Trend insider: how to create a big, bouncy ‘90s blowout
Attention, all bombshells! This is the moment you've been waiting for — the '90s blowout is back, and it's bigger than ever. The '90s trend has taken over our London blow-dry bar, following hot on the heels of the glossy, healthy hair look. And we're all for it!
We asked Paul Edmonds London Senior Stylist Matilda Marshall why the '90s blow-dry is so timeless, what makes it different, and how she creates the look in our salon. She'll reveal her style secrets and which products are key for creating that signature fluffy bounce.
What is a '90s blowout?
As the name suggests, the style harkens back to the '90s, when volume and thickness ruled supreme. Large rollers and lightweight products lift the hair from the root and give it a fluffy, silky structure with a gentle flick at the ends.
"It's very Victoria's Secret," says Matilda, "it's all about massive, voluptuous, soft, sexy hair."
Celebrities like Denise Richards, Jennifer Aniston, and Alicia Silverstone wore some of the most iconic bouncy blowouts of the '90s alongside original supermodels like Cindy Crawford.
What makes the '90s blow-dry different?
Before the pandemic, the 'done-undone' blow-dry was king. Clients wanted beachy, tonged waves and a soft, effortless, at-home feel. Now that people are going out again, the trend has shifted.
"It basically went from undone beach waves to polished waves and now big, bouncy blows. Gradually it's gotten more and more structured because everyone's going out again — they want to look more polished," says Matilda.
The polished, structured look of the '90s blow-dry is perfect for balancing more casual fashion trends and makes it easier to pull together a look for any occasion. Professionally done hair and glam makeup work together to give the look a more finished feel.
How to achieve the '90s blow-dry look
The '90s blow-dry works best when the client has the right foundational haircut in place — we recommend face-framing layers, layers through the back, and a sweeping fringe.
"The foundational cut definitely needs more forward graduations around the face — clients would think of it as 'feathering'. You'll have that complete short layering around the face to get that bounciness, then more of a layer through the back as well," says Matilda.
"The main picture reference everyone's coming in with is the 'Rachel Green' haircut from Friends. So many clients are showing pictures of the really shaped front that Jennifer Aniston had in later seasons when her hair was longer. Everyone is coming in and asking for '90s layers, basically!"
Clients are craving change, so they're asking our stylists to cut their hair right back for a thicker, healthier appearance — two key components you'll need for the perfect '90s blow-dry.
"If you have fine, wispy ends, and you take out the rollers, the ends still look a bit fluffy, frayed, and non-existent. Whereas if you have solid ends and a healthy cut, the finished blow-dry looks really fluffy but thick, which is what we want," says Matilda.
Once you've trimmed your hair back to health and have your face-framing layers in place, it's time for the blow-dry itself…
Your '90s blow-dry experience starts at the backwash. Matilda will create a bespoke hair protocol to suit your hair and the big, bouncy, thick style you've requested.
"We'd start by washing with a volumising, plumping shampoo like Davines Naturaltech Replumping Shampoo or Shu Uemura Muroto Volume, depending on your hair type," says Matilda. "Then we'll condition with something formulated for volume. Nothing too heavy but something that will give a fantastic shine."
After washing, it's all about layering the hair with products that will give as much bounce and fluff as possible.
“Shu Uemura Awa Volume and Shu Uemura Tsuki Shape are amazing for this look. Together, they make the hair strong and glossy, with a really fluffy, textured, airy finish,” says Matilda.
"Then over the top, I'd put Davines More Inside Curl Building Serum. It's all about 'powdery' products rather than 'sticky' products because you want to keep the hair light and movable."
The next step is to rough dry the hair upside down until it's 80% dry. This'll give lift and volume from the root before the curlers are applied.
"I'll use medium to large rollers for the '90s blow-dry look. Basically, the smaller the roller, the more curl you're going to get, whereas bigger rollers create more bounce and just a slight flick," says Matilda.
"I'll spray the hair with hairspray while the rollers are in. It's a good idea to try and leave the rollers in for as long as possible. The longer, the better!"
Once the curlers are out, Matilda spritzes her clients' hair with Kérastase Laque Couture hairspray and Davines This Is A Dry Texturizer while the hair is upside down. Et Voila! The perfect fluffy, voluminous '90s blow-dry.
Book an appointment at our London blow dry bar and let Matilda and our other experts create your dream '90s look. Now you know how to do a '90s blowout at home, why not visit our online shop to stock up on Matilda's product picks so you can recreate the look at home?