Bring back the 2000s with these Y2K braids for all textured hair types.
From TV show reboots to bedazzler machines, 2000’s nostalgia is having a huge moment right now, including trending Y2K braided hairstyles. One of the most iconic aspects of Y2K style was the hairstyles, so if you’re ready to reject minimalism in favor of bright colored braids and kitschy hair accessories, now is your time to shine. I’ve rounded up 18 Y2K braids that will take you back to the future.
1. Micro Braids
Tiny braids that are tightly woven are a Y2K staple. This hairstyle can take several hours to complete, and just as many to take out, but the Moesha style results are worth it.
2. Beaded Cornrows
Cornrows are a timeless classic and are perfect for those who want a low-maintenance style that lasts. Adding beads give the look a kitschy style that exudes Y2K.
3. Box Braids with Money Piece
Like cornrows, box braids are a classic protective style that’s been worn for generations. They are versatile and can be styled in many ways, but to achieve that Y2K edge, try adding a different color at the front parts of your hair.
4. Space Bun with Baby Braids
Space buns with a Y2K twist. Part your hair into three sections at the front, two for braids and one for fringe. You can put the rest of your hair into space buns, or leave some out for a half-up half-down look.
5. Three Space Buns
The three space bun look with box braids feels reminiscent of the millennial cult classic “Zenon.” You can try this style with or without box braids.
6. Bun and Baby Braids
All you need to do for this Y2K masterpiece is leave out two sections of hair from your curly bun and part down the middle. Then, take out an additional piece of hair from the back of each section and braid it all the way down.
7. Half-up Half-down and Baby Braids
Similar to the look above, but rather than putting all of your hair up, leave half of it down for a beachy look. Try curly-clip in extension if you want extra volume and length.
8. Butterfly Clips
Millennials, you know what’s going on! Butterfly clips are having a comeback moment and I couldn’t be happier about it. To achieve an effortlessly whimsical Y2K style with butterfly clips, try clipping them throughout your hair and adding two loose braids towards the center of your hair.
9. Box Braids with Layers
Like regular box braids, but cut the front pieces shorter to frame your face shape. To pull the look together, don’t forget the essential 2000’s staple, beaded bottoms.
10. Fishtail braid Ponytail
Mix two classic looks together for this look: the Sade slicked back ponytail and a fishtail braid. The braid involves weaving two sections of hair together to create a fishbone effect. Add extensions for a longer braid as needed.
11. Fishtail Braid Crown and ZigZag part
ZigZag parts are a Y2K staple. Add a fishtail braid at the crown of your head to elevate the look.
12. Two Braids with ZigZag Part
Start with a zigzag part down the center of your scalp, and braid your hair into two sections, adding in braiding hair for extra length and volume.
13. Half-up Half-down Pigtails with Box Braids
Getting creative with your protective style makes the investment even more worth it. Try putting your braids into two pigtail buns, and leaving out hair at the front for a side part Y2K look.
14. Claw Updo with Braids
This look works best if you have a layered haircut and can leave some fringe bangs (or braids) out of the claw clip in the back + some hair at the bottom for a more voluminous look.
15. Pigtail Buns with Fringe Braids
Similar to the look above, you’ll need to leave some hair out for the fringe to frame your face. All that’s left is putting your hair into two even sections and a simple bun, leaving the ends out to create the classic spiky Y2K look.
16. Half-Up Bun and Four Baby Braids
The half-up bun is a timeless hairstyle giving the half-up pony a run for it’s money. Simply leave out a section at the front of your hair for four baby braids to frame your face.
17. French Curl Braids
If you’ve been wanting to try out the trending french curl braids, here’s a Y2K style that pairs perfectly with the protective style.
18. Box Braid Space Buns with Butterfly Clips and Fringe
A truly maximalist style to top off the list. This look mixes several Y2K hairstyles together: butterfly clips, space buns, and fringe bangs.
The early 2000’s were a time of flip phones, low-rise jeans, and of course, some of the most iconic hairstyles of all time. And while flip phones haven’t quite made their return to popular culture *yet*, with celebrities like Marsai Martin, Bella Hadid, Doja Cat, and Zoë Kravitz all dawning Y2K hairstyles in 2023, I think zig-zag parts, spiky space buns, and fringe baby braids are here to stay.
Let us know if you try any of these styles, and be sure to tag @NaturallyCurly on Instagram for a chance to be featured.