An Introduction to 2000s Hairstyles for Background Actors

OCTOBER 2, 2023
A women’s and men’s 2000s hairstyle example.
Beyoncé (MTV) | Patrick Dempsey in Grey’s Anatomy (ABC)

The 2000s are back in style! Many productions, like Station 19, Girls5Eva, Quantum Leap, and 9-1-1, feature scenes set in the aughts and as a Background Actor, you never know when the opportunity for period roles can pop up. To help you be prepared, here’s what you should know about 2000s hairstyles to put your best look together for set.

2000s hairstyles for women

Whether it’s fashion, makeup, or hair, when you think of the 2000s, you’re probably picturing the colorful and rebellious Y2K-era looks. Some popular styles involved zig-zag parts, spiky buns, high pigtails, face-framing baby braids, beaded braids, and crimped hair. Accessories were a must and were all about color and fun over function. Rainbow snap and butterfly clips, stretchy headbands, glitter bobby pins, claw clips, and bobble ties were popular parts of early 2000s looks.

By the mid part of the decade, hair trends shifted from playful to polished. Beach waves, side parts, asymmetrical bobs, side-swept bangs, spiky pixie cuts, and microbraids were all go-to mid-2000s styles. If you’re looking for a hairstyle to really bring your 2000s look together, the pouf was a defining trend from the aughts. This involved teasing hair near the crown of the head to create a mini (or sometimes very large) bouffant and worked for all kinds of styles ranging from layered straight cuts to elegant updos.

When it came to color, dark red dye, chunky highlights, dramatic lowlights, and blonde buzzcuts were all common options. While there were trends that involved more colorful dyes, particularly in the scene culture popularized by Hayley Williams, it was rare to see these styles in more mainstream looks. So if you want to get booked in 2000s-set roles, but you have hair color more on-trend with 2023, like rose gold or bright pearl, your hair is likely too modern for period styles.

Examples of women’s hairstyles in the 2000s.
Raven Symone (Disney) | Vanessa Hudgens (MTV) | Eve (Interscope) | Lauren Conrad (Wikimedia)

2000s hair for men

Many late-1990s men’s hairstyles carried over into the early aughts, like mushroom and middle-parted curtain cuts, but the dominant trend became spiked styles. Spiked hair was common no matter the hair length and often had blonde tips to create a frosted look. To achieve this style, gel or wax was applied generously and pushed outwards to create sharp spikes.

By the mid-2000s, the spiked look gave way to buzzcuts, cornrows, faux hawks, textured styles, and tapered cuts. An enduring look that carried through into the 2010s was the shag cut popularized by stars like Justin Bieber and Zac Efron. This often was styled with the front layers from one side straightened and combed over the forehead or eyes.

Emo and scene styles were a common alternative to mainstream 2000s hairstyles. It was common for dramatic mullets or asymmetrical cuts to be paired with blonde, red, or brightly dyed patches.

When it came to facial hair, five o’clock shadows were consistent throughout the decade, but side burns, soul patches, goatees, and chinstrap beards all were popular looks in the 2000s.

Men’s 2000s hairstyle examples.
Freddie Prinze Jr. (Wikimedia) | Ludacris (MTV) | Zac Efron (FOX) | Mekhi Phifer (Edge Magazine)

Creating your own 2000s look

When you’re booked as a Background Actor with Central Casting, your details will include all the information you need about the booking, including wardrobe, makeup, and hair notes. It’s extremely important to read your details carefully and follow the instructions provided so you show up to set as expected.

Depending on the production and role, you may receive very specific hair instructions or may have more room to create your own 2000s hairstyles. When crafting your style, keep in mind that each production has a specific look they’re trying to achieve. You may be able to pull off a perfect Y2K-era spiked style, but that may not be the look production is going for. That’s why it’s important to understand your details before getting ready for set.

If you need inspiration or instructions for how to create a style, YouTube has how-to videos for a variety of looks for your hair type.

Ready to put your entire 2000s look together? Be sure to read through our wardrobe and makeup guides for tips on creating period looks.

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By Meghan Dubitsky

Article Category:

Hair & Makeup