This Is What Black Hair Looked Like In 1997

Photo: Jim Spellman/WireImage.
We're fully capable of living in the present and seizing the day and all that jazz, but let's be honest, as a decade, the '90s killed it. There was better entertainment back then (RIP Kurt Cobain and 2Pac). Better fashion (as evidenced by the fact that we're all obsessed with chokers and velvet again). Better TV shows. Competent government leaders. Freaknik.
And, of course, we can't forget the hair. There were plenty of 'fros big and small, and wildly creative iterations of protective styles (Brandy was — and still is — box braid queen) we reference to this day. If you're in the market for some throwback inspiration, click through the slides ahead to see what Black hair looked like 21 — yes, 21! — years ago, and prepare to call your stylist on your flip phone.
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Photo: Richard Corkery/NY Daily News Archive/Getty Images.
Tennis' most famous twosome inspired an entire generation of Black girls to beg for noisy beads at the ends of their own braids. (Sorry, mum.)
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Photo: Brian Rasic/Getty Images.
Even though he's since cut his 'fro, Maxwell is still bae today and forevermore.
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Photo: Mitchell Gerber/Corbis/VCG/Getty Images.
Iman added depth to her blond with brunette lowlights.
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Photo: Brian Rasic/Getty Images
We were always confused as to why Mel B. was Scary Spice. After all, she motivated curly girls around the world to wear their Bantu knots outside of the house.
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Photo: Deborah Feingold/Corbis/Getty Images.
Impossibly, Tyra Banks still hasn't aged, though she has traded in that cute micro fringe.
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Photo: Margaret Norton/NBCU Photo Bank.
If anything, we're on board with Whoopi's waterfall ponytail.
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Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic.
Missy Elliott's hair and makeup is almost as iconic as her unmatched discography. Almost.
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Zoë Kravitz — is that you, sis?
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Photo: Jim Spellman/WireImage.
Dare you to not hum the Moesha theme song right now.
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Photo: Ron Galella Ltd./WireImage.
Before her ankle-length micro braids, Badu was known for her elaborate head wraps.
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Photo: Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage.
Red hot corkscrew curls for all the nasty women out there.
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Photo: Kostas Alexander/Fotos International/Getty Images.
Big chop realness from Alfre Woodard.
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Photo: Dave Allocca/DMI/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images.
No one wears a long, flowing weave quite like Naomi Campbell.
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Photo: Victor Malafronte/Hulton Archive/Getty Images.
Jada Pinkett Smith is another eternal short hair queen.

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