Beauty throwback: frosted tips

Joe Molander takes to task the infamous hairstyle from the 1990s and 2000s

Joe Molander
7th March 2020
There’s no easy to way say this, so we’re going to take a deep breath and say it slowly, together. Ready? There was once a time where we thought frosted tips were a good look.

This agonising part of “style” haunted us throughout the 1990s and 2000s. The most obvious culprit is Justin Timerblake, but he doesn’t deserve all the blame for this: we all came together as a culture to agree that it looked good, and we should all be ashamed. It’s very likely that if aliens were ever thinking of visiting us, they found us at the pinnacle of NSYNC’s popularity – another crime that’s on all of us – and decided to put it off for a few centuries.

Frosted tips aren't the only things to be worried about: thawed tips also exist

There are (somehow) worse things to be worried about than frosted tips, though. At the height of their popularity, their inverse also became fashionable. Here, the poor wearer’s entire head of hair is bleached, with the dye applied to the very end of the hair strands. The result is a look that high-end barbers were presumably charging hundreds for back in the 1990s, and which can be achieved just as effectively by dipping the first inch of your hair in a pot of paint.

A bad look often makes for a strong brand that's difficult to forget

Of course, it’s important not to be overly critical. A bad look is very rarely forgettable (which is why my look is remembered by everyone), and a memorable look can make for a strong brand. People are still talking about Paris Hilton’s mid-noughties fashion taste, and in ten years it’s likely we’ll still remember Billie Eilish’s genre-defying baggy look.

Legendary TV chef and frosted tip enthusiast Guy Fieri
Image: First We Feast on YouTube

Indeed, there is one person able to walk out of the smoking cultural wreckage that is frosted tips and be better for it. It is, of course, the immortal Mayor of Flavourtown himself, Guy Fieri. Combined with his sunglasses and flame shirts, he has assembled a brand that went out of fashion over a decade ago, but instead of appearing outdated or uncool, he comes off as knowingly wholesome. It lends him the energy of a dad at a barbeque, and that kindly paternal energy has ensured he’s still trusted to serve up dishes to America, over two decades since his first restaurant opening.         

Any look can be pulled off with confidence and self-love

The Fieri case study is testament to how even the worst beauty throwbacks can be pulled off with the right confidence and unrelenting self-love. Difficult though it may be for people to accept – myself included – it might be the case that the worst looks of all come from the very healthiest of mindsets.

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AUTHOR: Joe Molander
Head of Current Affairs and co-founder of The Toon Lampoon. Politics, interviews, satire and the Courier's leading authority on frosted tips. @JoeMolander on Twitter and full portfolio available on Muckrack.

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