A certain type of boy band in the 90s, swooned over by many a young girl, modelled a curtains hairstyle fashion which has rarely been seen since. The ‘do’ affectionately known as ‘curtains’ involved a teenager / twenty-something male growing his hair long enough to flop alluringly into his eyes and parting it centrally to frame his face with two equal sections of hair. The hair would often hang annoyingly over the male in question’s face (like the aforementioned pair of curtains), and could also be flicked backwards, slow-mo style to reveal the dazzlingly white smile of the cutie who sported the haircut.
Many a 90s girl will remember Nick Carter of the Backstreet Boys whose classic blonde hair was cut to frame his ridiculously angelic face. The video for ‘I Want it That Way’ displays his classic curtains do beautifully, as Nick and the other boys dance around and pose at an airport. The hairdo is as much a part of his look as the baggy trousers and oversized overcoat he wears in the opening moments of the video. Cue lots of cheesy gestures towards the camera (and his fans) and an adorable sideways look through one side of his hair as he sings the title line accompanied by a winning smile. Oh he wants it to be ‘that way’ with me, scream his fans! Bleeurgh!
Or for a more homegrown talent, how about Adam Rickitt, who played soap heartthrob Nick Tildesley on Coronation Street from 1997-99 with a curtains hairstyle any boy would be proud of. He briefly became a teen-pop sensation with hits like “I Breathe Again”. The video for this shows a slight update to the curtains do, whilst still employing the hair to stare through enticingly. Here his lengthy blonde hair almost completely covers his face (perhaps the ‘curtains’ were closed at this point) as he cavorts naked in a see-through box in some kind of laboratory (why?) flinging his locks around and pouting through his blonde tresses at his squealing fans.
Even current, fashion-conscious stars such as Robbie Williams and David Beckham wore some version of curtains at some point in the 90s. Posters of Leonardo Di Caprio in Titanic covered the walls of millions of girls from 1997 onwards. His look? Curtains, of course. Although they looked less coiffured than Adam Carter’s when he was clinging desperately to the back of a sinking ship. He also appeared in numerous girls magazines of the time (often in a sexy, black and white, semi-naked model-pose image) wearing the curtains in a very attractive way. So curtains were attractive, for some at least.
Now this look was fine when it was worn by a fresh-faced, handsome actor or a cute singer belonging to the latest boyband being swooned over by every girl in Britain. It was less acceptable when the curtains were being worn by the greasy-haired, pimple-faced 13 year old who sat next to you in Geography class and kept hitting you in the face with his unwashed mop every time he wanted to copy your answers to this week’s test.
Thank goodness the trend was short-lived.