Back in the day, before wigs, weaves and colored hair became all the rave, hair culture was very much different. People with a little more money would go for perms, jerry curls or wash ‘n’ set’s in those days and they would rock it with all the pride in the world. If you’re a 90s baby, just take a look at your baby pictures and look at your aunties.
But the past must not be thrown away, should it? There is something therapeutic about nostalgia and connecting to the past so here goes a few hairstyles from back in the day. Feel free to update your mental library!
- Shuku: This was very popular with secondary school girls of the 90s but this classic hairstyle dates far back into the earlier days of Yoruba culture. The style is typically characterized by braids going from the edge of the head to the middle to form a hump atop the head but it has several variations like suku elegbe, suku na poi, suku onididi and suku sesema.
- Rubber Thread Styles: If you didn’t have a lot of hair as a 90s child, you most likely fell victim to this hairstyle. It was characterized by tying the hair with rubber threads and then tying the strands together to form whatever design inspires the hair stylist. It was cheap, looked painful and cost a lot of people their edges.
- Telephone wire: This hairstyle is still a wonder today. Like why did people even bother braving the pain of all the twisting and tying of hair? We may have to speak to some owambe aunties from back in the day to get a proper answer. All we know is that people rocked the shit out of this hairstyle, especially on university campuses.
- Patewo: Do you remember when class teachers would call out weekly styles for their primary/secondary school students? Well, patewo was always a favorite among kids from this era and because it was just as easy to make as shuku, it was wildly popular.
- All-back: Now, I know some of you still have this under your current wigs but all-back is the OG hairstyle of all hairstyles. In fact, it is arguably the most popular African hairstyle of all time, bar none. That’s why our forebears had them and we have them now.
There are definitely many more hairstyles that I can’t possibly cover in one article but which of these do remember or make the most? Have I been able to bless you with a little bit of nostalgia? Let us know what other old school styles you know!