Forget Headbands, These Are the Modern Hair Trends Coming Out of the New Gossip Girl
Thinking back, 2007 may not seem like that significant of a year. The early aughts were ending, the awkward 10s were approaching, and most millennials were in middle school, which is frankly not necessarily the time in our lives we want to remember. But upon closer inspection you'd see just how impactful it was to pop culture. Former Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the first iPhone, Britney Spears's conservatorship was on the horizon, and — if you can believe it — Gossip Girl hit our television screens for the first time.
It didn't take long for the teen drama to gain traction. Soon enough, everyone you knew was wearing headbands to school, accessorizing their private school uniforms with sequined scarves, and using phrases like "lonely boy" and "seal the deal" in everyday conversations. Fourteen years later, the now-iconic show got its long-awaited reboot with a brand new cast and new HBO Max residence. So, does this mean we should expect these new Upper East Siders to catapult into the zeitgeist the same way the original characters did? Definitely — and for very similar reasons.
Euphoria may be the place you go for makeup inspiration, but we're betting the Gossip Girl revival will be your source for all things hair. Ahead, we spoke with the two women who helped build the iconic beauty looks from the original and new series, as well as how the show's lightning-in-a-bottle-success is likely to spawn a few more hair trends in the process.
Gossip Girl Hair Trend: the Buzz Cut
Beauty trends have drastically changed since 2007. Jennifer Johnson, who serves as the hair department head of the new series (and was a part of the original GG crew), says that life as a teen is just different now. Gen Z is a come-as-you-are crowd and so these new characters need to reflect that — even if they exist within the one percent. Amy Tagliamonti, the makeup department head for both iterations of the series, echoed this sentiment by keeping the makeup simple and clean in order to play off both the hairstyles and costume design. "I've pulled back the reins a bit to allow their natural beauty to shine and at times elevate it when it's necessary," she said.
The perfect examples of this are two characters: Aki Menzies (played by Evan Mock) and Julien Calloway (Jordan Alexander). Both rock some truly hot buzz cuts, both of which each actor came into the show with and now is a part of their character's personal styles. According to Mock's colorist Jackson Heller, the actor had pink hair way before joining the Gossip Girl cast, as he actually dyed it pink after losing a bet with a few friends. And Alexander's short style has been her signature for years, a detail Johnson was personally excited about.
In a business where wigs thrive, Johnson was eager to create a character that sported something less traditional. "Jordan having a shaved head is going to be a thing because I don't know any other TV show that has the lead female cast member with a shaved head," she said. If Serena's Cali-girl waves were the '10s version of "The Rachel," could Julien's signature buzz cut be the go-to for Gen Z? Johnson and Tagliamonti agree that, just like with the original cast, something special is going to happen with these newcomers — Blair would say they all have that je ne sais quoi.
While Julien's buzz cut may not allow Johnson to mix it up as often as she would've with previous characters, she does promise some bedazzled hair accessories — eventually. Buzz-cut bling does have a nice ring to it.
Gossip Girl Hair Trend: the Modern Bardot
Audrey Hope (played by Emily Alyn Lind) may be what some people call the new Blair, but she's certainly sporting the kind of look you might expect Serena to rock in 2021. Johnson admits that she loves taking a classic look and making it contemporary while still maintaining a level of effortlessness — "something real," she said — and Audrey's tousled fringe is the perfect example of that.
It's not surprising that over the last year people were drawn to fringe, especially the ever-versatile curtain bang. Chalk it up to at-home haircuts or the eagerness to make a drastic change, but Audrey solidifies the fact that this look is here to stay. Think of it as the modern Bardot, but softer, wispier, and something you could roll out of bed with — although we doubt that's something Audrey would do.
Gossip Girl Hair Trend: Heat-Free Curls
Perhaps the breakout character of this new series is also the one with the best hair transformation: Zoya Lott (played by Whitney Peak). As the new girl in town, she has a lot of expectations to live up to on the Upper East Side, but she's not prepared to fit into a mold. "Zoya is really the one coming into age," says Johnson," She's different from the original cast. [Her look] is more low-key." And yet, her hair makes a powerful statement in the first episode.
When we first meet Zoya, we see her with a wavy blowout on her first day at Constance Billard. Throughout the episode, we see her go from school, to a private club in Brooklyn, to a Christopher John Rogers fashion show, all of which she sports a similar look. It isn't until she faces off with her half-sister, Julien, that we see her natural curls really come out. With a new confident attitude emerging, so does her natural texture. The episode ends with her arriving at school with the kind of conviction you'd expect from Jenny Humphrey — totally prepared to bust out of the expectations set for her.