This Easy '90s Hair Trend Is Making a Major Comeback

I have a confession to make: As a teenager, I always envied those girls who could pull off a high ponytail complete with two thin strands of hair hanging loosely at the front. It was effortless yet sassy. It's the style you shift into when you've had a busy Sunday strolling around the flower market and you need to put your hair up in a slightly dishevelled bun. And by "casually," we mean head to the bathroom to artfully pile it on top of your head and take strands out so it doesn't look too "done."

With this throwback look popping up on social media, we initiated an intense googling session. What even is this hair trend called? I thought to myself. Because we couldn't find the official name of this trend (in the '90s there was "The Rachel," and that's about it when it comes to style names), we've decided to coin it "tiny tendrils," for no other reason than these strands of hair are indeed tiny cheekbone-shaping tendrils cascading down your face.


(Image credit: Getty Images)

Jennifer Love Hewitt circa 1990, like many of her peers, was a tiny tendrils fan and wore them so well with a tousled bun.


(Image credit: Getty Images)

Jennifer Aniston was also partial to this trend during the Friends years and would pair it with another popular must-have from the time: butterfly clips. You don't have to follow this route in 2023, but as we all know, hair accessories of every variety—butterfly clips included—have also made a comeback recently as a Y2K hair trend.

Not everyone would dare to wear it again, but when styled correctly, it can be a far easier nostalgic hairdo than more challenging looks that involve scrunchies or perms. So how can you wear it now without looking like the '90s threw up on your head? Well, here at Who What Wear, we pinpointed a few ways to modernise our old go-to hairstyle. Keep scrolling to see…

The Subtle Tiny Tendrils


(Image credit: @zendaya)

If you're too scared to go full-on tendrils, make like Zendaya and let some of your natural curls loose to frame your face. This looks particularly chic with a high bun.

What you'll need:

The Long Tendrils


(Image credit: @sofiarichiegrainge)

This high-slung bun with artfully teased tiny tendrils hairstyle makes us want to copy Sofia Richie Grainge's hairstyle immediately. Give your hair a spritz of hair spray to make sure it stays in place and tease out a couple of longer sections to frame your face. For extra nostalgic value, add a claw clip.

What you'll need:



(Image credit: @charithra17)

I think we can all agree that Charithra Chandran makes tiny tendrils look all kinds of wonderful. By the looks of this photo, she's wearing her hair in a chic ponytail with two perfectly placed tendrils on either side of her face. If heaven is a hairstyle, we've got the coordinates right here. Give your tiny tendrils a subtle wave with the wand below if you want to add some texture to your hair.

What you'll need:

The Pamela Anderson Updo Tendrils


(Image credit: @symphanisoto )

When in doubt, make like Pamela Anderson did in the '90s and throw your hair up into a high, messy bun and let some tendrils loose around the front. Pull out a few pieces of hair from the bun and curl to get the look. We love this modern take on Symphani Soto.

What you'll need:

Next Up, 9 Hair Trends You'll See Everywhere This Summer