How to Wear Y2K Hair Trends (As an Adult Who Wore Them the First Time Around)

“Can I pull this off?” It’s a question that comes up all too often in our group chat these days regarding the resurgence of various Y2K beauty and fashion trends. Is there a modern way to wear rainbow colored butterfly clips as a woman who is solidly in her 30s? But of course. Age ain’t nothing but a number, as they say. However, if you’re feeling a bit sheepish about breaking out the space buns (aka the Baby Spice buns) again, we got some tips from Mara Roszak, Wella Professionals celebrity stylist ambassador, on how to wear these looks the second time around.

Meet the Y2K Heart Nail Art That's Trending This Fall

1. Butterfly Clips

“A nod to the trend is better than going too literal or overboard with it,” says Roszak. When it comes to adorning your head with butterfly clips now, play with placement and quantity. Think more along the lines of subtle accents in the back and less butterfly garden topping your entire dome.

2. Rainbow Streaks

Another way to get in on that Y2K vibe: “Try a touch of fun color (Wella makes temporary color depositing masks in case you’re not ready to commit) and pair it with a center-parted, sleeker style a la Avril Lavigne circa 2003,” suggests Roszak. (We recommend peekaboo highlights, which are more covert, as they sit underneath the rest of your hair.)

3. Flipped-in Ends

Whereas flipped ends in the late ‘90s and early 2000s meant lots of choppy layers that jutted out every which way (see: the Rachel), flipped ends in the same direction (in this case, toward the face) will give your hair some polish and volume.

4. Space Buns

We love the way J.Lo rocked her buns with baby hairs slicked down to better frame her face. Admittedly, this look is a bit more of a statement than the others on the list, but you could always tone it down a notch by placing the buns lower on your head.

5. Face-framing Tendrils

Back when we were wearing braces and had #neverbeenkissed, no look was complete without pulling out two, stringy strands in front of our faces. Now that we’re heading to school drop-offs and meetings (as opposed to homeroom and homecomings), we’re going to try again with a more textured, wavy finish and low pony.

6. Zigzag Parts

Aka the look that all our favorite pop queens wore to every taping of TRL during the turn of the century. “The zigzag part was all the rage when I was growing up,” agrees Roszak. One of its charms (aside from adding volume to your roots) is that you can wear it with your hair down or up like Vanessa here.

7. Deep Side Part

“I also love a deep side part, slicked straight and coming onto the forehead a bit,” says Roszak. The key is not toning it down—just a touch: “The front section is side-parted about two-thirds of the way back, and the rest of the hair is parted down the middle. This look is super flattering on anyone and the most subtle way to nod to the times,” she adds.

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Beauty Director

Jenny Jin is PureWow’s Beauty Director and is currently based in Los Angeles. Since beginning her journalism career at Real Simple magazine, she has become a human encyclopedia of...