Stories Feature

By Tautahi Subritzky

Since her inception in 1959, Barbie has evolved into a cultural zeitgeist. Reflecting changing trends within popular culture through each era that she has existed, there’s no wonder she’s often referred to as the original influencer.

With the popularity of 90s and Y2K hair styling making a major resurgence on social media platforms, chances are, when it comes to hair, Barbie's been there.

If you’re looking to dip your toe into the #barbiecore trend without fully committing to an explosion of pink, we’ve selected 5 of the most “Barbie-approved” viral hair styling trends circulating on social media and tell you how you can get the look.

The Viral Voluminous Ponytail

Garden Party Barbie (1988)

Our first viral styling trend comes in the form of a hair hack courtesy of celebrity hairstylist Chris Appleton. The real secret to this technique is layering the hair, creating not just a thicker ponytail base, but also the illusion that the hair is piled high at the crown of the head, the result is a Barbie-esque voluminous ponytail that can be achieved without heat tools, extensions or difficult-to-master styling.

To truly pump up the volume of your ponytail to Barbie proportions, incorporating a volumizing hair product lineup into your haircare routine can help give you the best base to start styling from.

The technique is simple and the only tools you’ll really need are your favourite hair brush and two hair elastics.

How to achieve the Voluminous Ponytail:

  1. Start by brushing the hair to remove any tangles.
  2. Split the hair into two and pull the top half up into a high ponytail, secure with your first hair elastic.
  3. With the remaining hair, split the underneath into two sections and pull them onto the top of the previous ponytail, secure these two sections with your second hair elastic et voilà! If you want to further bulk it up you can work in a texturing mist.
@chrisappletonhair Try this hair hack for any one that wants to make there hair look thicker and upgrade there pony game 👱‍♀️@kittybluuuu ♬ Toxic x Pony - ALTÉGO

Y2K Bubble Braids

Barbie ‘Extra’ #7 (2021)

These easy-to-achieve Bubble Braids consist of fluffed-out sections of hair divided by hair ties. You can amp it up to Barbie level and go for pigtails or try something a little more slick with a single ponytail at the back of the head.

The best part about Bubble Braids? They make you look like you put way more effort into your hairstyle than you actually have to.

How to Bubble Braid yourself:

  1. Prep the hair by using a styling cream like R+Co Jackpot to set a uniform, frizz-free foundation.
  2. Place your hair into pigtails at the desired height, making sure to pull them tight so the hair elastic sits as close as possible to the scalp.
  3. Wrap another hair elastic a few inches down your pigtail. Elastic placement largely depends on the length of the hair, and keeping an equal distance between each bubble is the best way to ensure a great result.
  4. Once all elastics are placed, use your fingers to tease and pull at each section. This loosens the hair between elastics and creates multiple "bubbles".
  5. Finish with a lightweight hairspray such as R+Co Foil Frizz and Static Control Spray to tame flyaways and create extra staying power.

The Balletcore Bun

Ballet Star Barbie (2000)

Barbie has dabbled in the Balletcore trend for more years than it has existed. More often than not, breaking away from tradition and embracing a hairstyle that wouldn’t particularly work pirouetting on stage (refer to our aforementioned Voluminous Ponytail trend to get an idea).

This social media driven trend highlights a more traditional slicked bun look and is quickly becoming a go-to updo thanks in part to how easy it is to style at home and how workable it is on a wide range of hair types, win-win!

How to style the Balletcore Bun:

  1. Start by brushing your hair to make sure your strands are free of tangles. If you need a little help with the process, spray your hair with a leave-in conditioner spray, Kevin Murphy UnTangled is ideal to detangle and smooth the hair providing a sleek base for the bun.
  2. Brush your hair back and gather your hair into a ponytail, making sure the base is where you want your bun to be. A high ponytail will yield a high bun, a low ponytail will turn into a low bun. Take a hair tie or elastic and wrap it around your pony to secure it in place.
  3. It’s bun time. Take your ponytail, twist the hair and then wrap the pony around the ponytail base until all of your hair is gathered up in a bun shape. Smooth out any lumps, and then secure the bun with another hair elastic or hair pins. Finally, spray with hairspray such as Kevin Murphy's Session Spray to hold your hair look together.

The Bombshell Blowout

Limited Edition Mann's Chinese Theatre AA Barbie doll with a very glam blowout (1999/2000)

The 90’s bouncy Bombshell Blowout is back in a major way. Synonymous with the word glamour, this trend is all about body, bounce and volume. Of course, Barbie has embraced this style countless times in her history.

How to get the Bombshell Blowout at home:

  1. Firstly you’ll want to prep your hair by washing and conditioning with a volumizing duo such as Oribe's Magnificent Volumizing Shampoo + Conditioner. An essential step to prevent your hair from going flat (something you definitely want to avoid).
  2. Apply a heat-protectant spray to damp hair, before applying a volumising spray or Oribe's Grandiose Hair Plumping Mousse to the crown.
  3. Using claw clips divide your hair into sections. The number of sections will depend on how much hair you have. Part your hair from ear to ear creating a top and bottom section, and clip the top section out of the way. Then, part the bottom section down the middle, bringing each side in front of your shoulders.
  4. In small sections wrap your hair under and around a round brush, directing a blow dryer to your roots. Work down the section and finish by rolling the ends under. You’ll want the ends to swoop inwards and look slightly curled. Continue this step section by section until you’re finished.
  5. Velcro rollers are optional but can help to “amp up” the volume. Gather a 1 inch section of hair, place the roller at the end and roll inwards towards the scalp. Continue placing the rollers throughout the hair until full. Leave them until your hair has fully cooled. Once removed, flip your head upside down and shake for maximum body.
  6. Finish up with a strong hold volume hairspray.

Heatless Curls

Style Magic Barbie (1988) with ‘WondraCurl’ hair that held a curl without heat.

Looking for curls, volume and body sans heat-styling? Enter our 5th and final hair styling trend,‘Heatless Curls’. The tools you can use for this technique are varying and definitely not the norm but we’ve included a couple of ways you can try the trend using items that you’ll definitely have in your drawer or bathroom.

How to achieve Heatless Curls with a pair of socks:

  1. Brush your hair and separate into 2 sections (both techniques work best on slightly damp hair).
  2. Position a sock in between the two sections on one side of your head, then criss-cross the hair back and forth around the sock.
  3. Use an elastic to secure the ends, then repeat with the other side.
  4. Fix your hair with a spray and leave overnight.
  5. Remove the socks and run your fingers through the curls to add body.
@jonathankmonroe Sock Curls are nostalgic, so let’s do them right! #sockcurls #curls #curlyhair #heatlesscurls #heatlesshair #hairvideos ♬ Anti-Hero - Taylor Swift

How to get Heatless Curls with a dressing gown belt:

  1. Dampen your hair and separate it into 4 sections, place the dressing gown belt over the top of your head, so either side falls across your ears.
  2. Start twisting your hair around the belt criss-crossing once again until you reach the bottom.
  3. Secure with an elastic.
  4. Fix your hair with a spray and leave overnight.
  5. Carefully untie the belt in the morning and gently run your fingers through the curls to even them out.
@abbeyyung the only way to heatless curl #heatlesscurls #heatlesscurl #heatlesscurlstutorial #heatlesscurlshack ♬ original sound - Abbey Yung
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