This Controversial Hair Trend Is Back—Here Are Our Recs for Getting the Look

If you told me five years ago that low-rise jeansplatform flip-flops, and body shimmer were going to make a comeback, I wouldn't have believed you. I might have even laughed out loud, firmly believing that those early-2000s relics were destined to remain in the past. Well, I would have been wrong (obviously) because the Y2K fashion and beauty resurgence is only getting stronger. It's getting so strong, in fact, that a very specific and borderline-controversial hair trend is back—the crimp.

It's likely that you experienced one of two knee-jerk reactions to this news. Maybe you're a true lover of early-2000s style, and you felt a rush of excitement. Or maybe you're more like me, and you felt a sense of dread as you thought back to all the bad crimped hairstyles of the early aughts. If that's the case, then bear with me because it's not as bad as you think it is. The modern take on crimped hair is more sophisticated than the original trend, so much so that celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Addison Rae, and Joan Smalls are sporting various iterations of it. Keep scrolling to learn more about this surprising comeback and how you can get in on it with the right tools and products. Here we go—cue the nostalgia. 

Step 1: The Inspiration


(Image credit: @beyonce)

If Beyoncé backs the humble hair crimper, then surely we can, too. Right? She has worn the look multiple times in the past, including on stage, on Instagram, and on the red carpet. 


(Image credit: @kimkardashian)

Kim Kardashian combined two eras of beauty when she paired a bold, '60s makeup look with an early-2000s hairstyle by only crimping her hair from the mid-length down.


(Image credit: @kendalljenner)

Kendall Jenner accentuated her shoulder-grazing cut with a crimped texture. 


(Image credit: @joansmalls)

Joan Smalls modernized the crimped look with chunky braids and a graphic cat eye.


(Image credit: @addisonrae)

Addison Rae also got the crimped-hair memo. She used a crimping iron to detail individual sections of her hair for a slightly more subtle take on this controversial trend. Baby crimps!

Step 2: The Tools

If you're feeling inspired, I have good news: It's easy to take part in the crimped-hair trend. All you need is the right crimping iron and the right products to accompany it. Below, see the 11 best crimping irons to shop before this trend blows up even more. 

Step 3: The Products

Make no mistake—the right products can make a world of difference when it comes to styling your hair. Below, check out five of our favorite hair products to pair with a crimping iron. 

Next, check out 6 trending hairstyles that are everywhere right now. 

Kaitlyn McLintock
Associate Beauty Editor

Kaitlyn McLintock is an Associate Beauty Editor at Who What Wear. Although she covers a wide range of topics across a variety of categories, she specializes in celebrity interviews and skincare and wellness content. Having lived in Los Angeles and Austin, Texas, she recently relocated back to her home state of Michigan where she works remotely. Prior to Who What Wear, she freelanced for a variety of industry-leading digital publications, including InStyle, The Zoe Report, Bustle, Hello Giggles, and Coveteur. Before that, she held a long-term internship and subsequent contributor position at Byrdie. When she's not writing, researching, or testing the latest and greatest beauty products, she's working her way through an ever-growing book collection, swimming in the Great Lakes, or spending time with family.