The music scene of the 90s included a style of rock known as Grunge, with most related bands originating from the Seattle, Washington area. The Grunge music style was heavily influenced by metal, punk, and indie rock; the hairstyles were also a mix to include Caribbean, punk, and glam. Artists from bands such as Hole, Alice In Chains and Nirvana all influenced popular hair styles in addition to music.
Both men and women sported long hair in the Grunge era. However, long hair was more commonplace with men. Men’s long hair was typically parted in the middle and just below shoulder length, styled to appear “unstyled” as if they just got out of bed. Women’s long hair was grunge-meets-glam, with hairspray or gel applied to keep the unstyled look in place. Women also loosely braided their hair or pulled it back. Hole’s Courtney Love often depicted the women’s look, while Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder sported the long hair of men.
Shaved and Asymmetrical
Another Grunge hairstyle was the shaved or asymmetrical look worn by women. For the shaved look, layers of hair were shorn off, only leaving one or two layers on top. The asymmetrical style included one side of the head shaved short while the other kept bangs or shoulder-length layers intact. Bangs were also cut asymmetrically and teased with mousse or gel. Members of the band Bikini Kill wore the asymmetrical look.
Dreadlocks became popular for both men and women. Hair was first grown out long and dried. Hair was separated into 1 inch-wide sections and tied at the end with small rubber bands. Styling wax was then applied at the top of each section and then smoothed down to the rubber band tips. Soul Asylum lead singer Dave Pirner often wore the dreadlocks style.
Facial hairstyle was not excluded from the Grunge era. Men sported loosely styled goatees that were shaven only to maintain symmetry. Thick, long sideburns also came back into style. Both men and women allowed bangs to partially cover the face. Example Grunge artists wearing goatees included Kurt Cobain from Nirvana and Alice in Chains' Layne Staley.