The Y2K hair trends serving serious summer hair inspo

From baby braids to space buns, early ’00s hair is back and bigger than ever! Not just for celebrities and TikTok stars, find out how to make Y2K hair work for you with some top tips from hair pros

Dua Lipa Y2K hair trends
Image: @Dualipa

When it comes to rising hair trends, more often than not these can be accredited to viral videos on TikTok, with Gen Z bring back styles sported in decades gone by. First came the rise of seventies bangs, swiftly followed by nineties colour, and now it seems Y2K hair styles are back with a bang this summer. Take one look at TikTok and you’ll spot everything from butterfly clips to bubble braids, spaces buns and face-framing braids. Even celebrities like Dua Lipa, Griff and Hailey Bieber are getting in on the action, but how can us regular folk make these trending styles work on the daily? We got the lowdown from some hair pros in the know…

Small but mighty

“It is exciting to see trends coming back around, one of my favourites being baby braids,” says Sian Quinn, Headmasters artistic ambassador. “Seeing people like Olivia Rodrigo and Dua Lipa, who are so influential at the moment, rocking this Y2K hair trend makes me feel nostalgic. This look is SO easy to replicate and it looks great with straight hair for a sleek look, or bohemian curls for a cool, relaxed vibe,” she explains. “I would recommend, when taking the small front section, to braid it in the direction you want it to sit rather than right in front of your face! This will help it to sit nicely and also frame your face. It gives any look a cooler, sportier feel and is perfect for second day hair.”

Similarly, Callum Standen-May, co-owner of STANDENMAY, says that baby braids are perfect for those who prefer a more effortless style. “Adding in the braids is a quick and easy way to instantly update your look and give it a trendy finish,” he says. “Spritz some texture spray, such as R+Co’s Trophy Shine + Texture Spray, through the rest of your hair to finish off the look and give it a natural and fun, festival feel.”

Current bun(s)

FKA Twigs with space buns
Image: @fkatwigs

With the return of festivals (albeit on a slightly smaller scale) it’s no surprise that space buns are being spotted all over social media. A staple look for gigs, especially when coupled with glitter, it’s the ideal summer look – especially when sporting second or third day locks. “The beauty of this look is in its simplicity. It’s easy to create for parties and festivals, and can be styled on lived-in locks that need a touch of TLC,” explains Thomas Hills, director of TH1 Hair.

To make this work on your own strands, he says to part hair centrally and make sure it’s sleek and smooth at the top of the head. Tie hair into two high ponytails, then start to wrap the length of the hair around the hairband until a bun forms, and pin in place with kirby grips. Easy-peasy! The trick is to try and keep the two buns equally spaced at the top of the head. “This high-impact style is also very versatile. You can create slick, sleek buns or messy buns, leaving tendrils at the side for some laid-back luxe. This is cool-girl hair at its easiest!” Thomas also mentions how it’s practical for festivals because no mirror, brush or steady hand is required. “If you really want to up the style factor for a festival, why not consider adding a bit of hair oil to your parting and sprinkling with glitter.”

Having a bubble

Griff with bubble braids at Radio 1
Image: @wiffygriffy
Laura Whitmore with bubble braids
Image: @thewhitmore

Sported by celebrities like Griff, bubble braids have become one most popular hairstyles this year. Rapidly becoming Griff’s signature style, it all began after the singer showed her hairstylist, Tomi Roppongi, some images of what she would like for her first ever photoshoot. “The hair was inspired by a photo of a model in seventies fashion, who had a big, puffy, bubble hairstyle,” Tomi explains. “We created our own version and I tried to achieve a look for Griff that was modern, shiny and super long so that it would swing when she moved – all good factors for a performance. I wanted it to be eye-catching and to have an impressive appearance, which would make it easier for people to remember her.”

To create a noughties-inspired bubble braid at home, Suzie McGill, owner of Rainbow Room International’s Uddingston salon, says to firstly create a ponytail. Next, use elastics in even sections down the length of the ponytail to create your bubbles. Hair can then be teased out of the top and bottom of the elastics to give the bubbles plenty of volume. 

Model with neon hair clips
Image: Hairslydz

A little added extra

Even though braids, buns and top knots are great on their own, Hairslydz founder Andy Smith says you can definitely bring that 2021 edge by stacking up hair accessories and taking styles to the next level. “By simply adding a couple of slides into the front of your hair, or even a scrunchie into your top knot, you immediately change the look.” Andy also suggests securing your space buns with mini scrunchies, or adding a Hairslydz Ponyz ribbon into your bubble braid for extra colour and style. “The possibilities on making ’00s hair trends current are endless with popping neon colour slides and clips.”

Searching for more styling inspo? Find out what happened when two of the Layered team tried some of the Hairslydz accessories >>