Worst Beauty Trends of the 2000s

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The early 2000s saw an emergence of new trends that looked entirely different from previous decades. Technology made huge strides with the release of the iPod and camera phones, giving consumers more freedom and advanced features. The technology eventually combined to make the first iPhone in 2007, which, as we know, was a huge hit. However, not every trend in the 2000s was a success. You might cringe as you remember fashion trends like lace-up shirts and pants–which were time-consuming to get on and off and ran the significant risk of a wardrobe malfunction–stacking skirts or dresses over jeans, or finishing off any outfit with a fedora or an incredibly long and thin scarf. While these trends were regrettable, they remained harmless. However, the same can’t be said about many of the beauty trends from the decade, which have had long-lasting negative effects on many people.

Over-Styled Hair

If you were in high school in the early 2000s, then your hair straightener was likely one of your most prized possessions and you probably spent at least twenty minutes every morning trying to get your hair as straight as physically possible–and on special occasions, you might’ve broken out the crimper. Super straight hair was a style rocked by all of the hottest celebrities, but it was something that could seriously damage your hair. Too much heat could make your hair brittle, and the constant heat and pulling motion could damage your hair follicles. If you had especially curly or textured hair, then you might’ve turned to chemical straighteners or hair relaxers to save yourself time in the mornings while still achieving that smooth, straight look that everyone strived for. Of course, hair relaxers were harmful in their own ways, containing harsh chemicals like formaldehyde, which has been found to harm female reproduction and could potentially lead to cancer. In fact, many people have filed product liability lawsuits after suffering long-term negative effects from using these products. If you really want pin-straight hair, then your best bet is to stick with the flat iron, but don’t use it without applying a heat protection spray first to minimize the damage done to your hair.

The “more is more” mindset that drove over-accessorizing also heavily influenced hair trends. People used color to express themselves. Some of the most popular styles included dip dyes, bleached tips, and framing the face with color. However, the trend that really stole the spotlight was bleached highlights. Highlights in the 2000s weren’t like highlights now, which aim to give hair a natural, lifted look. 2000s highlights were extremely chunky and unnatural, often accompanied by thick stripes of dark lowlights–which earned the style the very fitting nickname of ‘skunk hair.’ Not only was this trend fashionably questionable, but it was extremely damaging to your hair. Too much bleach can strip hair of its natural proteins, leaving it brittle and more prone to damage from heat. Over-bleaching hair can also affect the follicle’s ability to produce pigment, leading to early greying.

The Aguilera Arch

In the early 2000s, there was an obsession with having overly-plucked eyebrows. The more thin and arched they were, the better. However, over-plucking could be harmful to your skin and hair follicles, causing irritation, ingrown hairs, and even hindering the ability of your follicles to produce new hair. 

Now, many people are seeking ways to reverse the permanent damage done to their eyebrows, turning to practices like micro blading to try to achieve a more full, natural eyebrow look. Of course, micro blading comes with its own drawbacks. Micro blading is similar to tattooing but is slightly more temporary, meaning that if you don’t get your eyebrows touched up every few years, then they’ll begin to fade and look less convincing. You also have to consider that the same mistakes that can be made with tattoos could be made with micro blading. The ink could bleed or the end result could be less glamorous than what you’d originally envisioned, and it can be difficult to reverse once it’s been done. It’s also important to note the potential health risks that you face when undergoing a micro-blading procedure. There have been cases where people have filed lawsuits against businesses for improper sanitary procedures after suffering from infections post-micro-blading. 

Thin, arched eyebrows seem to be making a comeback with the revival of y2k trends. It’s possible to participate in this beauty trend without permanently altering your eyebrows. Instead of tweezing, opt for a beauty razor to get the brow shape that you desire. Sure, shaving will require more frequent upkeep, but it certainly beats the alternative. 

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