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2000s Prom Hair Is Cool Again

We haven’t even made it to February and already 2020 is shaping up to be an extremely controversial year for hair. First, we saw the return of the mullet (enough said), and now another trend from the past is back to haunt us: Prom hair.

You know the look. In fact, you probably rocked it at a school dance between the years of 1999 to 2003. It essentially consists of some kind of updo, usually a bun, and the defining trait is the two long, loose pieces of hair in the front, often lovingly referred to as tendrils. If looking at old photos of this hairstyle (captured on a disposable camera, obviously) makes you cringe, I have some bad news for you—because it’s officially the “new” trend on the red carpet. J.Lo, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, and Margot Robbie, to name just a few, have all recently made an appearance with their front pieces ready to party. And, honestly, I don’t hate it.

“Like all trends and styles, the ones that are cool tend to circle back,” says hairstylist Laura Polko, who did Julia Fox’s look at the Critic’s Choice Awards earlier this month. Whatever your definition of “cool” might be, she definitely has a point: the early-aughts are clearly having a renaissance right now.

As lip gloss, French manis, and low-rise jeans have all rotated back into modern lexicon, it only makes sense that prom hair, as popular as it was at the time, would also re-emerge. Hairstylist Justine Marjan, who often uses ’90s and early ’00s references as inspiration, points to our love for Lizzie McGuire as another example of our nostalgia for simpler times—and piece-y hairstyles.

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