Creating different Y2K hair looks on clients was what initially kicked off my popularity on social media. Having grown up in the early 2000s watching TV shows like Lizzie McGuire and That So Raven, I was always inspired by these young fashion icons on Disney Channel. Even into my teenage years, I rocked a dramatic side part or high ponytail. Fast forward to when I graduated from cosmetology school at the age of 23, I knew I wanted to share my expertise with the younger generation who is bringing these trends back around.
There are really no rules in Y2K fashion so it’s easy to make it your own. Much of what makes these looks fun is that they are so controversial. Some people love it and others absolutely hate it, but there’s no denying Y2K is here to stay. And if you want to try it too, here are 7 hairstyles that will help you tap into the aesthetic.
1. High Ponytail
The high pony is a very iconic look of the early 2000s that is still very popular today in Y2K fashion. Huge celebrities like Ariana Grande and JLO rock this hairstyle often. I like to accessorize my high ponytails with things like jewels and colorful hair extensions to add a more personal touch. Use a boar bristle brush and Got2B Glued Blasting Freeze Spray for a super clean tight pony.
Pro tip: if your hair is thick, I also recommend using a bungee cord hair tie. If you’re the kind of person who likes to wear your hair down, you can do a half up half down high pony to get a similar look.
2. Deep Side Parting
I sometimes like to create a deep side part to add even more of a Y2K flare. Back in 2008, when I was in middle school, parting your hair dramatically to the side was the coolest thing you could do. The deeper the part, the better. Use a natural color bobby pin to tuck the hair behind your ear and hold it in place and pair the part with a high pony or a messy bun. For smaller area and precision work, you can use a toothbrush instead of a boar bristle brush.
3. Crimped Hair
When I think of Y2K hair, I immediately think of crimped hair. Christina Aguilera and Shakira did it best. I love my bed head crimper and it’s one of the easiest tools to use. All you do is use the crimper tool the same way you would a stamp, simply pressing the hair piece by piece. It’s important that you don’t separate the pieces that you crimp too much otherwise you’ll lose the zig zap pattern. I always finish with a medium-hold hairspray for longevity.
No, but seriously, if there’s one Y2K hairstyle I’d like to see more of, it would be crimped hair. Accessorizing is optional but highly recommended to complete the look.
4. Bright Pins and Hair Clips
Throw some butterfly hair clips or colorful bobby pins in the mix and you’ll instantly teleport back to the early 2000s. Anytime I want to spice up a client’s after photo, I add a few butterfly clips to their hair.
You can find butterfly clips just about anywhere these days. I like to order mine in bulk from Amazon.
Colorful bobby pins can also help you tap into the Y2K hairstyles trend. Steal this idea to show off your trendy underlayer color!
5. Space Buns and High Pigtails
Alongside the high ponytail, space buns have also taken over the internet. They’re highly popular among music festival-goers because they’re a great way to put your hair up and out of the way while looking cute. You can do high, tight, or messy space buns where you either slick them up neatly with hairspray or leave some hair sticking out for an effortless look.
Using hairspray for either of these kinds of spiky buns works. I like the pieces of hair I decide to leave out to stick up a little so using a super hold hairspray works best. Celebrities like Gwen Stefani and Britney Spears have made this hairstyle so iconic.
Here is a cute way to pull off half up half down pigtails while taking the 2000s closer to 2023 with the help of face-framing curtain bangs.
6. Zig Zag Part
I love doing zig zag parts when creating space buns to complete the Y2K look. The easiest way to make a clean part is by using a rat tail comb but if you have long nails, that’s a very old-school way to part your hair too. Side note: stop bullying Millennials for ignoring the center part trend and parting their hair to the side every day. Y2K isn’t just a look, it’s a lifestyle.
7. Beaded Baby Braids
Another Y2K trend I find myself incorporating into my hairstyles most often is beaded braids. Simply because it is so easy to do and I am able to wear my hair completely down as that is how I like to wear it most often. Pro tip: use synthetic extension hair to add fullness if your hair is thin and lacks volume.
Doing a beaded braid is a great subtle way to incorporate Y2K fashion into your overall look, but this is something a lot of famous TikTokers like Victoria Paris and Suede are wearing. You can purchase your beads from craft stores or beauty supplies and make sure you get a pull-through tool as well. All you have to do is load your pull-through tool with the beads and add them onto the strands of hair as you braid. If the ends of your hair are fragile, opt out of elastic bands and use gel or hair spray to secure the braid.
Simple claw clip updos and bubble braids are other great Y2K hairstyles that experience a major comeback now. Not to mention that you should not necessarily stick to the rules here! Here are some ’90s and Y2K-inspired hairstyles I created for One Shot competition. Creating the updos and having a photoshoot with @moisesnotmoses was so much fun, and fun is so much like Y2K!
The early 2000s is a very controversial time period in fashion but gained back its popularity in recent years. If you would like to see some video tutorials on how to recreate these looks, please follow me @girlorgun on Instagram and TikTok.