Edd’s MANtra: Hair scares

During those rare moments when I’m off work and I’m not being a responsible adult by paying bills and watching wrestling and stuff, you can usually find me reliving my youth on YouTube. There’s nothing I like better than going back in time 15 years or so by watching low-quality music videos from the 90s. Remember when R. Kelly was bald? Remember when Mary J. Blige dressed like Young Jeezy? Remember Pebbles? Probably not, but I do. Poor Pebbles.

Anyway, the thing that always stand out is how BAD hairstyles were in the 80s and early 90s. Remember these?

Jump rope braids

I’m not mad at weave. Ladies, if you purchase the hair, it’s yours, whether or not it actually grew out of your scalp. But one thing I never liked were those big, thick braids sisters used to wear back in the early 90s. You know, the ones that look like the ropes they use on boxing rings. Didn’t they hurt? I know they had to be heavy.

The giant box

I must admit, I always wanted a high-top fade, or ‘the box’ as we called ’em in Va. And I thank the good Lord that my mother refused to let me have one. Remember Kid from Kid ‘n Play? I think there’s a direct correlation between him looking like a human eraser and the fact that he’s basically invisible these days.

The Gumby

Even though I wanted a high-top fade as a naïve child, I certainly recognized the wackness of Bobby Brown’s infamous cut. It’s like he wanted a fade but was afraid to commit so he did the next best thing – created a half fade. Ugh. Why didn’t Whitney see that haircut as a signal of Bobby’s commitment problems? Oh yeah, the drugs.

The rattail

In our quest for equal opportunity in the realm of crappy haircuts, black folks said, “hey, why can’t we have a mullet too?” Thus, the rattail was born.

The curl

I’ve never met Jheri, but I bet I know how he created the curl (and yes, Jheri HAS to be a man, only a dude would come up with such a thing). He was running late on his way to Harpo’s Juke Joint when he caught out in the rain. But when he stepped in the party he was the hottest thing on the floor. Shug couldn’t keep her eyes off him.

Don’t front, you know you rocked a couple of these styles. What are some of your most memorable hair scares?



  1. I do remember Pebbles! I love the song with her and Baby Face. I do the same thing on YouTube – you can find all the old songs, even if it’s just the recording – and it’s free (yes, I’m cheap).

    As I go back and look at old photos, I’m horrified at how my hair looked. My most memorable scare is that my hair looks the same way in 2008 as it did in 1995!!!

  2. The rattail started in China. It was originally braided and was brought to California during the late 1800s. Gold miners got the idea to let the braids out, of course, and it made its way east. On its way east it split into two distinct forms: the original form traveled to major urban centers and became what we know as the rat tail, however the other form traveled first to the southern backwoods, where people still thought the civil war was still going on, and it became what we now call the mullet today. The latter variety was originally a sign of rebellion against the clean-cut northerners, but its usefullness as a neck protector/warmer caught on and was picked up by many a workin’ man. The afrollet showed up in the early 1970s and has been around since.

  3. i think we called those big braids “dooky braids”. lol i use to think they were cute except for when girls got those gold ornaments put on them.

    believe it or not ive seen people in montgomery with fades and finger waves and not only that but wearing cross colours!! totally 90s!

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