These ’90s Hair Accessories Bring Instant Throwback Vibes to Your Style

These ’90s Hair Accessories Bring Instant Throwback Vibes to Your Style

Back view of two women wearing claw clips, hoop earrings, and party dresses


It almost feels wrong to say the ’90s are back—they’ve had a major hold on our culture ever since Friends premiered on Netflix and the decade’s supermodels first graced the runway. But there’s definitely been a big resurgence in recent years, with fashion trends, layered haircuts akin to “the Rachel,” and ’90s hair accessories all dominating our feeds and overall lives. The latter are here to stay via everything from the ever-present claw clips to the slightly more surprising zigzag headbands, and hairstylists are taking notice. Ahead, learn about nine standout ’90s hair accessories that are having a major moment, complete with our favorite products and expert tips on how to wear them.

Meet the Expert

  • Becca Mader is a celebrity hairstylist whose clients include Mindy Kaling and Hannah Brown. 
  • Monae Everett is a celebrity hairstylist and educator who’s worked with the likes of Nabiyah Be, Dorinda Medley, and Ayo Edebiri.
  • Angel Cardona is a professional hairstylist and Sebastian Professional top artist.  

Oversized Scrunchies

Scrunchies are arguably a staple again as they’ve been making a steady comeback for years, but recently, they’ve gone supersize. Professional hairstylist Angel Cardona is a fan of its resurgence: “Jumbo scrunchies are great for dressing up a messy hair day by turning it into a cute topknot or pony.” To style, he recommends applying a couple pumps of your favorite lightweight oil, like the Sebastian Professional Dark Oil ($48), through your hair. Then, flip your head over and gather your hair at the top of your crown. “Twist the oversized scrunchie over a knot or fold of your hair, and you are ready to go,” he says.

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Claw Clips

Something about snapping in a claw clip makes you feel like your favorite ’90s rom-com protagonist. Cardona loves these for casual days when you just want to throw your hair up. Bonus: they’re a lot less damaging than skinny hair ties, according to Cardona and celebrity hairstylist Becca Mader. In order to nail that cool ’90s look, Mader recommends using a flexible hairspray like Unite’s Go365 Hairspray ($34) to snatch in flyaway strands, then twisting the hair back before pinching the clip. 

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Zig-Zag Headbands

From comb to cloth, headbands have made a major comeback, and we couldn’t be more thankful, as these are a second (or—let’s be honest—third, fourth, or fifth) day hair-saver. Celebrity hairstylist and educator Monae Everett loves the zigzag style in particular for curly hair: “They are perfect for curly and coily girls who want to add shape to their hair.” She recommends setting your hair as you normally would, or twisting it out and setting it with a mousse. Then, add a lightweight oil for added body while unraveling the twists, and pick out the hair for extra volume. “Lastly, accessorize with the headband to smooth back the hairline and add extra lift on top,” she says.

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Hair Scarves

Another of Cardona’s favorite ’90s hair accessories is the hair scarf. “Whether you go with something silky or a simple bandana, they are so versatile,” he says. Hair scarves can protect your hair from getting wet during a beach or pool day, or just add a touch of old Hollywood glamour to a simple outfit. Cardona suggests wrapping them around your ponytail or bun for a social-worthy snap.

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Butterfly Clips

You can’t talk about ’90s hair accessories without mentioning butterfly clips. No longer reserved for a younger audience, these add a little whimsy to traditional styles like ponytails or buns. “They come in all different colors and sizes, so you can have fun with how you place them,” says Cardona, “And if you need to add a little bit of hold to your hairstyle, grab your favorite light hold hairspray—I like Sebastian Professional’s Shaper Zero Gravity ($23)—so it won’t stick to your fingers as you add in the butterfly clips while working your hair into any style.”

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Cloth Headbands

If you prefer a low-maintenance beauty routine, fabric headbands are a must-have in your accessory arsenal. “They help keep hair out of your face and can help give a little volume to your hair,” Cardona says. Not to mention, they also help disguise the look of greasy strands. Cardona recommends spritzing your favorite dry shampoo—we love the Living Proof PhD Advanced Clean Dry Shampoo ($33)—at your roots, teasing them out a little bit for some extra volume, then accessorizing with whichever headband you choose.

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Decorated Bobby Pins

Decorated bobby pins were super popular in the '90s, and we can see why: They're a low-maintenance way to spice up a simple look, plus they work on every hair type and texture.  “You can add them to any hairstyle, up or down,” Everett says. “I personally love to do a pulled-back bun with this accessory.” She suggests tousling a few pieces around the hairline after securing the bun, then adding glitzy bobby pins on the side of the head: “I love adding these in for a little razzle-dazzle to any ordinary dressed-down look.”

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Colorful Elastics

These may be the easiest ’90s hair accessory to incorporate into your style on this list. If butterfly clips or decorated bobby pins are too out there for you, try subtly switching things up with a colorful hair tie. Mader likes using these to spice up a ponytail or to tie off baby braids in the front section of your hair.

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Snap Clips

Ahh, snap clips. The look of these accessories transport '80s and '90s babies alike into a deep state of nostalgia. “To incorporate them into a look, after blow-drying your hair, smooth it down with a styling treatment or cream,” Everett says. “Then, create a center part, and jazz up the style with metal snap hair clips from the center part down to the ear. Finish the look with your favorite hairspray for extra hold.”

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25 of the Best ‘90s Hairstyles That Are Still Just as Cool


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