"Mean Girl Hair" Is Our Fall Beauty Obsession

No attitude adjustment required.

Normani and Zoey Deutch with mean girl hair

@gregoryrussellhair, @kahhspence

From Cruel Intention's Kathryn Merteuil to Blair Waldorf in Gossip Girl, mean girls have stolen the attention all through pop culture history, especially in the aughts. But it wasn’t just their zingers that had us hanging onto every word—it was also their flawless beauty looks. That’s why the “mean girl hair" is making the rounds. Think prissy, fluffy hair that would feel at home on the popular girl in a teen movie from yesteryear—it's Cher and Dionne's coordinated headbands in Clueless, Isis from Bring It On and her sky-high pony, or Regina George, the ultimate Mean Girl, with her voluminous blowout.

For more recent examples, look to Astrid Sloan in The Politician, or Riverdale's Cheryl blossom—and IRL, Normani and Rachel Sennott have taken the hair inspiration for a spin. No matter what decade it lives in, it's hair that's shiny, polished, and basically says, "I'm better than you." Though we don’t encourage anyone to adopt a mean-girl vibe, we do suggest copying their hair. Here’s how to get the mean girl hair trend, no attitude adjustment required. 

Why Mean Girl Hair Is Everywhere

To put it simply, it looks good, and it’s simple to style. That power duo makes it unbeatable in the hair trend world. “Mean girl hairstyles are trending big time because it’s easy to achieve a variety of looks simply by using different styling techniques,” says Gina Rivera, Celebrity Stylist and Founder of Phenix Salon Suites. “If you choose to cut your hair, you won’t need to lose a lot of length because these styles are simple. Yet, they make a statement by creating a powerful look that is sexy without being overdone.”

You can also blame Y2K everything making a resurgence, especially when it comes to beauty trends. “The mean girl hair look is a perfect example of the Y2K hair trends,” says Lauren Paglionico, founder of Lrn Beauty. “Y2K was all about side parts, and every character in Mean Girls wears one. Along with their side part were their side bang, layers, and volume."

One of the joys of mean girl hair is that it can be adapted to suit practically everyone. “Hair with a bit of length is what’s needed to easily achieve the mean girl styles,” Rivera says. “These are looks that can be styled in multiple ways, from straight to soft layers with loose curls and layers that frame the face. And let’s not forget the pointy ponytail, as this is always a classic. Some pizazz can be created by adding an unusual part with some hair accessories. Messy, believe it or not, can be stylish as well.” 

There are easy tricks to make the mean girl look your own so that it suits you. For example, pulling some strands of hair around the face and neck can detract from strong features, Rivera advises. “Adding hair accessories can draw the eye away from more prominent features as well,” she says. “If your facial features are long, you will want to avoid pulling the hair away from the face and wearing it long and straight. Long hair tends to accentuate a longer face as well as long facial features.”

How to Get Mean Girl Hair

Since mean girl hair is more of a genre than a single style, there are tons of ways to get in on the trend.

For a sleek look worthy of Regina George, blow dry your hair straight in small sections. “First, apply Milbon Restorative Blowout Primer (salon only),” Paglionico says. “Using a large round brush, wrap hair around the bristles and slightly bend the ends upon release. Part hair to the side and spray with Milbon Strong Hold Hairspray 7.” 

If you have curls, apply IGK Mistress Hydrating Hair Balm ($29) from roots to ends, twisting each piece of hair and letting it dry naturally, Paglionico advises. “If you have wavy or straight hair, spray hair with IGK No Limit Dry Volume and Thickening Spray ($31),” she says. “Blow dry hair with a 1/5-inch brush, twisting and coiling away from the face. Then use a curling iron in the areas you want very curly and bouncy.”  Add a high half-up pony, and you have a look perfect for an '80s villainess.

To copy Cher's bouncy blowout, start by spraying hair with COLOR WOW Dream Coat Supernatural Spray Anti-Frizz Treatment ($28). “Blow-dry your whole head with a medium size round brush,” Rivera says. “Set the top area with large Velcro rollers, directing the hair back like a mohawk. Let it sit for 10 minutes, then take it down and smooth with a Mason Pearson brush ($120).” Then, top off the look with a chunky headband.

Despite what Blair Waldorf may think, you can totally make second-day hair work for this trend, since the hair typically has some texture in it from products that have remained from the previous day. “This means it can be easier to style,” Rivera says. “This is the time to think of simple changes like having fun with accessories and changing how the hair is parted.” 

As the mean girls themselves would say about these looks: “That’s so fetch.”

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