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

Hair Crimping Irons



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. 

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.

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

The Best Crimped Hairstyles



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

Hair Crimper



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. 

This crimping iron has a two-inch ceramic-tourmaline barrel and dual modes, which means you can choose to crimp your hair or curl it. Thanks to a swivel cord and a comfortable grip, it's incredibly easy to use, even if you're a little rusty when it comes to crimping your hair. 

This iron has an adjustable barrel, so you can rotate it to get the exact level of wave (or crimp) you're after. It also heats up to 400°, has multiple settings, and features an auto shut-off. 

If you ascribe to the philosophy that not all crimped hair is the same, you'll love this iron. It comes with four interchangeable plates, so you can choose how tight or loose the pattern will look. 

If you're slightly hesitant about jumping right into the crimped-hair trend and would rather dip your toe by testing out something a little softer, then opt for this iron. It gives the hair a texture that's basically halfway between a crimp and a wave. It's a style compromise. 

The same goes for this three-barreled iron, which creates quick, crimp-like waves in no time. 

This crimping iron is also a curling iron and a hair straightener. It's basically the poster child for the concept of a do-it-all heat tool (and it's only $18 a pop, so yeah, it's worth a shot). 

Here's another do-it-all heat tool. This one doubles as a crimper and straightener, features four interchangeable plates, five temperature settings, and a ceramic coating to protect the hair.

This crimping iron was developed with natural, textured hair types in mind. It heats up in 60 seconds and features a two-inch plate, heat settings up to 450°, and a no-nonsense swivel cord. 

This crimper has four interchangeable plates and four heat settings, including a setting for dry and damaged hair, one for thick hair, and one for coarse and curly hair. It even comes with a heat-protectant glove to keep your fingers safe. 

For Addison Rae's take on crimped hair (aka individually crimped sections of the hair rather than a whole head of crimped hair), opt for this iron. It has a one-inch plate, so it's compact and portable. 

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. 

No matter what heating tool or setting you use, start every styling session with a heat protectant to prevent unnecessary damage to your hair (aka breakage and split ends). I like this one because it protects each strand while boosting your hair's shine. 

Work this styling creme through your strands for all-day hold and manageability.

Sectioning your hair before styling it is key. Use a sturdy clip that will keep each section secure.

Finish off your look with a shine spray to reflect light and make your style look expensive. 

Lock the look in with an extra-hold hairspray like this one, which costs less than a latte.