With all things 90s and 00s on the trend radar, we’re throwing it back with cute Y2K hairstyles that are snagging the most attention right now. Check out our favorite looks from the start of the millennium to inject a little more fun into your hairstyle repertoire!
What Are Y2K Hairstyles?
The style of the early and mid-2000s was funky, colorful, and totally untamed. While we love the fashions of the era, Y2K hairstyles are probably the best example of this wild and bright aesthetic.
Y2K hairstyles were statement hairstyles – all about fun and funky looks. Y2K hairstyles relied heavily on:
- Accessories (butterfly clips, headscarves, claw clips, etc.)
- Texture (crimped, wavy, pin-straight, bubble braids, etc.)
- Unique style additions (skinny face-framing tendrils, zigzag parts, etc.)
Hairstyles from the Y2K era were equal parts girly and fierce. Girls in the 2000s rocked a range of unique hairstyles that shed the looks of the 90s and welcomed a bright, fun aesthetic with a little bit of an edge.
Since Y2K hairstyles are currently topping the trends again (just like the 20-year style rule dictates), you’re probably dying to work more of the era’s looks into your stylebook. Take a little inspiration from our list of the cutest Y2K styles to copy today!
14 Cute Y2K Hairstyles You’ll Want to Copy
We dug up the *best* Y2K hairstyles to show you the cutest looks from the early and mid-2000s.
From the most popular and trendy styles you’re seeing everywhere right now – like space buns, claw clip updos, and half-up pigtails – to almost-forgotten trends from the time, get ready to try out a lot of revived Y2K hairstyle trends!
1. Claw Clip Updo
Updos don’t get any easier than this! Claw clips were majorly popular in the 90s and 00s and served a dual purpose. One, they wrangle your mane and keep it nice and tidy. Two, they look super cute and chic without requiring tons of effort!
To create a cute claw clip updo, just gather your hair at the back, twist it, and secure it with a claw clip.
You can use any claw clip that’s strong and big enough to securely hold your hair. Thin or fine hair may only need a small or medium-sized claw clip. Very thick or coarse hair requires a large or octopus-style claw clip.
Read Next: Easy Updos to Wear in 2023
2. Half Cornrows
Braided half cornrows and flat twists secured against the head are seriously cute Y2K throwback styles. These looks involve sectioning and braiding (or tightly twisting) the first half of the top section of your hair.
Then, you’ll secure the braids or twists with small elastics. Even better, use butterfly clips to really drive the Y2K aesthetic! If you’re doing flat 90s twists instead of half cornrows, this style is a lot easier and quicker to pull off.
Use the pointed end of a rat tail comb to section the front of your hair into as many twists or rows as you’d like and clip to keep each section separated while you work.
Grab a small section from the hairline for each twist and twist the hair in one direction. Pick up a little more hair from the section and continue twisting in the same direction before capping each twist with a clip or small elastic.
Read Next: Protective Hairstyles for White Hair
3. Zigzag Parts
Just when you thought the middle part vs. side part debate was settled, the zigzag part comes back into play! This funky part line still gives you equal amounts of hair on both sides (unlike a side part), which makes it great for split styles like double Dutch braids and space buns.
You can even rock a zigzag part with your hair down and loose. It’s really easy to style a zigzag part – just take a rat tail comb and trace a zigzag line down the center of your head. Make your ‘zags as soft and curvy or sharp and angled as you want!
Read Next: Types of Braids to Wear in 2023
4. Half-Up Pigtails
Half-up pigtails use only the top section of your hair gathered into pigtails. This early-aughts look is back in style and trending on TikTok because it’s actually really flattering on all face shapes.
You can make this look as sleek and low-volume or perky and high-volume as you want to suit your style. Tie your pigtails lower like the style shown here for less volume on top (perfect for oval and heart faces).
Or, tie them high up for lots of volume (round and square faces). Try adding a little texture to the ends with waves or curls, and tease the hair on the underside of each pigtail gently for added lift.
5. Space Buns
Space buns are high pigtails that are coiled and wrapped to create twin high buns near your crown. They were one of our favorite Y2K hairstyles in the 00s and we’re still loving the look today!
Glam it up and make it new by adding glittery tinsel to your pigtails before coiling them into buns. Pull down one or two skinny face-framing tendrils to finish this vintage look.
You can adjust your space buns to sit high up near the crown (as shown) or slightly lower. Place them closer to the center of your head or further apart – whatever you think looks best!
6. Bandana Headscarf
You weren’t really cool in the 90s and 00s if you didn’t rock a cute bandana or headscarf like this. Tweens, teens, and twenty-somethings would use folded bandanas, scarves, or headbands with pointed fabric pieces attached to nail this breezy, casual look.
Take any bandana or scarf you like, fold it in half diagonally, and tie it at the nape of your neck to revel in the Y2K glory.
For a simple, last-minute look, grab one of the perfectly shaped headscarves with built-in ties for less bulk than a traditional folded scarf or headscarves with elastic for slip-on simplicity!
7. Statement Headband
Headbands were a big deal in the 90s and 00s, and the general rule was “the bigger, the better!” There are so many ways you can rock a Y2K headband to fully adopt this fun and funky aesthetic.
Use a headband to push your hair straight back and let it fall around the sides for extra volume. You can also part your hair the way you want and slip a headband over the top for a sleeker look.
Grab a cute statement headband – a funky color or pattern, a super big band, or cute metallic accents – and pop it into any basic style for an instant upgrade that’s very Y2K.
8. Bubble Braids
Bubble braids may be cool again thanks to TikTok, but they were all the rage in the 80s, 90s, and 00s first. These unique and easy-to-style “braids” aren’t really braids at all.
You just secure a ponytail or pigtails with multiple small elastics and tug on each section to fluff and “bubble” it out. For bubble braids like this that are secured to your head like French braids, start with a middle part and create 2 small ponytails near your hairline.
Use a rat tail comb to cleanly section more hair underneath each ponytail and secure another elastic about 2 inches down.
Continue sectioning and adding more hair to each growing ponytail until you reach the ends. Pull lightly on each banded section to create more voluminous bubbles.
Read Next: The Most Popular TikTok Hair Trends in 2023
9. Crimped Strands
Every girl in the 2000s had a crimping iron in her hair toolkit. This unique tool creates tight little kinks and bends in the hair that have a much more undone and casual vibe than curls or waves.
You can crimp your hair and leave the freshly-pressed texture as-is, or brush it out a bit for extra volume and a more relaxed texture.
Press varied 1”-2” sections between the plates of your crimper to produce wild, kinky crimps that look super voluminous and cute. For a little twist, leave some sections out to blend textures!
Read Next: How to Crimp Your Hair in 2023
10. Baby Braids
Baby braids are one of the cutest Y2K hairstyles to wear today and they’re so simple to create. Baby braids are just 2 tiny braids you weave in around your face to add a little texture and interest to a basic down and loose hairstyle.
Bonus: They’re great for wrangling grown-out bangs or face-framing layers! Create a middle part and take 2 small sections (one from each side) to start your 3-strand braids.
Braid halfway down or as far down as you can, then finish with a small elastic to secure the braids. Baby braids are also a great way to dress up a basic low ponytail a little bit!
11. Ribbon Pigtails
Ribbons were popular in the Y2K era to add a little something extra to a basic ponytail or pigtail style. To copy this style today, you can cut ribbon in your color of choice to the length you want and tie a ribbon section around your ponytail or pigtails for a cute, schoolgirl look.
Make sure you don’t cut your ribbon sections too short – you need enough length to wrap around the ponytail with enough left over to tie a bow. Alternatively, you can tie the ribbon without a bow and let the ends dangle. Pull a few face-framing pieces out to complete the look!
12. Half-Up Braids
One of our favorite things about the Y2K hairstyle trend is how easy the styles are to pull off! This look only requires you to create 2 braids and secure them in the back.
You can get creative with this style, using clips, larger or smaller braids, or weaving ribbon or tinsel through your braids to make it unique.
To rock cute, nostalgic Y2K half-up braids, all you need to do is create a middle part, make 2 small 3-strand braids, and bring them around the back to secure together. We recommend using small, clear elastics or cute colorful elastics for this style.
13. Y2K Hair Sticks
Hair sticks are an instant accessory upgrade for any bun hairstyle. We like a messy, coiled bun that’s not too perfect with hair sticks for an artsy, funky look.
You can use your hair sticks to actually hold and secure the bun, or just pop one or two sticks into a bun you’ve secured with an elastic for an added touch! To hold and secure a bun with hair sticks, gather your hair and twist it in one direction to form a coil.
Wrap the coil around itself at the base to create your bun. Holding it in place with one hand, point the tapered end of one hair stick down into the bun at an angle and push it in toward your scalp to anchor it.
Gently lift the stick away from your scalp and push it through the other side of the bun. Use a second hair stick if you want to complete the look!
13. Face-Framing Tendrils
Face-framing tendrils with any kind of updo – a ponytail, bun, space buns, you name it – was a majorly iconic look from the 00s. You don’t need long bangs or layers (though they also look great) to try this look since face-framing tendrils can be any length.
To really channel your inner millennial girl, create a middle part in the front and pull two skinny sections down to frame your face and make the style special. This look works super well with space buns or pigtails!
Y2K Hairstyle Tips & Things to Consider
Creating cute Y2K-era hairstyles is super simple and won’t require a lot of heat styling or intricate hairstyle designs. If you can do a basic 3-strand braid, grab a few cute 00s hair accessories, and create clean sections with a rat tail comb, you’ll have tons of cute Y2K hairstyles on lockdown.
Here are some helpful tips to make 00s hairstyles even easier and what you need to know to make the styles more flattering for your face shape!
- Middle part styles for round/square faces need more volume. Space buns, pigtails, baby braids – lots of Y2K styles are built on a middle part. If you’ve tried rocking a middle part with a round or square face and look a little too Alfafa-ish for your liking, you can add volume to make these looks more flattering. Dry your hair upside down with a little root volumizing mousse to create a voluminous root. Gently tease or backcomb the underside of your hair along the middle part to add even more volume and make these centric styles more flattering for your face shape!
- Use a heat protectant spray before crimping, straightening, or curling. If you plan to heat style to create any of these Y2K-inspired looks, make sure you’re protecting your strands from heat damage first! A good heat protectant spray will protect your hair up to 450 degrees to prevent heat damage and keep your mane healthy and strong. Spritz it all over your hair before using any hot tools. Use the lowest heat setting you can to maximize the effects!
- Get the tools you’ll need to create these styles. Hairstyles from the 2000s didn’t require a ton of tools and products, but you’ll still want to make sure you’ve got all the basics. You may need small and regular hair elastics, a rat tail comb, a cute set of hair sticks, a few differently colored ribbons, a couple of headbands, a headscarf, and plenty of hair clip options (claw clips, octopus clips for thick hair, butterfly clips, barrettes, etc.). You may want to grab a crimping iron and flat iron, too!
- Find your most flattering bun/pigtail/ponytail placement. Since there are a lot of updos and half-updos in Y2K hair trends, you’ll want to find the most flattering place to put your buns, ponytails, and pigtails according to your face shape. If you have an oval face shape, any placement (high or low) can work. Round and square faces look best with extra height in updo styles, so place buns, ponytails, and pigtails up high with extra root volume. Heart faces need more volume on the sides than on top, so try placing your buns, ponytails, and pigtails down low for the most face-flattering effect.
Of all the trends that have resurfaced over the years, Y2K-inspired hairstyles are easily our favorite. This was such an iconic style era with uniquely funky looks, tons of accessories and bright colors, and easy-to-create styles.
Grab the tools and accessories you’ll need to start bringing a touch of the millennium into your mane with these cute, post-90s looks! From baby braids and space buns to zigzag parts and crimped strands, you can easily rock a different Y2K style every day.
Bring a little bit of the 2000s into the modern day with these throwback styles that will automatically brighten your day – and everyone around you. You just might find yourself enjoying these fun “vintage” looks more than any modern-day trends!