Woman sitting on a bed with a Y2K hairstyle accessorized with butterfly clips. Image credit:  Pexels, Cottonbro.

Jul 08, 2024

The turn of the millennium wasn't just about the widespread panic of the Y2K bug or the dawn of the internet age; it was also a golden era for iconic hair. Remember the playful pigtails, the crimped locks, and those unforgettable butterfly clips? Well, guess what? Y2K fashion is making a fierce comeback, and with it, those nostalgic, head-turning hairstyles.

We're diving deep into the vault of the best 2000s hair trends to bring you six Y2K hairstyles that you can rock today. Whether you're looking to channel your inner pop princess or just want to add a touch of retro flair to your look, we've got you covered. Get ready to take a trip down memory lane.


Spiky buns

Spiky buns were the edgy, rebellious cousin of the classic bun in the early 2000s. This hairstyle combines the sleekness of an updo with punk-inspired spikes, making it perfect for anyone wanting to channel their inner rockstar. Read on for all you need to nail this look.


What you’ll need

– A hairbrush or comb

– A hair elastic

– Bobby pins

– Strong-hold hair gel or wax

– Hair spray

– A hair straightener


Step-by-step guide

1) Prep your hair. Wash and dry your hair, then brush through any tangles to ensure your hair is smooth and manageable.

2) Create the base bun. Gather your hair into a high ponytail and secure it with a hair elastic. Twist the ponytail around itself to form a bun and secure it with bobby pins. Don’t worry about making it too neat—a bit of messiness adds to that spiky effect.

3) Section and spike. Pull out small sections of hair from the bun. These will be your spikes. You can decide how many spikes you want depending on how big and bold you want your look to be.

4) Style the spikes: Apply a generous amount of strong-hold gel or wax to each section. Twist and pull each section upwards and outwards, shaping them into spikes. For extra definition, you can use a flat iron to straighten the spikes so they’re more pronounced and sharp.

5) Set the look: Once all your spikes are in place, mist your entire hairstyle with a strong-hold hair spray. This will keep everything intact throughout the day.


Tips and tricks

– Larger sections will create thicker, more dramatic spikes, while smaller sections will give a more delicate, textured look.

– Add some extra Y2K flair with colorful hair clips or even temporary hair dye for the spikes.

– If the spiky bun feels too intense, soften it by leaving a few face-framing tendrils loose and wavy.


Crimped hair

Crimped hair is the quintessential Y2K hairstyle, bringing a fun and funky texture that screams early 2000s chic. It’s also perfect for adding volume and a unique twist to your hair. Here’s how you can achieve those iconic zigzag waves.


What you’ll need

– A hairbrush or comb

– Hair clips

– Heat protectant spray

– A crimping iron

– Hair spray


Step-by-step guide

1) Prep your hair. Begin with clean, dry hair. Brush through your hair to remove any tangles. Apply a heat protectant spray to shield your hair from heat damage.

2) Section your hair. Divide your hair into manageable sections using hair clips. The smaller the sections, the more defined the crimped pattern will be.

3) Crimp away. Starting with the bottom sections, take a small piece of hair and place it between the plates of the crimping iron. Hold for a few seconds, then move the crimper down the strand, ensuring you overlap slightly with the previous crimp to avoid gaps. Repeat until all sections are crimped.

4) Fluff and style. Once your entire head is crimped, gently run your fingers through your hair to break up the sections and add volume. Avoid using a brush as it can make the crimped pattern frizz.

5) Set the look. Finish with a light mist of hair spray to hold the crimped waves in place all day.


Tips and tricks

– Always use a heat protectant to minimize damage from the crimping iron.

– Crimped hair looks great on its own but can also add texture to updos, ponytails, or half-up hairstyles.

– Enhance the Y2K vibe with butterfly clips, colorful barrettes, or a glittery hairband.


Face-framing updos

Woman with a Y2K hairstyle with face-framing pieces.. Image credit:  Pexels, Horribils.

Face-framing updos were a staple of Y2K fashion, effortlessly combining glamor with a touch of fun. These hairstyles are all about pulling your hair up, but leaving a few strands loose to frame your face for a soft, flattering silhouette. Here's how you can achieve this look.


What you’ll need

– A hairbrush or comb

– Hair elastics

– Bobby pins

– Hair spray or gel

– A curling iron or straightener


Step-by-step guide

1) Start with clean, dry hair. Whether your hair is naturally straight, wavy, or curly, this look works best on hair that’s been freshly washed and dried.

2) Section off the face-framing pieces. Use a comb to gently separate a few small sections of hair around your face. These strands should be about 1-2 inches wide, depending on your hair thickness and personal preference. Clip these sections out of the way for now.

3) Create the updo. Gather the rest of your hair into a high ponytail, messy bun, or a sleek chignon, depending on the vibe you're going for. Secure it with a hair elastic and use bobby pins to tidy any loose pieces.

4) Style the face-framing pieces. Unclip the sections you set aside earlier. If you have naturally wavy or curly hair, you can leave it as is for a relaxed look. For a more polished finish, use a curling iron to add soft waves or a straightener for sleek tendrils.

5) Finishing touches. Lightly mist your hairstyle with hairspray to keep everything in place. For an extra Y2K touch, you can add glitter gel or tiny hair clips to the face-framing pieces.


Tips and tricks

– Add a little volume by teasing your hair at the crown before creating your updo, and shake in a little volumizing powder to amp it up.

– Make that updo or ponytail even bigger when you add hair extensions to your look.

– Butterfly clips, mini claw clips, or even a sparkly headband can elevate your face-framing updo from simple to standout.

– Play around with the placement of your updo and the length of the face-framing pieces to see what flatters your face shape the most.


Zigzag parts

Zigzag parts were a standout hair trend of the Y2K era, adding a quirky twist to any hairstyle, and some nice volume right at the roots. This dynamic look can elevate even the simplest hairdos with that unique pattern, so here’s how to master the zigzag.


What you’ll need

– A fine-tooth comb

– Hair clips

– Hair spray or gel


Step-by-step guide

1) Start with dry hair. This look works best on dry hair, whether it’s freshly washed or not. This style is great for day two or three hair.

2) Section your hair. Decide where you want your zigzag part to sit. You can place it in the center for a balanced look or even on the side for something more asymmetrical.


3) Create the zigzag pattern.

– Use the pointed end of a fine-tooth comb to draw a zigzag line from the front of your hairline to the back of your head.

– Begin at your chosen starting point and move the comb back and forth in a zigzag motion. Make sure each “zig” and “zag” is about an inch wide, or smaller if you prefer a more subtle look.

– Once you have your zigzag part, use your fingers or the comb to separate the hair along the line you’ve created.

4) Secure the sections. To define the part more clearly, you can clip each side temporarily or apply a bit of hair gel along the parting to hold the shape.

5) Style it. You can leave your hair down, put it into pigtails, or style it into an updo. The zigzag part adds a (literal) twist to any look.

6) Set the look. If you use hair gel or want extra hold, lightly spray your hair with hairspray to keep your part intact throughout the day.


Tips and tricks

    – A zigzag part can take a few tries to get just right, so be patient and practice a couple of times to master the technique.
    – Adjust the width of the zigzags to see what suits your face shape and personal style best.
    – Add some of that Y2K flair with glitter gel along the part or placing fun clips at the points of the zigzag.


    High ponytails

    Woman with a Y2K-inspired high ponytail. Image credit :Pexels,  Mahdi Chagari.

    High ponytails were a go-to hairstyle in the Y2K era, offering a sleek look that’s both practical and stylish. Whether you’re heading to a dance party or a casual dinner, this versatile hairstyle has got you covered. Read on for everything you need to achieve the perfect high ponytail.


    What you’ll need

    – A hairbrush or comb

    – A hair tie

    – Hair spray or gel

    – A fine-tooth comb 


    Step-by-step guide

    1) Prep your hair. Start with clean, dry hair. Brush through your hair to remove any knots or tangles. If you prefer a smoother look, apply a bit of hair gel or smoothing serum to tame any flyaways.

    2) Decide on placement. Choose where you want your high ponytail to sit. For a classic Y2K vibe, position it right at the crown of your head. 

    3) Gather your hair. Using your fingers or a comb, gather all your hair at the desired placement and hold it firmly in one hand. 

    4) Secure with a hair tie. Once you’ve gathered your hair, secure it with a hair tie. Make sure it’s tight enough to hold the ponytail in place without pulling too tightly on your scalp.

    5) Smooth out any bumps. Use a fine-tooth comb to gently smooth out any bumps or lumps in your ponytail. This will give your hairstyle a more polished finish.

    6) Add volume. For extra volume and bounce, gently tug on the hair at the crown of your head. This will create a lifted look and prevent your ponytail from appearing flat.

    7) Set the look. Finish off your high ponytail with a light mist of hairspray to keep it in place all day long.


    Tips and tricks

    – Elevate your high ponytail with a cute scrunchie, a colorful hair tie, or a statement hair clip.

    – If you want your ponytail to be extra thick, add in some clip-in hair extensions before you start this style.

    – For a playful twist, try a half-up high ponytail by leaving some hair loose at the back and securing the rest into a ponytail.

    – You can opt for a sleek, polished high ponytail by smoothing down your hair with gel, or go for a more textured look by teasing the ponytail for added volume.


    Flipped out ends

    Flipped out ends were a signature style of the early 2000s, adding a cute and flirty vibe to any haircut or length. This retro look can instantly freshen up your hairstyle, giving it a youthful and carefree twist. Here’s how you can achieve those adorable flipped out ends:


    What you’ll need

    – A blow dryer

    – A round brush

    – A hair straightener or curling iron

    – Hair spray or texturizing spray


    Step-by-step guide

    1) Prep your hair. Begin with clean, dry hair. If your hair is naturally straight, you can skip this step, but if you have wavy or curly hair, blow dry it straight using a round brush to smooth it out and create a sleek base.

    2) Section your hair. Divide your hair into sections and secure them with clips. This will make it easier to style and ensure you don’t miss any hair.

    3) Start styling. Take a section of hair and wrap it around the round brush, sort of enveloping the brush with the hair. Use the blow dryer to apply heat to the section while simultaneously rolling the brush outward away from your face.

    4) Create the flip. Once the section is heated, gently pull the brush downwards and outwards, creating a flipped out effect at the ends of your hair. Hold the hair in this position for a few seconds to set the flip, then release. Continue this process with each section of hair.

    5) Touch it up. If you want more defined flips or extra volume, use a hair straightener or curling iron to touch up the ends. Simply clamp the tool onto the ends of your hair and twist outward to create the flip.

    6) Set the look. Once you’re happy with your flipped out ends, finish them off with a light mist of hair spray or texturizing spray to hold the style in place.


    Tips and tricks

    – Customize the size and intensity of the flip by adjusting the angle and tension of the brush as you blow dry.

    – Try flipping out only the bottom layer of your hair for a subtle effect, or go all out and flip out every layer for maximum volume and bounce.

    – Embrace the fun and whimsical nature of flipped out ends by pairing them with a playful outfit or colorful accessories.


    Pick your Y2K hairstyle and embrace the retro

    Revisiting the iconic hairstyles of the early 2000s isn’t just about nostalgia; it’s about embracing the playful, experimental spirit of the era and infusing it into your more modern looks. From face-framing updos to spiky buns, crimped hair, zigzag parts, high ponytails, and flipped out ends, there’s no shortage of Y2K-inspired styles to choose from. If you’re into more modern hair inspo, explore the rest of our blog to find the perfect look for you.