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The Five Hottest Y2K Hairstyles to Wear This Year

By Gabriella Buckner - 1 year ago | Updated
Y2k hairstyles cover image (1)

Your closet’s stuffed with baggy jeans, bustiers and microscopic handbags, your makeup’s taken a shimmery turn, and maybe—just maybe—you’ve braved the outdoors wearing a handkerchief as a top. It’s safe to say that Y2K fashion is ruling the world right now, along with 80s and 90s trends, as the state of everything makes us all nostalgic for decades past.

But what if makeup isn’t really your thing? Or you don’t want to jump on clothing trends that might quickly change and leave a useless hole in your wallet? That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t get to participate.

Well, we’ve got your back with five Y2K-inspired hair trends, plenty of inspiration and the hair tools you’ll need to get the look.

First of all, what is Y2K hair?

The term 'Y2K hair' simply refers to hairstyles that were poppin' in the 2000s. They take inspiration from the era's biggest celebrities including Britney Spears, JLo, Rihanna and more, bringing them to the mainstream so you can add some edge to your every day style. Even though the 2000s are long behind us, the iconic Y2K hair trends have transcended to the modern era, with many styles gaining in popularity once again.

Hair can be a quick and inexpensive way to give your look some Y2K flair without having to fork out tonnes of cash or change your look too much. Or if you’re a fashion-nostalgia die-hard, then these hairstyles will add the finishing touch to your look!


The pin-straight hair of the early noughties has been back for well over a year now, so it’s beyond time to try out this trend. It’s super easy to try out for a few days before your next wash day, and as long as you use a heat protectant spray when you straighten, your hair won’t sustain any damage.

This look is characterised by super glossy, long lengths, so you can add extensions for absolute authenticity, and definitely keep a hair serum on hand to give your locks some shine.


Paul Mitchell Flexible Style Hot Off The Press Thermal Protection Hairspray

£19.45 £24.85 (22% off)

Read more about how heat protectants work and see more of our favourites here.

ghd Gold Hair Straightener


Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Serum

£21.45 £29.20 (27% off)


The Y2K bun, or spiky bun, is an essential that is super versatile. A favourite of the Hadid sisters, it hinges on having a few wisps of hair sticking out, visible if you’re looking straight into your mirror, but beyond that, there are tonnes of ways to wear it.

Pull all your hair into a sleek up-do for a clean, minimal look reminiscent of the viral Olaplex bun, or double up for a space bun ’do because two are always better than one! You can also pair one or two buns with a half-up half-down hairdo to let your gorgeous locks show.

When trawling the internet for inspo, you’re mostly going to see people with straight hair doing this, but it can totally work with curly hair too! Little sprigs of curls will just replace the spikes in this style and look just as cute, or you can try a spiky bun whilst your hair is still straight from trying out the straight hair trend!


Invisibobble Original Hair Tie

£4.82 £5.99 (20% off)

Olaplex No.3 Hair Perfector

£15.99 £32.00 (51% off)

Healthy hair makes any style look better, but shiny locks will especially elevate this spiky bun. Here's our ultimate guide to using Olaplex to help you get started on your journey to your healthiest hair ever.

Kérastase Elixir Ultime L'Huile Originale Hair Oil

£21.10 £27.50 (24% off)

The Smooth Company The Smooth Stick


Capture any flyaways that hairspray didn't take care of with this brow gel serum for your hair.


Gen Z love a middle part, and the baby braid is the perfect accompaniment to a middle part.

Part your hair straight down the middle and create two tiny plaits to frame your face to get the look that’s graced celebrities like Margot Robbie, Hailey Bieber, Storm Reid and Ariana Grande. It’s soft, feminine and carefree, and if you fall in love, you can add even more braids placed sporadically through your hair for a festival-like look.


Invisibobble Basic Light Hair Ring


Fudge Professional Styling Texture Spray

£12.55 £14.00 (11% off)

Whilst straight hair is a popular Y2K look at the moment, these baby braids look great with wavy mermaid hair.

Beauty Works Waver

£49.99 £70.00 (29% off)


As easy to achieve as pin straight hair but decidedly harder to pull off, this style reeks of the early 2000s, but can be quite fun to try. Just crimp a few streaks of hair here and there if you’re anxious about this look; it’ll give you a fun, almost bohemian look, and it pairs well with the baby braid trend we just covered.


BaByliss PRO Attitude Porcelain Crimper

£29.92 £49.50 (40% off)

ghd Bodyguard - Heat Protect Spray

£15.78 £23.95 (35% off)


If you’re looking to embrace the Y2K life in a more permanent way, chunky streaks are the way to go! (And it’s not that permanent, because hair grows back or you can dye over it.)

The lovely thing about this trend is that there’s tonnes of ways to wear it and still channel Y2K goodness, from chunky highlights all over to a thick stripe of colour on the side or as a money piece.

These can be blonde or in any fun colour, and if you choose a semi-permanent colour, they’ll eventually wash out so you can switch it up as you please.

Think Dua Lipa’s bleached money piece, Jennifer Lopez’ thick golden highlights as shown above and Avril Lavigne’s bold orange streaks (and the pink ones from back in the day).

Here are some of our favourites to maintain your salon colour or change it up if you’re starting from a bleached blonde.


Crazy Color Semi Permanent Hair Colour Cream

£4.02 £5.50 (27% off)

John Frieda Violet Crush For Blondes Intense Purple Shampoo

£6.77 £7.52 (10% off)

milk_shake Colour Whipped Cream

£5.22 £11.00 (53% off)

Moroccanoil Colour Depositing Mask

£28.85 £29.65 (3% off)

Now your cute new ’do needs some makeup to go with it!

Check out our top five Y2K makeup looks for inspiration and our recommendations for the products you’ll need to get each look.

Then finish off your ensemble with one of the popular nail colours in our roundup of the 10 hottest (or coolest?) winter nail trends.

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Gabriella Buckner

Written by Gabriella Buckner

Gabriella is a junior content writer with a background in creative writing, content marketing and journalism. She’s passionate about all things makeup and skincare, but especially vegan and cruelty-free beauty that is effective and inexpensive.

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