The Worst Hairstyles We Used To Love
Mandy Moore via Instagram
When you go along with trends, part of the deal is knowing you might look ridiculous once the fad is over. While crimped hair might have felt fresh in the '80s, and zigzag center parts might have looked cool in the '90s, and black streaks on platinum hair might have been mind-blowing in the new millennium, all of these hairstyles now feel dated and just a little silly.
But if you only wore classic hairstyles, you wouldn't have nearly as much fun at the hair salon. It's exciting to experiment, even if you will look back at those styles years later and groan. Read on to see some of the worst hairstyles we used to love. From flipped layers to chunky highlights to jeweled center parts, there are a lot of doozies. How many have you worn?
Jim Smeal / Contributor
You could have left your hair down, or swept half of it up like Anne Hathaway did. And then for extra glamour, a quick squirt of glitter hairspray added a sparkle to your roots and crown.
Dan Callister / Stringer
September 14, 2004 - Doug Benc/Getty Images Entertainment
The look was edgy and fashion-forward at the time, and let women experiment with different shades and hues.
Frederick M. Brown / Stringer
The hairstyle was a mix between a mullet and a shag. The hair would sit just on or above the shoulders, and different levels of layers would be cut into the hair that was framing the face. You could either straighten those layers to give them a shattered effect, or flip them out to create a mullet-like silhouette.
Gregg DeGuire / Collaborator
While some added sticks to decorate a basic ponytail, others used them to hold up their hair altogether. In 2002, Hilary Duff upped the ante by wearing four chopsticks to the Nickelodeon Annual Kids Choice Awards.
Fire Engine Red Hair
This hairstyle choice was the early oughts' version of the pastel or rainbow hair that we have today. Trying out unexpected color choices will always be in style, but when you look at flaming red hair today, it's hard not to think of the '00s.
Flipped Out Ends
Jean-Paul Aussenard / Collaborator
Ron Galella / Collaborator
Mandy Moore via Instagram
For those who didn't have long or thick enough hair to achieve the desired amount of spikiness, faux-hair scrunchies stepped in. Mandy Moore's look is an extreme version of that style: her blonde hair was separated into a zigzag part, and her hair was pinned back into two buns. Faux-hair scrunchies then helped give her fanned-out spikes in the back.
Central Press / Stringer
He created the "Lady Di look" during Diana's engagement to Prince Charles. "The shape just came about gradually," he said. "It was quite a bit longer when she first came to me. I thought she'd look great with short hair, and that's what we eventually agreed upon." While it was a fun, youthful look, he never expected hysteria over it. "It was quite flattering to me, although at times I got fed up because there were so many people coming in about that one thing."
December 4, 2000 - Bauer Griffin
Christina Aguilera was a fan of the look in her Drrty era, when she debuted platinum blonde hair streaked with black highlights. The black highlights peeked out from underneath her blonde base color, creating a vivid contrast. This look quickly became the number one hairstyle seen inside clubs and house parties nationwide.
August 29, 2004 - Bauer Griffin
Everyone from Beyonce to Jessica Simpson sported the look, and people began to stock up on backcombs, volumizing hairsprays, and extra extensions to create thicker hair. Flattened and stick-straight hair was now seen as passe, and we all wanted the opposite: thick, luscious locks.
Justin Goff / Collaborator
Women like Victoria Beckham helped to popularize the gelled pixie, which consisted of choppy layers that shot up in different directions. The hair was frozen into place, and could withstand a wind storm without being mussed.
Barry King / Contributor via Getty
The popular '80s style looked "much like a cockatoo," Phiadelphia Daily News joked in 1992. While it might have been extreme — and now induces groans when people see pictures — it was the height of chic back then.
"It was all about the height," one mall-bang-wearer recalled to Tampa Bay Times in 2003. "The higher the tease, the better. It would take a lot of curling, teasing and hair spray. I can still hear our mom hollering at us to hurry up or we would be late for school. We would drive her nuts fixing our hair." They would use so much hairspray, steam would rise from the curling iron when applied to the hair.
The trend ended around 1991, when softer hairstyles began creeping into style. "Mall bangs, that big hair style that looks like it's going to grab you, is out," The Courier-News reported that year. Girls stopped teasing their hair, and vertical bangs no longer looked chic.
Getty Images / Press release
The style helped Aniston emerge as the breakout star in the show Friends, where she played the character Rachel Green. The look was created especially for the actress by stylist Chris McMillan of Los Angeles' Estilo salon. He said that he created the layered look because he was trying to grow out Aniston's bangs, and it was an easy way to blend the growing fringe. He then used rollers to help define the face-framing choppy layers.
According to McMillan, Aniston loved the cut at first, but then grew it out because it was too hard to maintain at home. "It was an easy cut, but it needed regular trims to keep the layers looking sharp. It’s high-maintenance, not a wash-and-go style. You need to blow-dry with a round brush to help define all those flicks," he told The Telegraph. "If you aren’t someone who wants to put effort into your hair, this isn’t the cut for you."
Face Covering Bangs
Al Pereira / Collaborator
Ron Galella, Ltd. / Collaborator
“I played a character stranded in Paris without luggage, money or a place to live, so it was a stretch to think she had much opportunity to shampoo,” she told InStyle. Her stylist, Sally Hershberger, “had to figure out hair that looked bad but sort of good all at once.”
“While we were working it out during the camera test, she punctuated some remark she was making by pulling the curling iron way over her head,” Ryan continued. “A sizable chunk of my hair had singed off and was still wrapped around the iron. I noticed the flame first. For a second Sally looked like the Statue of Liberty: frozen, torch aloft and a little green. You can’t really blame her for the iron’s overheating because of the different voltages in Europe. She was left to scissor away until we got what we got.”
The look was both causal and romantic thanks to its various flips and wisps, and became one of the defining looks of the decade.
Jeff Kravitz / Collaborator
Tim Roney / Contributor via Getty
The look might have been around since the 1800s, and electric crimping irons might have been around since the mid-1970s, but it wasn't until A-listers like Cyndi Lauper began crimping their hair that the trend caught on.
The appeal was that it looked so different from what anyone wore the decade prior. "It's awesome and wild-looking, it looks real cool, almost Rastafarian, and it makes your hair real thick," a recent convert told Los Angeles Times. Like all other hair trends, once it was overdone, the look fell out of favor.
Half Shaved Hair
June 28, 2009 - Frazer Harrison/Getty Images North America
By 2012 a bevvy of stars had followed in her footsteps, with A-listers like Rihanna and Lady Gaga copying the look. "I think the shaved-head trend is amazing," she told MTV. "It's definitely a fun trendsetting hairstyle. Really glad that I guess I made it mainstream is maybe the right word. And it's inspiring. I like to see how other young girls remix it and add color and all of that."
Michael Ochs Archives / Stringer via Getty
Nowadays, ponytails are more subdued, and usually found at the nape of the neck. Such a high pony is now only synonymous with cheerleaders and the Kardashian sisters.
Time & Life Pictures / Collaborator
Victor Malafronte / Collaborator
'90s Updos With Butterfly Clips
Ron Galella, Ltd. / Contributor
Red & Orange Highlights
Tim Roney / Collaborator
August 29, 2004 - Bauer Griffin
Ron Galella, Ltd. / Contributor
Art Zelin / Collaborator
Once perms started to crop up on television screens and on red carpets, women immediately followed suit, and it became a massive hit. Perms have actually come back into style this year, but the newest version revolves around loose, beachy waves, rather than tight, springy coils.
Aqua Net Bangs
Jim Smeal / Contributor via Getty
In a 1992 article titled, "Teased Bangs Scream for Mercy," men lamented over how hairsprayed bangs needed to go out of style. "When you talk to them, it's like three people. You, them, and the hair," one man complained, saying that women's hair "rose above their head and then fell down wildly, as if styled with an eggbeater."
"I blow-dry it upside down, tease it out, gel it, mousse it and then spray the hell out of it," one 21-year-old told the paper of her routine. The article joked that "hairspray the size of a small fire extinguisher" was probably involved, and that the look captured suburb and mall culture. But while it was still popular in clubs and shopping malls, the article promised that the hairstyle was slowly on its way out.