50+ Grunge Hair Looks That Are More than Just Whatever

Ain't no party like a '90s grunge hair party!

It looks like we’re never getting over grunge hair. But you can’t really blame us: For a lot of people, the ’90s trend is a safe haven to run to whenever reality-glam fatigue strikes. Maybe because it’s the easiest “look” whenever we’re in a rush, or perhaps we’re still not over our Seattle garage band phase. Or, hey, maybe a girl just doesn’t want to wash her hair for three days straight, and this finally makes it okay for her to do so!

Whatever it is, we’ll always have a special place on the mantel for the ’90s grunge hair trend, and looks like we’re not alone in this. If the runways and streets are any indications, this love affair ain’t going nowhere—just see the massive level of inspiration we were able to cull below!

Casual-Chic and Always Cool: The Best ’90s Grunge Hair Trends

Ah, the golden days of bedhead. Rumpled, tousled hair came to the fore during the 1990s, an offshoot of the era’s pervading minimalistic, less-is-more aesthetic. Lightly layered haircuts allowed us to give our blowdryers a much-needed break, resulting in styles that were as innocent as they were natural. And what was cooler than looking like you literally couldn’t care less?

1. Staticky Lob

staticky lob grunge hairstyles
That oh-so-cazh middle part is key. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

Don’t shy away from frizz when you’re going for a grunge hairstyle–embrace it! Literally the definition of rolled-out-of-bed hair, complete with blanket creases and halo frizz—and It girl center part!—for good measure.

2. Beachy Kinks Grunge Hairstyles

beachy kinks grunge hair
Keep your bangs blunt to maintain a fuller look. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

Another big grunge-era trend: homemade salt spray, which was a Pinteresty blend of simple kitchen table salt and tap water. Spritzed onto locks, and ta-da, instant beachy texture.

3. Haphazard Soft Grunge Hairstyle Bends

haphazard bends grunge hair
Simple, but never basic.

Longer lengths showcase a matte, beachy wave the best. A soft grunge hairstyle like this adds some texture to your hair without having to spend a long time styling it. Avoid unwanted frizz by adding a little Suave Air Dry Cream Heat Free Styler before heading out the door.

4. Lob with Beanie

lob with beanie grunge hair
Conceals a greasy scalp while keeping your ends loose and swingy. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

Greasy Hair 101: Always keep a beanie on hand, in case someone needs to make a bodega run. What can we say? It’s a foolproof way to deal with greasy strands. It’s also an easy way to add an instant ‘cool’ factor to any look.

5. Matte Layers

matte layers grunge hair
The more nonchalant the side part, the better. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

A dull finish was a prized look back in the day, giving rise to the popularity of paste and wax in addition to salt spray. Texturizing sprays, like Suave Dry Texture Finishing Spray, easily recreate this grungy tousle, no problem.

6. Tousled Bob

tousled bob grunge hair
Wash and go! Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

Encourage texture on straight to wavy hair by running some texturizing wax into a damp bob. This grunge hairstyle gives you the perfect air-dried tousled texture. It’s perfect for day two or three hair!

7. Diffused Part Soft Grunge Hairstyle

diffused part grunge hair
Follow the natural fall of your hairline. Photo credit: Allyson Alapont

Before the over-styled Early Aughts, everyone was a bit chill with their hair partings, resulting in fuller, more natural looks. A diffused part like this creates a soft grunge hairstyle.

8. Messy Waves

messy waves grunge hair
Roll out of bed in style. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

Another member of the (Late) Breakfast Club included messy, finger-combed waves. This look is one of the most sought-after grunge hairstyles because it’s the perfect balance of done-up waves and messy texture.

9. Natural Waves

natural waves grunge hair
A whisper-thin choker pulls it all together. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

We don’t know what we love more: the clean, single-process brown, or the air-dried crumples. Don’t forget to add a side part for an even grungier look. Skip the hair brush and let your bedhead take center stage.

10. Natural Waves, Pt. 2

natural waves part 2 grunge hair
A sweet side part is a subtle style update. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

The ’90s were definitely peak ash brown years. Love how the shade gives this otherwise basic look a sweeter, more homespun appeal. Use a large-barreled curling iron to add some very loose waves to this style.

11. Crunchy Platinum

crunchy platinum grunge hair
A lob length showcases expertly chunky ends. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

Bleached blondes have a natural stiffness to them which air-drying maximized, giving this look more edge. Take advantage of the stiffer texture when going for a grunge hairstyle. This holder-length style allows you tons of volume.

12. Center-Parted Lob

center-parted lob grunge hair
Use a fishtail comb for a more precise parting. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

Or what we all really looked like before going to town with a flat iron (kinda love it though!). For a grunge style, there’s no need to straighten your strands here. Let your natural texture come through.

13. Rich-Girl Hair

rich-girl hair grunge hair
Hangover-chic! Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

Named for the texture party girls get the morning after a bender, but totes egalitarian in its easy-to-wear appeal. A look like this practically thrives off of second-day hair.  All in all, you can’t go wrong with these beautiful blonde highlights.

14. Air Dried Bangs

grunge hair air dried bangs
Air-dried bangs embrace your natural texture for a more natural grunge look.

If you have a wavy or curly natural hair type, then we highly recommend going for some air-dried bangs. This look gives an edge to normally styled bangs, and you don’t have to do a thing to achieve them.

Wet or Gelled

Taking things to a higher plane was the wet/stringy look, which may or may not be completely artificial, depending on your commitment level. Those who chose the manufactured route took to high-shine gels to get that telltale wet look. If you were of the more, shall we say, chill persuasion, you simply let Mother Nature—and your natural oils—take their course? Grunge hair at its most OG!

Try TRESemmé TRES Two Extra Firm Control Gel for a glossy yet non-crunchy finish.

15. Raked Pony

raked pony grunge hair
Use your fingers to gather hair into a pony for a rougher feel. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

Ditch the fine-toothed comb and simply use your fingers to pull back your ponytail after gelling for a raked look. This look keeps your hair out of your face without having to worry about achieving a perfectly smooth base.

16. Gelled Low Knot

gelled low knot grunge hair
We love this definitive ’90s look, from the middle-parted severe bun to the double hoops. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

Who doesn’t remember this ’90s trademark? A severely gelled base together with a “punytail” or baby knot (not to mention hoop earrings!) was almost iconic. This trend keeps making a comeback for good reason.

17. Wet Bob Grunge Hairstyles

wet bob grunge hair
Leave a strip of hair free to soften your hairline. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

A gelled base and loose, stringy ends impart that popular surfer-slash-truant-slash-burnout look that’s (surprise!) earning top marks in high fashion today. Leave your comb-strokes visible for a super edgy look.

18. Brush Back

brush back grunge hair
Use a dime-sized amount of gel for this look. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

A longer version of the gelled bob, this slicked-back style, opens up the forehead and is a pretty sexy evening option. It gives off all of the model-off-duty vibes.

19. Brush Back on Natural Hair

brush back on natural hair grunge hair
Preserve your wave by doing this on unrelaxed locks. Photo credit; Indigitalimages.com

Those with natural-textured hair can also get in on the wet look trend without relaxing their locks. This is easy to do and can be achieved with gel for a quick look.

20. Post-College Bob

post-college grunge hair
Ready for the workforce… or at least that end-of-year rager. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

The hairstyle of choice of angsty fresh grads at the time, this full yet super-short crop gained even more street cred with a bit of grit.

21. Stringy Layers

stringy layers grunge hair
Lightly layered hair can still gain some dimension with the right products. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

Not to be outdone are these second (?…third?)-day layers, which artfully helm to your facial structure, giving you a more “natural” appeal.

22. Stringy Lob

stringy lob grunge hair
The length keeps it from looking scraggly. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

Lobs can rock a matte, no-greasy texture too, with the help of a texturizing cream, such as Bed Head by TIGI Manipulator. This product adds control and grit to your style, which is essential for grunge hairstyles.

23. Gelled Center Part

grunge hair gelled down
Gel your center part down to create a bold style.

Take your standard center part look to the next level with a sleek, gel finish. This look tames frizz at the roots, giving you a sleek style without having to sacrifice your part for a completely brushed-back style.

Bob Grunge Hairstyles

If you never had a bob back then, were you really a ’90s baby though? Such was the widespread popularity of this low-maintenance unisex haircut, which was the decade’s valentine to the whole androgyny wave. Unlike its ends—which were satisfyingly blunt a—short grunge hair, particularly the soft bob, made quite the pointed statement.

24. Bob with Beanie

bob with beanie grunge hair
Squeeze another good hair day out of that ‘do. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

Universal savior of no-wash days, the beanie looks just as cool on a fringed bob as it does on longer lengths.

25. Blunt Bob

blunt bob grunge hair
Use a round brush to help curl lengths under. Photo credit: Dvora

The sheath of power! One of the era’s most definitive haircuts beloved by teenage and corporate women alike was a chin-length, fringeless bob cut with no layers.

26. Under the Ear

under the ear grunge hair
Tuck the sides behind your ears for a relaxed look. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

Surprisingly low-maintenance given its short length, the lip-level bob epitomized the relaxed, casual aesthetic of the decade.

27. No Part

no part grunge hair
Keep things unrestricted with a diffused part. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

Floppy hair works with bobs as well, where one’s parting would usually depend on which hand they used to tousle-dry. The no-part look is perfect for achieving soft grunge hairstyles.

28. Tucked

tucked grunge hair
Innocent and kind of delicate, in a throwback way. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

If confidence is your true face shape (without any smoke and mirrors via waves or layers) was a hallmark of success, then the hair-tucking ’90s kids had it all figured out.

29. Soft Wedge

soft wedge grunge hair
Another wash-and-wear look we loved back in the day. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

First-generation layered bobs featured subtle layering at the bottom, mostly just to encourage a flipped-under look. Simple times!

Alternative Color Grunge Hair

In a time when glamazon supermodels(JPG) and shellacked makeup owned the mainstream outlets, a counterculture of grungy waifs and neo-gothic looks, featuring quirky, somewhat subversive touches, came about. These offered a reprieve from high-gloss magazine beauty standards—hence the term “alternative”—and gave “unpretty” options such as muddy browns, grays, blues, and greens an unofficial seal of approval.

30. Blue Wedge Bob

blue wedge bob grunge hair
Simple with a kick.

A basic bob gets edged up with a shot of bright blue hair color. A bright hue like this brings new life into a simple bob haircut.

31. Blue and Green

blue and green grunge hair
A dyed bob gets more personality with the addition of a knot. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

A faded combo of blue and green remains on point when paired with a trendy half-up top knot. Wearing your hair in a half-updo does shows off the variation between the blue and green colors.

32. Inky Pigtails

inky pigtails grunge hair
Charming and bewitching in equal measure.

Grunge hair during the late ’90s also took on a witchy, new age vibe, thanks to pop culture references and teen movies. Navy and teal hair colors, together with neo-boho details such as chupalla hats, crisscross detailing, and crystals, made their way into mainstream fashion.

33. Dutch Braids

dutch braids grunge hair
A shot of pink softens the look. Photo credit: Dvora

While the natural hair community had been embracing cornrows for years, it was during the underground club scene in the late ’80s and ’90s that inverted braids and punky styles hit a fever pitch with other hair types.

34. Ashy Gray

ashy gray grunge hair
Take a lob to the next level with unusual color. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

This rooty, smoky shade is quiet, but still cutting edge. A color like this leans into the gray trend without being a totally gray look.

35. Griolet

griolet grunge hair
A millennial fave!

Dull gray-violet in a matte, slightly porous finish (with that exaggerated side flip!) remains a popular look. If you’re going for a hair color that’s slightly platinum but has a little bit of color then this is the perfect in-between for you.

36. Silver Space Buns

space buns grunge hair
Moody and on-trend, without going off the rails. Photo credit: @internetxdoll

Hit two trends in one with this on-point shade of silvery gray and a pair of club-kid space buns. You can never go wrong pairing trends together.

Maintain the brilliance of this color by adding TRESemmé Gloss Clear High Shine Deep Conditioner into your weekly routine.

37. Gray Ombré

gray ombre grunge hair
That transition is seamless! Photo credit: @noemicara

Who says ombré and balayage were reserved for blondes and brunettes? Trying this look on dark hair that fades into a gray hue is an amazing option if you want to take part in the gray hair trend, but don’t necessarily want an entire head of gray hair.

38. Matte Lob

matte lob grunge hair
A silver-white color always looks modern. Photo credit: Allyson Alapont

Chunky strips give this otherwise simple white lob even more personality. The striped off-white look enhances the grunginess of the hairstyle.

39. Green Crop

green crop grunge hair
Easy to manage, in a striking shade to boot.

That brush-up style was another favorite way to wear a short boy’s cut ’do. To turn this style into a statement, opt for a vibrant hue like this bold green color.

40. Mint Highlights

mint highlights grunge hair
Obsessed with this unusual hue! Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

Modern mermaids never go for basic highlights; that we can assure you. This aqua color looks stunning when paired with soft grunge waves.

41. Purple Ombre

grunge hair purple ombre
Purple ombre is the perfect bold grunge hair color.

Create a bold ombre look with a royal purple color. We love how well this purple pairs with a black or dark brown root.

Fringe Grunge Hairstyles

Perpetuating the against-the-grain aesthetic rebellion of ’90s grunge hair was the sudden rise of the bold bang. Part candy-raver, part Gen X ingénue, it was—and remains—the style detail of choice for the anti-heroine who had no time whatsoever to spare for your conventional, “flattering” beauty ideals. Movies of the decade presented countless versions of this famous cinematic trope, whether via the Manic Pixie Dream Girl-slash-quirky-BFF in 1990s romcoms, or the sultry femme fatale that led film-noir leads to their demise.

42. Baby Bang with Beanie

baby bang with beanie grunge hair
Cute and quirky, just how we like it.

Between the blue, the bang, and the beanie, there’s so much to unpack here. We’ll let that adorable overall look speak for itself.

43. Blunt Bob with Fringe

blunt bob with fringe
Use a paddle brush to give a smooth blowout. Photo credit: Dvora

As feature-flattering as a baby bang can get, and paired with a sleek, on-trend long bob to boot.

44. Choppy

choppy grunge hair
Allow hair to air-dry for a more tousled texture. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

Angle those scissors sideways if you want to recreate this natural, wispy version. A choppy look with layers is extremely on-trend right now, so it’s very wearable!

45. Micro-Micro

micro micro grunge hair
A hair wax tames any flyaways and frizz. Photo credit: Dvora

Those super-short bangs on a choppy pixie cut, teamed with pencil-thin brows, are serving major throwback vibes.

46. Fringed Shag

fringed shag grunge hair
Platinum and baby bangs go together like tea and coffee. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

This runaway hairstyle hit gets infused with a bit of grungy flavor with a baby bang. It’s edgy and piece-y and perfectly undone.

47. Quirky Soft Grunge Hairstyle Pony

quirky pony grunge hair
A see-through fringe is all sorts of charming. Photo credit: Allyson Alapont

Piecey bangs are the perfect addition to a soft grunge hairstyle. Fringe like this adds a touch of quirkiness to your look while still keeping it soft. Plus, you don’t need to worry about any harsh, pulled-back styles when you have fringe.

48. Model-Off-Duty Bangs

model off duty bangs grunge hair
A sexy, modern wavy texture updates this look for today. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

This wavy, tousled version works perfectly with a curly bob. Embrace your natural texture and wear your style with major volume.

49. Jagged Cut

grunge hair choppy bangs
Go for a jagged cut al the way around.

The jagged cut is the ultimate bang for those trying to embrace the grunge lifestyle. Similar to the mullet, this edgy style allows you to rock multiple trends at once.

Updo Grunge Hairstyles

Equally as popular as leaving hair gritty? Rolling it up in an unkempt wash-and-go bun. Topknots, space buns, and twisted half-updos were relied on to keep our second-day locks from crudding up our foreheads, all the while making a stylish, somewhat anti-establishment statement. For some, it was also an extension from clubwear and sportswear to streetwear, a natural progression still relevant to this day as seen via the athleisure movement.

50. Braids and Buns

braids and buns grunge hair
As campy as it gets!

This in-your-face rendition has the camp of the era written all over it, from the space buns to fishtail pigtails to even a skinny accent braid.

51. Easy Half-Up Topknot

easy half-up topknot grunge hair
That silvery shade is just the right touch. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

A chic, more understated way to pay homage to the grunge hair era includes a high topknot and airy silver waves.

52. Dip-Dye Buns

dip-dye grunge hair
Get more mileage out of that high-contrast hue.

Make ombré (or grown-out) pink work even harder by wearing it in space buns, a style that gives it an instant two-tone feel.

53. Spiky Half-Up Buns

spiky half-up buns grunge hair
Orientalia was also a huge trend in the 1990s. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

Chinoiserie was another well-received ’90s fashion trend, and somehow a bunch of messy twisted buns provided the ideal foil to the high cheongsam necklines and elaborate embroidery.

54. Figure Eights

figure eights grunge hair
Secure the seam with an expertly tucked pin. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

For those with bangs too short for a full bun, the figure-eight twist became the next best thing. Just secure in the center with a bobby pin, and leave the rest of your lengths to free-fall.

55. Braided Top Knot

braided topknot
Feeder braids help give texture to the base.

A half-up top knot that had “feeder braids” at the base was another play on the Dutch/cornrow aesthetic.

56. Rope Twisted Bantu Knots

rope twisted bantu knots grunge hair
The high-contrast extensions edge up this look. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

A clubbier version of popular box braid hairstyles worn by African-American women, two-toned rope twists provided a graphic punctuation mark to streetwear.

Thanks to the resurgence of the ’90s, grunge hairstyles have been bigger than ever. Whether you opt for a gray color or piecey bangs with a bob, there are a huge variety of styles you can try to help you achieve a grunge look.

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