Y2K Hairstyles: 15 Iconic Looks Making a Comeback

Joanna Elizabeth

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Updated February 17, 2024

Y2K Hairstyles
Discover the world of Y2K hairstyles.

As we look at the current beauty trends, Y2K hairstyles are returning in a huge way, and for good reason. The end of the 1990s and the beginning of the 2000s saw a surge of unique and daring hair looks that have now become iconic.

The Y2K period was a time of experimentation with bold colors, varied textures, and fun accessories. These memorable styles have inspired many to bring a touch of the millennium into their looks. Let’s look at some of the most standout late 90s hair trends worn by the stars of now and then!

Y2K Hairstyles

Antenna Braids

Christina Aguilera Antenna Braids Y2K Hairstyles
Christina Aguilera wears antenna braids in 2000. Photo: everett225 / Deposit Photos

Antenna braids were another popular style amongst teenagers and young women. Also known as baby braids, these tiny, face-framing braids were a quirky addition to many looks.

Often seen on pop stars, they became a hallmark of Y2K style. These braids exuded an undeniable charm, whether peeking out from long locks or adorning shorter hairstyles.

Spiky Buns

Olivia Rodrigo Spiky Buns Y2K Hairstyles
Olivia Rodrigo wears a modern version of spiky buns. Photo: DFree / Shutterstock.com

Inspired by the early 2000s, spiky buns continue to be a trendy fashion statement, embodying a gorgeous mix of edginess and playfulness. These daring buns, often adorned with vibrant colors or chic hairpins, effortlessly grab attention and leave a lasting impression.

Embracing this distinctive hairstyle showcases a perfect fusion of attitude and style, making it an absolute must-try for those who wish to stand out and confidently embrace their individuality.

Chunky Highlights

Cher Chunky Highlights Y2K Hairstyles
Always a trendsetter, Cher shows off chunky highlights with black and platinum blonde in 2003. Photo: everett225 / Shutterstock.com

The bold rebelliousness of chunky highlights continues to make a striking impression. Whether it’s the captivating contrast of black with blonde or the vibrant fusion of red with brown, this trend really knows how to command attention.

If you want to take on this look, Kerastase recommends using a heat protectant before styling your tresses. Unlike the understated balayage and ombre styles that have recently gained popularity, the Y2K period’s daring approach to hair styling remains influential in fashion and beauty. 

Beaded Braids

Da Brat Beaded Braids Y2K Hairstyles
Rapper Da Brat rocks beaded braids in 2001. Photo: Paul Smith/Featureflash / Shutterstock.com

African and Afro-Caribbean cultures long embraced the beauty of braids adorned with beads. The trend surged in popularity, with celebrities and everyday folks opting for this intricate and colorful style. It also serves as a great protective style for those with naturally coily or curly hair.

Pinned Parts

Dove Cameron Pinned Parts Y2K Hairstyles
Dove Cameron brings a pinned center part to the red carpet. Photo: Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com

A hairpin is more than just a functional tool in the Y2K aesthetic. Placing them strategically, often in multiples, was a fashion statement on its own. Today, you can rock the trend with a center part and two black bobby pins for a sleek look.

Two Toned Hair

Billie Eilish Two Toned Hair Y2K Hairstyles
Billie Eilish rocks a two-toned hair color with neon green and jet black. Photo: DFree / Shutterstock.com

Two-toned hair showcases the beauty of contrasts. Merging your natural hue with a brilliant secondary shade offers a dynamic look straight from the time period.

For those with black locks, a splash of green at the roots – echoing Billie Eilish’s signature look – or an adventurous streak of hot pink can be particularly striking.

Bleached Bangs

Dua Lipa Bleached Bangs Y2K Hairstyles
Dua Lipa shows off bleach blonde bangs with her naturally dark tresses. Photo: Jean Nelson / Deposit Photos

In the world of Y2K hairstyle ideas, subtlety takes a backseat. With their audacious platinum streaks, bleached bangs make a defiant statement against a backdrop of natural or dark-dyed hair.

A favorite among music icons and fashion-forward individuals, this bold style seamlessly fuses avant-garde elements with the era’s popular aesthetics. And it’s back in style now!

Spiky Bob Haircut

Spiky Bob Mary J Blige Y2K Hairstyles
Mary J. Blige rocks the quintessential spiky bob haircut at the 2002 Grammys. Photo: Everett Collection / Shutterstock.com

The spiky bob look puts two trends in one. The rocker-chic spikes are contrasted by soft feathering at the ends. It provides a change from a traditional bob with its blunt ends or soft curls. Bonus points if there’s a contrast of colors. 

Blonde with Brunette Underneath

Nicole Richie Blonde Brunette Underneath Y2K Hairstyles
Nicole Richie shows off another famous Y2K hairdo with blonde and brunette pieces worn underneath. Photo: Paul Smith / Featureflash / Shutterstock.com

This dual-tone style is the best of both worlds. The vibrant blonde on top was contrasted with a rich brunette underneath, providing depth and intrigue. So channel your inner pop-punk princess with this dramatic look.

Pastel Hair Color

Gwen Stefani Pastel Hair Y2K Hairstyles
Gwen Stefani wears a bubblegum pink hair color with blunt bangs at a 1999 event. Photo: Everett Collection / Shutterstock.com

Long before the pastel trend of the 2010s, Y2K had its flirtation with soft, candy-colored hues. From soft pink to lavender purple, an unconventional hair color stood out for stars like Gwen Stefani and Pink.

These colors offered a whimsical touch to the edgy styles of the time. And it’s had a comeback thanks to the subculture of e-girls.

High Half Ponytail

Half Up High Ponytail Y2K Hairstyles
Joey King wears a sleek high half ponytail style. Photo: DFree / Shutterstock.com

This look combines the sleekness of pulled-back hair with the volume of a high ponytail, resulting in a youthful and energetic style.

You can wear this style with flipped ends to get an even more authentic look. Make sure to keep your tresses in place with hair spray or gel.

Bubble Braids

Bubble Braids Y2K Hairstyle
Bubble braids with pigtails make a fun throwback look, as shown by Storm Reid. Photo: DFree / Shutterstock.com

The retro revival also features bubble braids, a playful yet chic trend taking the beauty sphere by storm.

These voluminous braids, workable as pigtails or mini braids, offer a whimsical twist on classic styles. It’s a creative style that can be accessorized with an elastic fastener or bows.

Face-Framing Layers

Face Framing Layers Y2K Hair Carmen Electra
Face-framing layers bring a softness to any look, like Carmen Electra displays. Photo: Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock.com

Embrace a retro look with face-framing layers, a style that gives the hair volume. Adorn the cascading tresses with a sparkling rhinestone barrette to bring some charm. This look is perfect for those with medium or long hair.

Crimped Hair

Crimped Hair Y2K Hairstyles
Crimped hair adds bold texture and retro vibes, with Amandla Stenberg wearing the look. Photo: Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock.com

The textured waves of crimped hair add that instant drama and dimension. With its zigzag patterns, this style crafts an edgy yet playful look that’s both retro and modern.

Ideal for adding volume and a touch of whimsy, crimped locks work well on various lengths. It’s a bold fashion statement for those who want a 2000s look.

Quick Tips

Baby Braids Y2K Hair Margot Robbie
Margot Robbie rocks baby braids, a 2000s-inspired hair look. Photo: Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock.com

What are Y2K hairstyles?

Y2K hairstyles refer to the hair trends that were popular around the early 2000s and late 1990s. These hairstyles are characterized by their bold and experimental nature, featuring unique textures, vibrant colors, and playful accessories.

Which Y2K hairstyles are making a comeback now?

Several Y2K hairdos have made a resurgence in recent years. Some of the most popular ones include space buns, pigtails, flippy ends, butterfly clips, spiky buns, and beaded braids.

2000s Hair Revival

Butterfly Clips Y2K Hairstyles UO
Butterfly clips are one way to incorporate the Y2K era into your everyday look. Photo: Urban Outfitters

The return of Y2K hairstyles reflects the era’s fearless experimentation and unique styles. These trends celebrate individuality and self-expression, from edgy spiky buns and standout chunky highlights to whimsical antenna braids. 

Whether driven by a fond look back or the desire for a distinctive style like e-girls, Y2K hair trends remain a relevant choice for many beauty lovers today.


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