Jonathan Van Ness on the Y2K Hair Trend They Wish Hadn’t Come Back

Jonathan Van Ness on the Y2K Hair Trend They Wish Hadn’t Come Back

Jonathan Van Ness is all about making people look and feel their best on Netflix’s “Queer Eye,” but that doesn’t mean they don’t have some thoughts about the latest hair trends that are taking over — specifically one of the throwback styles from the ’90s and 2000s.

“I remember my mom being like, ‘I can’t believe you kids wear the same things that we did in the ’70s,'” Van Ness tells POPSUGAR. “At that time, I was like, ‘No, Mom, this is way cooler than what you did.'” However, now at 36, he realize that all trends — whether fashion, hair, or makeup — are cyclical.

Popular Y2K hairstyles that are having a resurgence right now include everything from money-piece and chunky highlights to “The Rachel” haircut and claw clips. “Typically, when it circles back, it just has one little variation or a tweak or just a slightly different POV,” says Van Ness.

The trend that’s surprised them the most has been chunky, boldly placed color. “Kind of like Kelly Clarkson’s ‘Breakaway’ 2003, red, white, and black, piano key chunky highlights,” Van Ness says. “I wasn’t really living for that to come back, but also, whatever.” They blame it on their years of working in a salon in the style’s heyday. “When you’re behind the chair and you’re just fixing people’s piano-chunk highlights 24/7, you’re just like, ‘I wish y’all would just not.'”

That said, if it’s your wish, they’ll offer their unwavering support nevertheless. “Once it looks good, can’t we just, like, stay in that neighborhood of stunning?” they recall feeling about doing color corrections. “But sometimes people wanna really do big changes and that’s fun, too.”

If anyone gets the appeal of trying something big and bold that doesn’t end up panning out just the way you want it, it’s Van Ness. “I have so many yikes moments,” they say. The first memory that comes to mind all started with a crazy hair day at school when they were 15. After styling their hair into a bunch of tiny ponytails and coating each one in a different color glitter gel, they were inspired to make the look a bit more permanent.

“I just started saving away quarters from my stepdad’s quarter jar, and it took me three years but I saved up enough money to get my hair highlighted at a MasterCuts.” Using that crazy-hair-day look as the reference, he asked the hair colorist to dye his ponytails different shades of orange and red. “And so my inspo was ketchup and mustard,” Van Ness says. “I just was like, ‘It’s gonna be amazing.'”

To say their stepdad was shocked when they came home is an understatement. As if the bold color wasn’t enough to really put the look over the top, Van Ness also wore it in what they call a “style mullet” by slicking the front of their hair down in a side part paired with curls at the back of the head. “Sleek gel in the front, party curls in the back,” they say. When they grew tired of that ketchup-mustard combo, they dyed their hair black and white in a similar fashion. “That made my hair crack off because trying to bleach the golden-mustard color up to white . . . My little fragile curls, they said no.”

After that, the only solution was to cut their hair super short, and the sections to survive were the areas dyed black. “I was giving you contrast.”

Additional reporting by Gabriella Ferlita

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