As an adult, you might look to magazines and Instagram in order to figure out what chic hair trends to wear on the daily, but you have to admit there's nothing like the summer hairstyles from our childhoods circa early 2000s in the magical mane department. While contemporary summertime begs for bouncy curls, bohemian waves, festival-approved braids, and hair of all textures underneath flower crowns, our pre-teen year hair trends were a little wilder.
These were more creative, more insane, and usually required the help of a zany accessory or two to pull it all together. Brushing our hair through a comb and calling it a day usually wasn't an option — no, we had to add braids, crimps, select scrunchies, a multitude of hair clips, and all before we could run outside and play with our pals.
I mean, we weren't about to leave the house with our hair swept back in a headband, were we? We'd break Lizzie McGuire and Raven's heart if we did something so uninspired. Instead, we had a strict code of standards we had to live up to back then. That, and it was hella fun to play with all those hair buns and crimped strands. Below are 11 summer hairstyles from our childhoods — which ones were you guilty of?
1. The Flipped Bob
Whether you wore it flipped in like Lizzie or flipped out all sassy-like like Miranda, this 'do usually required you to wake up an hour and a half before school started, mainly because you didn't know how to handle a blow dryer and round-barrel brush yet. It was like Bambi learning to walk on shaky legs and usually ended with you leaving the bathroom with the lingering smell of burning hair. So worth it, though.
2. Crimped Hair For The Win
Reserved for the most special of occasions, the crimper was just the thing for middle school dances or to help elevate us to popular-girl status. It was in our best interest to have a couple of strands crimped when submitting our application to eat at the cool kids table.
3. Big Flower Accessories
For those days when we were feeling extra girly, we had the option of tucking a big ol' flower behind our ear or into the elastic of a ponytail. The bigger and more fake the flower, the better.
4. Pigtail Buns
Center-parted and accessorized with a few wisps of hair that would promise to get into our eyes or lip gloss all day long, this look was usually bookmarked for the goth or punk kids in the cafeteria.
5. High Ponytail
It was even cooler when we would leave half our hair down and then sweep up the rest into the high pony. That way we were more early-2000s-cool-kid and less '50s-cheerleader-chic.
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6. Funky Braids
Sometimes our hair would be sectioned off into perfect grids and tightly-braided into skinny, attention-grabbing braids. To make them even more fun, they were accessorized with either colorful rubber bands or a medley of fun clips.
7. Fake Hair
Did you want to give your ponytail some oomph, but didn't want to go the obvious and mainstream route of choosing a scrunchie in your own hair color? That's where the fake hair scrunchies came in — finally, a way to wear Gwen Stefani-approved hairstyles without giving your mom a heart attack.
8. Half Straight, Half Curled Locks
Because why does a girl gotta choose?!
9. A Half Braided, Half Down Mane
Whether you kept the rest of your hair down or swept it up into a ponytail or pigtails, mixed-in braids looked amazing. Especially if you accessorized with butterfly clips.
10. Massive Scrunchie Ponytails
Those most serious about their craft had about a million scrunchies spilling out of drawers in their bathrooms and bedrooms. In all truthfulness, you probably could have worn one each day of the year and not have repeated an accessory. While it might sound intense, I think all the scrunchies were a worthy investment — much the same as Beanie Babies or Flutterbye Fairies.
11. Multiple Braids
Showing up to the playground with only two pigtails was weak sauce. The way to do it was to have at least four or six plaits, all cinched with a bold hair tie like these pompom pairs. Or at least that's what you'd do if you were committed to looking fly.
So whether you chose to accessorize boldly or to play with a multitude of braids, there's one thing you have to admit: We sure were creative with our hairstyles back in the day.
Images: Disney Channel Originals (8); ABC (2); Freeform (1)