Saturday, February 19, 2011

A Guide to 90s-Boy Hair in Five Parts


After looking at all of those Devon Sawa photos the other day, I started to dream about him. Well, more specifically, I began dreaming about his hair. His 90s-boy center-part haunted and intrigued me, in equal measure. I needed to understand its hold over me, so I studied Devon's part and the parts of a few of his contemporaries. 
Contrary to popular belief, the 90s white dude hair part wasn't actually an invention of the 90s. Many influential figures throughout time were ardent supporters of the style. 
Of course, it was in the 1990s that the hairdo reached its pinnacle. If you had a crush on a Caucasian male actor who was between the ages of 12 and 17 in 1994, the guy's hair was definitely parted. (There's also a pretty good chance that your crush's name was Jonathan.)
Often, the hair on the top/front of the head was long, falling to about eye-level while the hair in back was shorter or shaved, basically creating two layers. But there was no standard when it came to length (except that it shouldn't end below the shoulders) or the severity of the part--as you'll notice in the above pictures. Matthew Lawrence, (star of Brotherly Love and utterer of "he's a she, she's a he, he's a she-she...he's half man, half woman"), for example, was a trailblazer and proved that there was room for interpretation and personal expression. 
Matthew should be awarded a Nobel Prize--at the very least--for how gracefully he made the transition from 80s bowl-cut to 90s parted hair. The day he ran that comb down the center of his head was enlightening for him, I'm sure.


After a failed attempt to rejuvenate the show with the birth of a fourth Seaver child, in 1991, Growing Pains execs decided to add another new character--this time one with a center-part (in contrast to Ben's side-part).
Unlike Mike and Ben Seaver, Luke's hair was unequivocally 90s (and he didn't tuck his shirts into his jeans like a big, 1989, dork a-hole). Though I'm sure Leonardo DiCaprio delivered a fine audition, it was undoubtedly his coif that secured the gig. As magnificent as Leo's center-part was, the show sucked--having reached that lamentable bad-boy-character-becomes-teacher phase--and Growing Pains ended within a year of him joining the cast. I have a feeling, though, if he'd let his bangs/hair flaps fall over his eyes a little more, and made the part a tiny bit more pronounced, they could have strung things out for another two seasons. 


It's simple. If you had the center-part, you were cool. Well, you know, cooler than anyone sitting next to you who didn't have the center-part. Case in point:


Case in point part deux: 
Under normal circumstances, I'd say that Leo is just generally more awesome than Tobey Maguire. But in this instance, Tobey has 90s hair while Leo has this weird, buzzed flattop aka "the clock tower shooter" cut. Tobey wins.
There was the "Black Relaxed Hair" Variation (See Prince; Michael Jackson in the "You Are Not Alone" video), the "Boy Band" Variation (See Nick Carter), the "Creepy" Variation (See James Van Der Beek), but my personal favorite was the "Curly" Variation.
I admire Johnny Galecki's boldness. Most guys with curly hair would look at JTT or Devon Sawa or sit behind Jordan Catalano in class and think, "my hair's never going to be able to do that." But not Johnny.  What's really awesome is that almost 20 years post-Roseanne, he's still sort of doing his hair like this. 


In researching, I came across something wondrous and revealing:
The differences in length give the illusion that each of these guys has a different haircut, but no, they all have the 90s-boy center-part. If ever you doubted the importance of the hairstyle in the history of man, then you need only take a look at this glorious artifact. 






Photo Credits: Brad RenfroJTT, Will and Rider, Matthew Lawrence, Growing Pains, Tobey and LeoJohnny Galecki.

21 comments:

RenRexx said...

holy damn this sent me back over 10 years.... those guys used to be soooo cute. and now...? well.... let's just say they have replacements...

Laura said...

Do I dare suggest you chose to create this post in 5 parts to really emphasize the importance of the part? Also, I miss having all of these guys on my wall staring down at me as I snuggled in bed waiting for hot hair to enter my dreams. Boys I knew, had this hair with the undercut. A party on top, all business underneath.

Simon said...

Oh, the nineties...

Ethony* said...

Oh sweet Jesus, I had such a crush on some of those boys and I LOVED their hair. Creepy as now.

Lorelai said...

A few things:

1. How unbelievable is it that both Brad Renfro and Jonathan Brandis are dead now?

2. I don't think there has ever been a more embarrasssing collection of Leo photos.

3. That magazine cover is HILARIOUS. We cured JTT's fear of love! Making us choose between him and "Dev" is just cruel, though...

Richard said...

And suddenly the nineties feels like a really really long time ago.

It wasn't It still isn't. (LalalalalalaI'mnotlistening.)

Megs said...

Man I loved Brad Renfro. Also, JTT was waaaaay hotter than Devon Sawa.

I remember that magazine. At the time, I was all, "nooooooo don't be afraid I will love you and squeeze you and teach you how wonnnnderrfull love is!" Looking back, I'm like, Well yes this 13 year old boy was afraid of love. Especially since at that time it was generally expressed to him through a series of shrieks and stalking behavior and random girls crying while screaming I looooooooooove yooooooouuuuuuuu before they swooned.

The Shanner of Attention said...

hahahahahahaha. you are the best blogger in the blogiverse.


I totally loved Jonathan Brandis. And my husband looks a lot like him, sans the 90s haircut. The husband sports a faux-hawk, which is begging to be blogged about in a few years.

Ali said...

Good lord. Who is that Jonathan under JTT on the cover of 16? He looks like an 11 year old boy with John Cazale's hair and forehead.

My two favorite parts from the 90's:

1. Eddie Furlong
2. the kid in The Offspring's "Self Esteem" video

Roxanne and Lorraine said...

"Are you hopelessly "dev-o-ted?"

Oh man. Who was making these magazines?!

Too much side parted hair. I just want to ruffle someone's hair...

Lor

Jen said...

Oh Brad Renfro!

::swoon::

Amiee said...

I too wondered about the mysterious boy in the middle with the large forehead.

andrea said...

best blog post EVER. That is all.

Clara said...

Agree with Andrea (saw this link on her twitter). This post is hilarious, as were the nineties.

thatissophat said...

I love the 90s middle hair part for the guys. Swoon. If I see a guy walking down the street in one of those, I don't know what I'd do. My favourites that rocked the look was definitely Nick Carter and Leonardo during Romeo & Juliet era.

I've only recently discovered your blog and it's amazing :D

Tabs A. Geek said...

I'm pretty sure I had every one of those magazines that you just showed in this. Epic.

Johnny Galecki was smoking even back then (at least, to me he was).

Heather Taylor said...

I love, love, loved Matthew Lawrence. Thanks for reminding me of his eternal '90s parted hair and hotness.

Mellina Huitema said...

This really took me back. I had no idea Vincent Kartheiser and Johnny Galecki were teen idols in the 90s. Unreal. And I was a consumer of 90s teen idol publications.

Also, strangely, my internet surfing tonight keeps leading me to people who were on the show Roseanne that I didn't know were on it. Johnny Galecki, Leonardo Dicaprio (for one episode or so), Alyson Hanigan, Sarah Chalke...it's so weird. Is the universe telling me to buy the complete box-set of that show on DVD or something? I keep hearing about it ever since I saw Roseanne on Oprah a few weeks ago. So crazy.

rachyyyyy95 said...

http://www.buzzfeed.com/whitneyjefferson/what-all-three-lawrence-brothers-look-like-today

Matthew Lawrence still has the hair!!!

Colton Carriere said...

I happen to just start throwing back the middle parted bowl cuts or curtains however people called it. My friends and people's reactions the first day I brought this look back were.... Oh my god Colton you look like your straight up from the 90s! And don't take this personality but, I think that's so cool. The girls these days do not dig it but guys definitely remember the look who are my age and they tell me you just look like you living in the 90s still throwing back a classic haircut that is way over my era.... Was born in October 1995! Now do you get what I'm talking about here!?!

Dacia said...

Congrats Colton for rocking this look again. It's a shame the girls of this generation can't appreciate it. My 90's faves were Jonathan Brandis, Vincent Kartheiser and oddly enough Kurt Cobain. He kind of rocked this haircut sometimes like when he did Mtv Unplugged. Rip to Jonathan Brandis who sadly felt washed up and unappreciated shortly before he ended his life. I think his center part was done beautifully and he had the most perfect features and piercing blue eyes. Still watch Ladybugs to reminisce.