“How did a five-letter word meaning dirt, filth, trash become synonymous with a musical genre, a fashion statement, a pop phenomenon?” asked the New York Times in 1994 about grunge. Born in Seattle in the mid 80s as a fusion of punk and metal music, grunge was a rejection of consumerism and capitalism. Disillusioned by middle class suburbia, clothes came from thrift shops and grooming was sidelined altogether. Long, face-covering hair provided a barrier between singers and their audiences which made their lyrics more raw and introspective.
Ironically, in deviating from the mainstream, grunge became it, and Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain and Pearl Jam’s Eddy Vedder were the centre parted posterboys. The female take included unkempt bobs that denied sex appeal, or messy-looking, hip-skimming hair (see a 90s Alanis Morisette for more details.) Modern day muses range from the Olsen twins and SZA, to Sienna Miller and Joan Smalls.
Crucially, says session styling Jonnie Sapong “modern grunge is undone, messy hair – not greasy hair.”
Sapong recommends cleaning hair the night before with Dizziak Hydration Wash and Deep Conditioner, and towel drying to remove moisture. For short or afro hair, blow-dry with a diffuser and don’t comb it in order to leave curls intact. Otherwise, sleep in a loose braid tied at the nape of the neck and instead of brushing it out in the morning, use your fingers. All hair types will benefit from a silicone free serum to add definition without weighing hair down. For lift at the roots use dry shampoo or tip your head upside down, give it a shake, et voila.