Giving over to grunge: get inspired by classic 90s styles

Hair Ideas & Inspiration

Giving over to grunge: get inspired by classic 90s styles

26 Jan 2016

For those who lived through it first time around, it's hard to believe that the grunge look is over 25 years old! Even though it might not quite 'smell like teen spirit' anymore, the slacker-cool style that defined the 'grunge look' has made a recent resurgence.

So if you're leaning more towards shabby chic than classic sophistication as the year unfolds, why not revisit some of our favourite iconic hair looks from the era of grunge.  

Back to your roots

Regardless of hairstyle, the ultimate statement for grunge girls was visible roots. Championed by unofficial 'grunge queen' Courtney Love and even adopted by fresh-faced supermodel Kate Moss, un-touched roots were a 90s hair must have. An act of rebellion against the preppy look, deliberately not hiding your roots is still as popular today and looks especially cool when twinned with a sleek blowout. Try growing out your ombre and combining with a messy shag cut or blunt bob, for a truly 21st century take on the sexy 'hot mess' look that defined grunge girl style. Or for those who like a more extreme look, take inspiration from Miss Love's 'anti-Monroe' locks: sporting bleached platinum locks with at least an inch of dark root on view.  

Go big with backcombing

Editorial credit: Razvan Iosif /
Image credit: Editorial credit: Razvan Iosif /

It's no secret that getting the perfect 'casually dishevelled' look actually takes effort. An easy way to  get the perfect amount of bed head volume is with a bit of backcombing. This straightforward process is used to add weight to a host of styles, and simply requires a little patience and a long handled teasing comb or backcombing brush. Firstly, give your hair some matte texture by applying a volumizing powder. Then start at the crown and divide hair into manageable sections of a couple of inches. Comb a section smooth, hold it away from your scalp starting to comb downwards until you reach the scalp. Repeat in sections until you've teased away to your hairs content.

Neaten things up a little by smoothing over the top layer of hair, but keep your lower sections textured and messy. Pair with some ripped jeans and an off the shoulder jumper, and you'll be good to go.

Feeling the fade

Editorial credit: freyaphotographer /
Image credit: Editorial credit: freyaphotographer /

Good news for those of you in love with romantic washed-out pink and lilac hair shades, they are the perfect accompaniment to your grunge look. 90s It Girl Drew Barrymore rocked peaches and pinks through her shaggy bob: a style which is just as on-trend now as it was back then. The trick is to keep colour deliberately uneven to give a worn-in effect.

For blondes (natural or otherwise) hair chalk, in pastel shades streaked through your ends, is a temporary and inexpensive way of channelling grunge colouring. Meanwhile, those of you who've already adopted the recent trend for ash grey, silver, and pewter hair shades are  already prepped. Just top off with a slouchy beanie to deliver an edgy, contemporary take on the 90's grunge style.

Getting blunt

Editorial credit: Tinseltown /
Image credit: Editorial credit: Tinseltown /

Much loved by Courtney during her years with Kurt Cobain, the blunt bob cut defined the era. Skip sleek straight lines and opt for messy waves with an equally untidy centre parting (once again highlighting your dramatically dark roots). The perfect cut to give the matte backcombing treatment : it's laid-back luxe at its best.

The grungy pixie

Image credit: Featureflash

The grungy pixie was famously worked by another 90's grunge starlet, Winona Ryder: who favoured it during her days stepping out with Johnny Depp. The style is essentially a classic pixie crop, cut a little longer to leave enough hair to texturize into messily feathered clumps. It's a rebel look that hasn't lost its edge: as Miley Cyrus proved by adopting the style as part of her new bad-girl image.

Perfect pigtail buns

Ga Fullner /

Sported by grunge girls and 90s ravers alike, almost every 90's fashion follower would crown their look with a pair of pigtail buns.

Simple for those with medium to long hair to achieve, firstly centre part you hair and gather into two symmetrical bunches between the top of the ear and the crown. Take a pigtail and twist the hair before wrapping to form a bun. Secure with a hair tie and repeat. It couldn't be easier, plus the messier they look the more authentic grunge vibe they deliver!

We hope you've enjoyed our little trip back through some of the styles that defined the alt-rock grunge scene, and inspired you to try something new with your hair. Our expert stylists are on hand to make sure your grunge look hand has exactly the right amount of attitude--so get in touch.

Contact The Chapel on WhatsApp