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9 Hairstyles From The Early 2000s That Defined The Decade

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It may feel like it was just yesterday when you were rocking side bangs, piecey layers, and streaky highlights. And although it was two decades ago that hairstyles from the early 2000s were really in their prime, they're already starting to recirculate (Dua Lipa's chunky highlights, anyone?). While you might consider your dramatic side bang from 2004 to be nothing more than a cringeworthy memory — many of these styles are back, baby, and being looked at in a fresh new light.

When you think of the looks that stick out most from the years of butterfly necklaces and Bath & Body roll-on glitter, styles like intentionally unblended highlights, half-up hair bumps, and layers on layers are probably the first that come to mind. And courtesy of several celebrities, some are beginning to creep their way back in.

Stars like Dua Lipa, Jennifer Lopez, and Kim Kardashian adopted streaky highlights this year during quarantine, which can easily be attributed to the likes of Kelly Clarkson, and even Lopez's early aughts self. And the kinds of layers that have been seen on Selena Gomez and Meghan Markle as of late could be found on celebrities like Britney Spears and Brenda Song just a decade or two back.

Ahead, you'll find a roundup of the best hairstyles from the time when pink hair dye wasn't a common trend, but rather a super *edgy* statement and layers were a-plenty.

High Ponytails

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High ponytails hadn't been much of a thing since the '50s. Ponytails, sure, but not ones sitting pretty at the crown of celebrities' heads. This particularly silky ponytail on Beyoncé mixes two 2000s trends — the height and the side bang. Even today, the high ponytail trend is still going strong. The only thing that's changed is that they seem to only be getting longer (think: Ariana Grande and Doja Cat).

Choppy Layers

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Choppy layers and wispy bangs were everywhere in the 2000s and Spears, who rotated through some fantastic outfits, makeup, and hairstyles once the millennium started, was one star who knew how to exactly pull off this look. The blunt edges of the layers help distinguish it from your usual, subtly trimmed layers that are more common today.

Chunky Highlights

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If you've fallen hard for chunky highlights, you won't need to look any further for inspiration than Clarkson's take on them. The color, which she rocked at the American Idol Season 1 Finale in 2002, was composed of a dark black base with bleach blonde pieces woven around the crown. After witnessing a dye job this good, you can see why stars like Lopez, Kardashian, and Lipa thought it was worth trying out again in 2020. It really doesn't get more early aughts than this.

Wavy Blowouts

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J.Lo's blowout at the Third Annual Teen Choice Awards is the most perfect early aughts rendition of a hairstyle that swept the '70s, but got a refresh in the 2000s. While Farrah Fawcett rocked a heavily hairsprayed set of blown-out waves, the early aughts version looks a bit more undone and soft. This type of style is spiking in popularity and has most recently been seen on Rita Ora.

Braids With Curly Or Crimped Ends

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The microbraids that Raven-Symoné is wearing here are emblematic of a look that was prevalent in the early aughts: mixing braids with other styles. This gorgeous combination of curls and waves on the former Cheetah Girl is an iconic example, but there were many stars who rocked a similar look, like Beyoncé, who even took it a step further into '00s styles by sometimes wearing crimped ends.

Pulled-Back Poufs

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Anyone else remember Bumpits? The 2000s seemed riddled with them, or at least hairstyles that appeared to be using the accessory. Conrad's look here was a popular one among stars during this decade, and she, Duff, and Nicole Richie were some of the celebrities most frequently found with a variation of this half-up 'do.

Side Bangs

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Straight across, blunt bangs had nothing on the side-swept wispy bangs that lasted all of the early 2000s. Song's version during the 2005 Life & Style Magazine Presents Stylemakers had a few sparse highlights and was mussed up ever so slightly for a bit of an edgier vibe. While many celebrities have been cutting their own symmetrical fringe in 2020, a few opted for a layered side bang like hers, including Bella Hadid.

Colorful Highlights

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Duff was rocking hot pink in 2005, 15 years before the masses began dyeing their strands this color. Back then, this certainly would've been considered a punk rock style, and now, colorful hair is arguably a norm.

Spiky Pixie Cuts

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Pixie cuts made a resurgence in the millennium, and Rihanna's 2007 version is a picture-perfect example. Whether it's spiky and gelled like Halle Berry had or beautifully swept over like Rih's, short lengths were equally as trendy as long ones during this decade.