In Defense of Two-Tone Hair

Before there was ombre, there was mince and cheese. For those not from Australasia and therefore possibly unschooled in food-related hairstyles or antipodean savory pastry snacks, the ‘mince and cheese’ was a look popularized at the tail end of the ‘90s, with brown on top and blonde underneath. It resembled the most popular filling of a single-serving gas station pie, which was blackened ground beef and a top layer of Kraft Singles-ish dairy product.

I’m not sure exactly which celebrity test drove this reverse ombre style first. It might have been perennial tastemaker Nicole Richie, when in 1999 she started sporting dark brown and yellow-blonde tresses. Hers wound in tendrils, more like stringy Dominos pizza cheese than melty pastry cheese, and were occasionally interspersed with bits of red. Was this the inspiration for Christina Aguilera’s Dirrty makeover? I’m thinking aloud here – yet when that the video for that song hit TV in 2002, the popularity of pie hair skyrocketed.

It wasn’t just a tweenage phase, either, with everyone from MySpace scene kids to office ladies sporting the style. On the former the hair was rod-straight and pouffed up at the top like a button mushroom. On the latter it was gelled into the fugly version of Jennifer Lawrence’s new pixie, and was truly horrendous.

I never got a mince and cheese myself, because by the time I was old enough to experiment with actual hair dye, the trend was so 2000 and never. All the cool celebs were transitioning into ombre and balayage, and only Memorye, Khrystyn and Brittane were touching up those tendrils resembling ground beef products.

But! Is the style making a comeback? Is the mince and cheese coming back into fashaan, thanks to one Karlie Kloss and an Interview spread that’s circling around Tumblr like cheese-smothered wildfire? A few weeks ago I saved the picture of Kloss with choppy bleached strands set over a layer of blackened mince ones. I half-intended to attempt a pie hair re-revolution on a day I was feeling bold or nostalgic enough. And over the weekend, the same image appeared on Into The Gloss as “the nail in the coffin of impetus” for Emily Weiss‘ platinum double process (Weiss ordered the vegetarian version). See also Haider Ackermann Fall 2013 for a rooty take on the look.

What say you on food-related hairstyles? Would you go meat-free of full late-nineties kitsch? Don’t you just have a tiny soft spot for vintage Richie and Xtina’s Dirrty days?

Related links:
Under-Eye Circles: Spring’s Strangely Beautiful Trend
Underarm Hair: Feminist, Fashionable, or Just a Bit Gross?
5 Trends From the ’80s and ’90s We’re Sure Will Never Come Back

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