The generation of 90s kids will always remember the iconic decade for its distinct fashion and style trends. This is the era of chic, preppy Clueless-inspired plaid skirts and jackets and urban-style hip-hop fashion for those who loved street style.
But there is one specific style that stood out among all these, and that is the subculture of grunge. People loved to glam up in dark, bold, offbeat, rock-style looks and head to the nearest rock concert.
Aside from the clothes, what made grunge memorable were the hairstyles associated with it. Ladies loved witchy, moody looks often associated with being “emo,” but done more fashionably. They wore their hair in deep colors and tried outrageous haircuts that were ahead of their time.
Want to try the grunge style for yourself? Here are 20 different styles to consider!
Spiked, Jagged Pixie Cut
One of the most classic grunge looks is the simple pixie cut. It’s short and choppy, giving even the prettiest women a bolder look, making them appear rough around the edges and grungy.
A great way to wear a pixie is spiky and jagged with uneven layers. A look like this is the quintessential hairstyle for anyone who wants to try out the grunge aesthetic.
Messy Layers with a Full Fringe
If you want a hairstyle that is very 90s grunge but still has a touch of modern beauty to it, try adding lots of messy layers to your hair. This adds texture and body to your tresses, but also pays homage to the grunge subculture of the 90s. It looks especially carefree and rockstar-like if you add a wispy full fringe to the hairdo.
Choppy Bob a la Joan Jett
Look like grunge icon Joan Jett by getting a scissor but that leaves you with a choppy bob. This cheek-length cut is perfect if you want a hairstyle that isn’t so outrageous but still screams rock and roll. Add some unkempt, side-swept bangs for that effortless, almost “careless” touch only rockstars can perfect.
Black and Teal Undercut Mullet
Here’s a daring look for those with a wilder personality. Teal was all the rage back in the 90s, so dye streaks of your hair with this color. Then, ask your stylist for a mullet—short in front and long at the back. But instead of a regular scissor cut, get your sides shaved in a skin fade for a bold touch.
Two-Toned Purple and Navy Locks
Another way to experiment with colors is by wearing two at the same time, split down the middle. Grunge in the 90s was all about dark, deep colors, so select two of your favorites. Dark purple and navy blue look great side by side, so you might want to consider dyeing your hair in that pair of colors.
Bleached Rogue Highlights on Black Hair
Highlights sound very modern and trendy, but if done the right way, it makes you look retro, edgy, and grungy. The trick is to make the difference between your base color and highlight shade very stark.
One way to do that is with face-framing rogue highlights that are bleached blonde against darker hair. The sharp contrast in brightness is exactly the type of thing you’d see on a rock lover.
Half-Up Pigtails with Bangs
For a more playful, charismatic look, go for fun and vibrant half-up pigtails. That way, you can look cute but still show off the length of your hair. You might also want to wear your bangs in a full fringe, which adds even more youthfulness to your appearance. This style looks great on colored hair.
Black and Hot Pink Curly Bob
Mix dark tones and neon shades with this hairstyle! Start with a dark base shade, like black or brown. Then, ask your stylist to add many streaks of bright, eye-catching color—like hot pink. To show off the difference in colors, add curls and waves to your hair to bring out the dimension and depth of the shades.
Tall, Spiky Fauxhawk
Another bold and dramatic look on this list is the classic fauxhawk—aka hair that stands tall in the center but isn’t completely shaved in the sides, like a mohawk is. Instead, simply comb your sides and slick them down with gel, while styling the rest of your hair upwards for this classic rock-and-roll look.
Tiny Half-Up Space Buns
Looking for a hairstyle for a 90s grunge music festival? Here’s a look that even teens and college kids will love. Instead of going for the overrated space bun look that every girl wears to concerts today, do half-up buns that are super small. It puts a creative spin on the popular space bun trend!
Hair Down with Cornrow Sides a la Avril Lavigne
Avril is the princess of rock and grunge, so it makes sense to look at her for hairstyle inspiration. One edgy yet feminine look she’s done is wearing her long, silky hair down but with a few cornrows going down one side of her head. Seems intimidating, but all you have to do to achieve this look is create three side French braids, and you’re done.
The mullet is a retro hairstyle that everyone—boys and girls alike—love to wear. To give it that signature grunge touch, make the layers of your mullet a bit messier. That way, they can effortlessly stick out and give you more volume in the hair in a choppy, carefree way.
Two-Toned Hime Cut
The “hime” cut is a popular Japanese haircut wherein the front pieces of hair is significantly shorter than the rest of the hair. It’s definitely a haircut that’s on the more outrageous side. And when paired with classic grunge colors, like black and light pink, it makes for a stunning concert look.
Light to Dark Gradient Shag
Shaggy hair is quite common even among people who don’t care for the grunge aesthetic. But you can easily level up the look and make it look more dauntless and avant-garde by adding a fascinating gradient color to it. We recommend going light blonde at the top, slowly working its way to brown and black near the ends of your locks.
Blunt Cut Curls with Full Bangs
If you have curly hair, consider cutting your hair into a single-length bob. Curly girls usually go for layered haircuts, but try this blunt cut to create a unique “triangle” shape that matches incredibly well with grungy outfits! Add some full bangs to your look for more of that witchy symmetry.
Space Bun and Pigtail Combo
When it comes to grunge, the more off your hairstyle, the better. Experiment with combining hairstyles for a more distinctive look. Two styles you might want to try wearing together is high space buns and low pigtails. This creates a hairstyle that’s perfect for that goth grunge vibe.
Jet Black Wavy Tresses with Curtain Bangs
For a hairstyle that won’t give your parents a heart attack, try a modern, tame wavy look with a jet-black color—a classic for low-maintenance grunge girls. The style is wearable for morning looks but is perfect for headbanging at night. You can even add curtain bangs for a chic touch!
Shaggy, Silver, Grown-Out Pixie
Tired of your pixie cut? Grow it out and wear it in a shaggy, choppy look like this. It’s perfect if you have a relaxed, “I don’t care what people think” personality—something a lot of people in the grunge community have.
Black and Purple Curls
If you want to show off your girly side but still be ultimately grunge, try dyeing your hair in multiple dark tones and then curling it in pretty waves. Black and purple go great for this look, which is so versatile that you can wear it to a rock concert or a romantic picnic out!
Looking grungy doesn’t require you to wear your hair down all the time. You can also wear your hair up in intricate styles, like these braided knots. Create simple French braids from your hairline going to the crown of your head. From there, create multiple messy, lazy buns on your head. Make sure they’re so messy they end up looking like “knots.”