An Expert’s Simple Tips For Mastering The Trending ‘90s Blowout

Photo: Steve Granitz/FilmMagic via Getty Images
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When it comes to beauty and style trends, the ‘90s really is the era that keeps on giving. Collectively, we just can’t seem to stop thinking about (and taking inspiration from) the decade that gave us butterfly clips, bombshell makeup, Nirvana, and of course, the nostalgic cardi
Now, the ‘90s blowout is taking over our TikTok FYP and Instagram feeds, and the throwback hair trend is approved by Gen Z and millennials alike.

What is the ‘90s blowout?

Characterised by bouncy waves, high volume and a super shiny finish, the vibe is elevated but effortless. In other words? The ‘90s blowout looks expensive. Unsurprisingly, the style was adored by the supermodels of then, and it’s once again doing the rounds with the fashion girlies today.
If you’re thinking, “Wait a minute, this sounds familiar!” you’re not wrong. The voluminous style has had a post-'90s resurgence a handful of times already.
Why? Well, besides our undying love for ‘90s nostalgia, the look is also an excellent way to bring out the shine in your hair and show off healthy strands, according to Monique McMahon, a hairstylist, hair educator and the founder of Que salon in Sydney.
“What makes the ‘90s blow-dry so appealing is the health of the hair,” says McMahon. “Healthy hair will never go out of fashion, especially with a massive shift in focus towards scalp health, hair care and ‘hair journeys’ across social media in the last few years. Information has really spread, especially on TikTok around about how to style your hair to prevent damage, and how harsh heat causes stress on the hair."

How are we doing the ‘90s blowout in 2024?

This season’s iteration of the ‘90s blowout is a little more polished than its predecessors. “I think that the current version is a little smoother with larger sections blowdried at a time which leaves a bigger, smoother effect to the curls in the hair rather than a tight set blow-dry. Think somewhere between the ‘90s and the 2000s smooth era,” explains McMahon.

'90s Blowout Inspo pictures

Who does the ‘90s blowout hair trend suit?

Good news: It’s for everyone. McMahon says she loves the look because it’s universal. With that in mind, she still cautions that being realistic with our expectations is important. “A thick and curly-haired client's hair will hold this style well, whereas finer or blonder hair might drop out quickly,” says McMahon.
However, if you do have finer strands, don’t think you can't to partake in the fun; this styling technique is a great way to add some extra body. “Blowdrying the hair with the right products and tools will always leave the hair looking even healthier and fuller than natural,” she continues.
It’s also ideal both for colour-treated and natural hair, according to McMahon, who explains that, “a blow-dry is the best way to illuminate coloured hair and natural hair".

How To Achieve The ‘90s Blowout

If you’re keen to try the look, you’ll want to gather a few supplies before getting started. “If you’re doing this at home, it's 100% about the right products... [to] create a magic foundation for the blow-dry,” says McMahon. 
Clean hair that’s not being weighed down by excess oil or product-buildup is key to this look, which is why she likes using the Christophe Robin Cleansing Volumising Paste, $74. “This shampoo texturises the hair in the shower and really cleans out any oils with pure rassoul clay, which works to draw out impurity and infuse volume into the hair,” says McMahon.
Once the hair is clean and towel-dried, McMahon recommends prepping the hair with the Larry King My Nannas Mousse, $74. To use, simply “apply this all the way through the roots and comb through lengths and ends on damp hair before styling,” she says, adding that this particular product is so popular at Que that they struggle to keep it in stock.
To actually blowdry the hair to bouncy perfection, McMahon stresses that using a good brush is key. High quality blow dry brushes don’t come cheap but they will help to give you that just-walked-out-of-the-salon finish. “The brush makes such a difference,” says McMahon.
She says, “Any of the Ibiza hair brushes are great and really allow you to get close to the root of the hair so that you can smooth and grip the hair right from the root.”
Once you’ve blow-dried your sections, McMahon recommends using clips or rollers to set your look. Allow your hair to cool before removing the clips or rollers then brush through. If you’re racing out the door, blast your hair with the cool-shot setting on your blow dryer to speed up the process.

Can I use hot rollers to get the look?

If you're not so handy with a hairdryer and brush, hot rollers (like the BaBylissPRO Professional Jumbo Roller Hairsetter, $169.95) are an easy way to achieve the same look. “Just prep the hair really well and once the rollers are in, spray with a light mist hairspray and then wait to cool for as long as possible before you take them out,” suggests McMahon.
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