direction, the key to creating natural-looking ‘90s springs is by alternating the curls as you go. Once you’re done, spritz the final look with a hairspray like Fekkai Clean Stylers Volume Lock Hairspray ($26) to lock in both volume and bounce.

Straight Hair

If your hair falls flat after each wash, there are ways to get in on this trend without actually perming your hair. The number one trick that Story shares is using volume-building products and techniques: “Apply Fekkai Clean Stylers Root Lift Spray ($28) to your roots [and] massage it in with your fingertips. Spray a few pumps into your hand and scrunch in the hair to tap into the ‘hair memory’ function of [this] hybrid product.”

Bella Hadid with '90s curls


Then, you’ll want to pre-dry your hair with a blow dryer until it's 95% dry, using your fingers to lift the roots. Story warns, “If you start using the brush too soon, it can have the opposite effect and go limp due to overworking the hair.” Next, Story recommends doing what she calls a “pre-blowout.” She notes, “Using a large ceramic round brush, you will only dry four sections of your hair: the front fringe, the crown, and your two sides (from hairline to just behind the ears) and pin them in place with pin curl clips.” After that, you can blow through the rest of your hair with the same brush and then remove the pins. Once your hair is fully dry, Pjetraj recommends dividing the hair into three sections: “the top (crown), the middle (behind the ears) and the base (the nape).”

“Starting at the base, start curling small sections with [a 1/2-inch] barrel curling iron,” Pjetraj continues. “After the entire base section has been curled, spray with the Clean Stylers Volume Lock Hairspray ($26) and leave to cool. Repeat this process across the middle and top sections of hair, remembering to curl hair away from the face.” Story adds that you can add more dimension to the style by alternating between a smaller barrel curling iron for tighter curls and a larger barrel curling iron for looser curls. Story's trick is to curl your strands all the way from root to tip (instead of leaving out the ends) for a springy ‘90s look.

Story finishes, “For added volume, flip your hair upside down and spray hairspray all over. Flip your hair back, and you have the look, girlfriend!”

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