Tiny Tendrils Is the '90s Hair Trend Taking Over Instagram

I have a confession to make: As a teenager, I always envied those girls who could pull off a high ponytail complete with two thin strands of hair hanging loosely at the front. It was effortless yet sassy. It's the style you shift into when you've had a busy Sunday strolling around the flower market and you need to put your hair up in a slightly dishevelled bun. And by "casually," we mean head to the bathroom to artfully pile it on top of your head and take strands out so it doesn't look too "done."

With this throwback look popping up on social media, we initiated an intense googling session. What even is this hair trend called? I thought to myself. Because we couldn't find the official name of this trend (in the '90s there was "The Rachel," and that's about it when it comes to style names), we've decided to coin it "tiny tendrils," for no other reason than these strands of hair are indeed tiny cheekbone-shaping tendrils cascading down your face.

tiny tendrils hair trend: Jennifer Love Hewitt in 1990


Getty/Time & Life Pictures 

Jennifer Love Hewitt circa 1990, like many of her peers, was a tiny tendrils fan and wore them so well with a tousled bun nestled high on her head.

tiny tendrils hair trend: Jennifer Aniston in 1995


Getty/Time & Life Pictures 

Jennifer Aniston was also partial to this trend during the early Friends years and would pair it with another popular must-have from the time: butterfly clips. You don't have to follow this route in 2019, but as we all know, hair accessories of every variety—butterfly clips included—have also made a comeback recently…

Not everyone would dare to wear again, but when styled correctly, it can be a far easier nostalgic hairdo than more challenging looks that involves scrunchies or perms. So how can you wear it now without looking like the '90s threw up on your head? Well, here at Who What Wear, we pinpointed a few ways to modernise our old go-to hairstyle. Keep scrolling to see…


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“Shrimped” 🦐

A post shared by Blanca Miró Scrimieri (@blancamiro) on

If you're too scared to go full-on tiny tendrils, make like Blanca Miró and clip your hair back but leave one thicker strand towards the front. This creates the illusion of a more complicated hairstyle without it being high maintenance. Easy.


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A post shared by lauren leekley (@laleekley) on

This high-slung bun with artfully teased tiny tendrils hairstyle belongs on the set of Bring It On alongside Kirsten Dunst's perfectly crimped hair and grey headband. Give your hair a spritz of hair spray to make sure it stays in place (even though Lauren Leekley may be going for that lived-in messy look, you still want it to stay looking this good all day long).


I think we can all agree that Laura Harrier makes tiny tendrils look all kinds of wonderful. By the looks of this photo, she's wearing her hair in a chic low bun with two perfectly places tendrils on either side of her face. If heaven is a hairstyle, we've got the coordinates right here. Give your tiny tendrils a subtle wave with the wand below if you want to add some texture to your hair.


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💖 Stradivarius stripe jumper 🔎 (1380906)

A post shared by Olivia Smith (@asos_olive) on

Okay, at first glance, these may not look like skinny tendrils, but they still count. Olive Smith proves that tiny tendrils don't have to be tiny with her blonde ponytail and thicker strands. Secure your pony with a fun scrunchie if you want to go all-out '90s, and then finish with a spray of Orbie's light reflecting spray to make your hair extra shiny.

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