Welcome to NYLON’s Buffy Week, where we dive into the enduring impact of ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ and celebrate Sunnydale’s finest. Check back all week for a look into the show’s lasting legacy on culture, from fashion to music, and everything in between.
We all know by now that fashion and beauty industries live in a cycle of obsession with the trends of 20 years prior. As Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s tenure on The WB (and then UPN) lasted from 1997 to 2003, the show is firmly placed in the Y2K cannon that we’re all obsessed with right now. The high school demonic drama lives at the intersection of ’90s nostalgia, academia and goths aesthetics and, of course, vampires. So, in addition to it’s incredible re-watchability, memorable musical moments, and bad ass fashion, it’s also ripe to be ripped off in the beauty department.
It’s not just Buffy’s essential Rachel-esque cut, or Cordelia’s wispy bangs, or Faith’s vampy makeup moments, the boys too, bring the full force of the ’90s with gelled up hair and serious bleach. There’s something for everyone looking to reintroduce some questionable nostalgic beauty choices back into their lives. It’s pretty wild to think that no matter what kind of vampire or demon-fueled dangers everyone was getting into, spiked hair, french twists, and shiny blowouts stayed fully intact.
Read on for the most fun, and sometimes extremely relevant beauty trends you can find during your Buffy The Vampire Slayer rewatch. You might be surprised by what you find appealing today. Get out your raisin lipstick, crimping irons, and barrettes and let’s go.
Shiny, shampoo-ad hair was a keystone of the ’90s. We were lead to believe this layered haircut naturally dried into cute, face-framing flips, but now we’ve accepted it’s the work of a blow-dryer and a round brush. (Which makes it a little less believable as the signature look of vampire battling teens.)
Wholesome Wispy Bangs
This is a confounding style to have taken hold of an era, but these piecey, poofed-up bangs do add interest to a messy updo or a one-length haircut. Now, a more modern (read: less fluffy) iteration is popping up on cool girls all over Instagram.
Always Alert Eyebrows
It makes sense that Buffy and friends were always on high alert for dark forces, but it’s their supper skinny eyebrows that make them look constantly surprised.
Spike’s Platinum Blonde Hair
White blond hair is always a bold choice, but upon another look, this is giving Justin Timberlake in his early boy band days.
Willow’s Flippy Bob
Another hairstyle that requires major maintenance and a strong hand with a flatiron, the flipped out ends were a signature style for ’90s best friend characters.
While crimped hair offered the benefit of making hair look fuller, it also looked like you may have stuck your finger in an outlet. If broaching this style in 2021, look for an iron with wider crimps.
Glory’s Brushed Out Curls
These sweet, feathery curls make Sunnydale’s most vicious villain look deceptively soft.
Faith’s Dark Lipstick
There’s just something about dark red lipstick that makes you feel like a rebellious ’90s teen. Bad girl slayer Faith exemplifies the energy.
Angel and Oz’s Spiky Hair
Who knows why men’s hair was preferred to be vertical at the turn of the millennium, but the extra product probably came in handy for keeping every hair in place during a fight sequence.
Whether they were attending a high school dance or not, these twisty updos were ubiquitous on the denizens of Sunnydale. Spiky buns and sleek twists were always completed with face-framing tendrils or bangs. Believe it or not, these looks are back with a vengeance.
Hellsmouth Hair Accessories
From butterfly clips, to barrettes, to puffy headbands, these Y2K hair accessories were low on functionality but high on style.