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Gen Z Is Bringing ‘Fairy Hair’ Back and It’s the Y2K Classic You Might’ve Forgotten

We’re still not over butterfly clips making a comeback, so we definitely weren’t prepared for the latest hair trend sweeping TikTok. Meet ‘fairy hair’ and if you’re thinking to yourself, “hmm, this looks familiar,” that’s because it was a Y2K staple. Remember decorating your locks in hair tinsel (especially when the crimping got to be too much)? Well, the popular app is once again bringing back lost trends. Here’s everything you need to know about fairy hair in 2022.


‘Fairy hair’ involves tying (or clipping) strands of tinsel into different sections of your hair. These metallic strings give the illusion of colorful and shimmering extensions or temporary highlights. We imagine Gen-Z named it ‘fairy hair’ for its iridescent finish and sparkling colors that make your hair look and feel more magical.


Before it was trending on TikTok, the tinsel technique was made popular by Beyoncé. The Lemonade singer rocked the look at the 52nd Grammys Awards in 2010. Now, 12 years later, the trend has built momentum again. Stars like Kacey Musgraves, Meghan Thee Stallion and Katy Perry have completely made hair tinsel their own.

Depending on who you ask, it was also the coolest (or the silliest) accent to wear to a birthday party, holiday shindig or festival back in the day. But thanks to TikTok, this trend has returned, and it isn’t just for kids and super fashionable celebs anymore. When searching through #fairyhair or #hairtinsel, you’ll find over 127 million views combined of different creators decorating their locks in tinsel of every shade in the color wheel.


As we said, the popular app has been bringing all sorts of ‘90s and ‘00s hair looks back to life. When it comes to ‘fairy hair’ specifically, it’s easy to see why it’s being celebrated. Hair tinsel is a great alternative for someone who wants to spice things up in the hair department quickly and without causing damage. You can add color to your strands without the huge commitment it takes to dye your hair or get highlights. It’s also a cleaner option than adding glitter or colored chalk (and less embarrassing than feather extensions). In short, fairy hair is the low-maintenance, but colorful accessory we can wear all year long and remove any time we want.


When it comes to tying tinsel into your hair, you can go the professional route or try a DIY method right at home. Once you purchase a bulk pack of tinsel (you know, for some variety), you can follow the four steps below:

Grab one string of tinsel and create a slip knot.

Loop a thin section (about one to two strands for fine hair and two to four for thicker hair) around the knot.

Then pull tight, getting as close to the scalp as possible. For a more secure knot, tie the tinsel around two to three more times.

Cut the tinsel according to your hair length and repeat.

(Psst, if you need a visual, TikToker @sieling.j broke down the technique in a short but sweet video.)


Whether you wear your hair down or up in a ponytail or braids, hair tinsel is a great way to elevate your style. And all hair types and textures can try the trend. Some types of tinsel even give you the flexibility to use styling tools for a colorful blowout or curl, so you can bring more dimension to your look. Just make sure to consult the instruction manual that comes with your tinsel first. The only thing to avoid is rough brushing your hair—especially close to the roots. Other than that, you’re ready to shine bright like Bey.

article written by Chelsea Candelario for purewow

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