Big, fluffy, curly hair has arguably never been embraced in quite the same way it was in the 1980s and 1990s. For those without curly hair it was an era of perms, thanks in large part to celebrities of the time who embraced their natural ringlets, sporting big, bouncy styles at red-carpet events throughout the decade.
It was a time for Black women like Whitney Houston, Lisa Bonet and Mel B to show off their natural textures. There was also Sarah Jessica Parker, whose enviable curls became her signature both on and off screen; Julia Roberts, whose big red coils were almost as crucial to her vibrant look as her massive smile; Mariah Carey, whose natural curls gave her more of a “girl-next-door” than diva vibe, and many more.
Since quarantine began, I rarely bother to blow out my own natural curls; I’ve also been spending a lot of time looking at images of celebrities in the ’90s thanks to this column, and it’s gotten me more inspired than ever to start embracing my true hair type once again.
Like me, most of these celebrities went on to smooth out their curls in the following decade as straight hair became considered trendy, and many continue to do so, whether via chemical straightening treatments or regular blowouts. I like to imagine that a few of these ladies are using this time away from their hairstylists to reconsider their natural textures. If they — or you — need some inspiration, click through the gallery below.