How to Give Yourself a ‘90s Blowout at Home, According to Celebrity Hairstylists

How to Give Yourself a ‘90s Blowout at Home, According to Celebrity Hairstylists featured image
Ron Galella / Taylor Hill / Getty Images

Trends always come full circle, even those we could happily leave in the past (looking at you, low-rise jeans.) That includes ‘90s hairstyles, and one trend that’s currently making a comeback is the ‘90s blowout. Yup, it’s true: Hair volume is on the rise, returning to its ‘90s glory. Pin straight hair that lays flat on your head? Ugh, as if!

To master the ‘90s blowout without a salon visit, we tapped celebrity hairstylists. They gave us insight into the hairstyle’s history, tips for getting perfectly fluffy hair with or without rollers, product recommendations and so much more. Keep scrolling for everything you need to know.

  • Jennifer Yepez is a L’Oréal Paris celebrity hairstylist based in New York
  • Laurie Heaps is a celebrity hairstylist based in Los Angeles
  • Annagjid “Kee” Taylor is a celebrity hairstylist based in Los Angeles and the founder of Deeper Than Hair
  • Andrew Fitzsimons is a celebrity hairstylist based in Los Angeles and the founder of Andrew Fitzsimons Hair
  • Nathaniel Dezan is a celebrity hairstylist based in Los Angeles

What Is a ‘90s Blowout?

cindy crawford 90s blowout hair
Ron Galella, Ltd. / Ron Galella Collection / Getty Images

A ‘90s blowout is a hairstyle starring voluminous waves with lots of body and bounce, says celebrity hairstylist Laurie Heaps. “It’s characterized by large, loose curls that frame the face, exuding big, glamorous energy,” she explains. Though it’s named after the ‘90s era, the style is timeless and arguably never goes out of fashion. 

The ‘90s were a golden age for hair and self-expression. “It was really about finding yourself, your individuality, in your own hairstyles, having fun and expressing who you are,” says celebrity hairstylist Nathaniel Dezan. He believes that the return of the trend is aligned with the petering out of the pandemic. Big, bold volume serves as a gorgeous statement when you finally get to see friends and attend events.

Simply requesting a classic ’90s blowout should suffice as enough direction for your hairstylist. However, mentioning specific people whose ‘90s blowouts you admire can add clarity. Many cite beauty icon Cindy Crawford as inspiration for the look. Heaps says she’s the “first person that comes to mind” when she hears “‘90s blowout.” Crawford’s also Emily Ratajkowski’s reference when she gets a ‘90s blowout from L’Oréal Paris celebrity hairstylist Jennifer Yepez, who does the model’s hair. Celebrity hairstylist and Annagjid “Kee” Taylor fondly recalls En Vogue as a source of ‘90s blowout inspo, too.

Zeroing in on a specific hairstyle you like—whether it’s sported by a celebrity or a regular person from social media—is especially crucial if you’re getting a haircut, so you can tailor it to your face shape. For example: “You could ask for a shaggy layered cut with shorter layers that will help frame your facial features, ” notes Dezan. It’s also a perfect opportunity for curtain bangs to shine. 

As for what’s fueling the fluffy hairstyle’s resurgence? Celebrity hairstylist Andrew Fitzsimons credits its renewed popularity to the widespread love of hot air brushes like the Dyson Airwrap, Shark FlexStyle and Revlon One-Step. Each option is a solid contender when it comes to giving yourself a ‘90s blowout at home. More on how that’s done in a second.

How to Do a ’90s Blowout With Rollers

Emily Ratajkowski hair
Taylor Hill / Getty Images

Many hairstylists and DIY blowout experts use rollers to help set their curls. Here are the steps to get the retro-inspired look using rollers, featuring advice from industry pros.

STEP 1: Prep + Protect

“Start with detangled, damp hair,” says Fitzsimons. Then, evenly apply your favorite heat protectant all over, followed by a blow-dry spray, mousse or styling cream with a strong hold. (The pro recommends the Body Volume Blow Dry Hold Spray ($16) from his namesake line for picture-perfect results.)

STEP 2: Amp Up the Volume

Next, rough-dry your hair upside down, which will help give your hair extra volume compared to drying it the traditional way, says Fitzsimons.

STEP 3: Roll it Out

Two of the most popular hair roller choices are hot rollers and Velcro rollers. While he doesn’t say it outright, Fitzimons implies the latter is his preferred method. According to him, Velcro rollers minimize heat exposure, making them a great option for those with color-treated or damaged hair. Plus, you “can leave them in for hours while you do your makeup, pick your outfit, or even catch up on your favorite TV show.” In other words, they’re a multitasker’s dream.

If you prefer hot rollers, be sure to dry your hair completely before using them to avoid damaging your hair, Fitzsimons cautions. However, if you’re using Velcro rollers, a rough dry (or around 80 percent dry, according to Taylor) will suffice.

Now for the technique. “To create volume, roll the curlers away from your face, making a mohawk-like formation from your hairline to the nape of your neck,” Fitzsimons explains. “For the rollers on the sides of your head, roll the hair under, curling towards your ears.”

STEP 4: Lock Your curls Into Place

Once your hair is fully rolled in curlers, generously spritz it with a strong-hold hairspray as recommended by Fitzsimons to help your curls last all day. If you’re using hot rollers, ensure your hair cools completely before removing them.

STEP 5: Add Some shine

Finish by applying a small amount of oil to your hands and gently working it through the mid-length to ends of your hair. This will restore moisture and give your hair a glossy shine reminiscent of a commercial-worthy shampoo ad.

How to Do a ’90s Blowout Without Rollers

 sabrina carpenter hair
Astrida Valigorsky / Getty Images

If you don’t own rollers, are pressed for time, or simply don’t want to add another step to your routine, Taylor says they’re not necessary for getting a bouncy ‘90s blowout. Here’s a guide to getting the look sans rollers.

STEP 1: Prime to Perfection

Heaps’ regimen for the perfect ‘90s blowout starts with freshly washed and dried hair. She suggests applying a volumizing mousse or primer to the roots to level up the volume.

STEP 2: Divide and Conquer

Next, divide your hair into manageable parts, starting from the bottom layers of hair and progressing upwards towards the top.

STEP 3: Dry Your Hair

Apply heat protectant and then use a round brush such as the famed Revlon, Shark, or Dyson or a round brush and blow dryer, blow dry each section. Focus on lifting the roots and adding volume by lifting the hair up at an angle as you blow it out, says Heaps. This technique prevents your hair from falling flat.

STEP 4: Grab a Curling Iron

Once your hair is dry, you’ll want to use a large (1.5-inch) barrel curling iron to create loose waves or curls. Taylor’s method involves lightly spritzing each section of hair with hairspray and “wrapping the hair around the curling iron, starting at the root and then wrapping all the hair around it, making sure the ends are smooth and also wrapped around the iron.” Then, the pro sets each curl with a bobby pin for extra hold, though you can opt to leave them loose (keeping in mind that the curl might not hold as long).

STEP 5: Brush Through Your Curls

“After letting your curling iron curls cool, gently brush out to create soft waves,” says Heaps. This gives the hair a softer finish that doesn’t look too structured or tight.

STEP 6: Finishing Touches

For some final touches, Heaps recommends teasing your hair at the roots for extra volume. “If you’re worried about the damaging effects of teasing, you can use a tool like the VOLOOM 2.0 Hair Volumizing Iron ($139) to do it for you in seconds,” she says. “It has unique checkerboard plates that make an imprint on the hair, creating volume and lift with just a few clamps.” She also advises spritzing hair with a light or strong-hold hairspray, depending on how well your hair holds a curl.

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