In the '90s and early aughts, spiky hair ruled our screens thanks to celebrities like Mandy Moore, Hilary Duff, and—the really cool dancer herself—Cynthia. The look defied gravity and was often in the form of gelled-up, thin sections of hair or pieces of a bun poking out from an elastic. It was also often embellished with crystals and butterfly clips for a finishing touch that was quintessential to the decade.
This very specific look has made its comeback in a bold way, appearing on the Grammys red carpet on singers Doja Cat, Billie Eilish, and Tia Tia. Each one debuted their different takes on the style: Doja with Bantu knots, Billie with straight-across bangs, and Tia Tia with bleached tips.
It’s not news that Y2K fashion is back in a major way. Even the most divisive trends (whale tails, skinny brows, and more) are having their moment. Ahead, more on the latest nostalgic trend to make it into 2022.
Doja Cat was the first to hit the Grammys red carpet wearing the trend in icy platinum blond. “The look was inspired by the ‘90s grunge-pop star,’” hairstylist and mastermind of the look Jared "JStayReady" Henderson, exclusively tells Byrdie. “Think the Cranberries meets Spice Girls.”
He created a half-up, half-down look with Bantu knots and twists at the top. From the Bantu Knots—which were secured and smoothed with the Joico JoiGel Firm Styling Gel ($15)—were four to five-inch sections of hair that poked from it. Then, he added throwback flipped ends to the loose hair using the Ghd Unplugged Styler ($299) (which has 0.89 inch plates) sealing the look in with the Joico JoiMist Firm Protective Finishing Spray ($21).
Billie Eilish wore the trend in jet black to match her structural gown. The hair look, complete with lengthy, straight across bangs, was pulled upward with pieces of hair poking out of it, with volume reminiscent of a modern Mistress of the Dark.
Tia Tia’s take is closest to that of the Nickelodeon icon. To add even more nostalgia for the TV network, she pairs the look with a slime green, shimmering gown.
The Bottom Line
This year, Y2K fashion has taken over our feeds—filling them with even the most divisive trends. The latest one—spiky hair—is unexpected but totally welcome, especially for those who remember exactly what their AIM away message was.