Have you ever heard the phrase “It’s all about aesthetics”? Well, it kind of is. Core aesthetics have become trending topics in the fashion world and on popular social media platforms like Pinterest and TikTok. But what exactly are they? And what kind of aesthetics are there? Basically, a core aesthetic is when you build your style around a specific category. These categories stem from pop culture, vintage trends, historical figures, and more.
Wondering what your aesthetic is and, more importantly, how to match your hair to your chosen aesthetic? We’re sharing 30 core aesthetic hair ideas based on 10 of the most popular core aesthetics trending right now. From low-maintenance and ethereal forestcore hair to ‘90s-inspired grunge hair, keep scrolling to discover your aesthetic.
What is core aesthetic?
A core aesthetic is a style, be it your hair, makeup, or clothing, that centers around a specific item or theme. Finding your core aesthetic is all about figuring out who (or what) inspires you. Pay attention to the color schemes you like, the celebrities or eras you admire, and what type of clothing you like to wear. If you’re not sure where to begin finding your core aesthetic, we’re here to help!
What types of core aesthetics are there?
We’re sharing details about 10 of the most popular aesthetics below—and how to match your hairstyle to your aesthetic.
Cottagecore, also known as farmcore or countrycore, is all about mimicking the simplistic, harmonious vibes of nature. Immerse yourself in this aesthetic by wearing peasant dresses, planting flowers, and choosing simple, natural-looking hair trends.
Cottagecore Hair Ideas
If you love the simple, laidback aspect of cottagecore, you’ll be equally as obsessed with this easy-to-do accent braid.
Braided Half Updo
Equally as simple but just a little more elegant, this braided half updo is a cottagecore hairstyle you can wear for a special occasion.
If you have naturally curly hair, it doesn’t take much to emulate cottagecore vibes. Wear your natural texture and use a hair gel like Matrix Total Results A Curl Can Dream Light-Hold Gel to define your ringlets while keeping them moisturized.
Forestcore is another nature-based aesthetic similar to cottagecore—with just a slight twist. Forestcore is whimsical, free-spirited, and inspired by imagery, creatures, and nature you would see in an actual forest. While cottagecore is lighter and more romantic, forestcore is darker and earthier.
Forestcore Hair Ideas
Fairy Half-Up Space Buns
We love the mystical aspect of forestcore, which is why we can’t get enough of this fairy-like half-up space buns hairstyle.
Half-Up Boho Braid
This half-up bohemian braid gives us serious forestcore vibes. Be sure to add forest-inspired accessories like flowers and a few spritzes of Matrix Style Link Texture Builder Messy Finishing Spray to complete your look.
This messy, floral-embellished chignon is an ideal choice if you’re looking for a more done-up forestcore hairstyle.
The normcore aesthetic is a response to the fast-changing fashion industry, which some believe is oversaturated. Those who follow normcore don’t strive to be unique or different. Basically, those who follow this aesthetic dress like what is perceived to be “normal”—think minimalistic outfits with neutral colors (and hairstyles to match).
Normcore Hair Ideas
Opt for a no-frills hairstyle like soft waves to match your neutral aesthetic. Creating this style is as easy as putting your outfit together in the morning. Use a flat iron like L'Oréal Professionnel Steampod to create soft waves throughout your mane two times faster and two times smoother*.
Effortless Low Bun
This simple and messy low bun pairs perfectly with any normcore ensemble.
For a heat-free alternative to normcore-inspired waves, use a few spritzes of texturizing spray like Redken Triple Dry 15 Dry Texture Finishing Spray to give your strands effortless texture without stiffness.
‘80s and ‘90s kids (or any fan of ‘80s and ‘90s fashion trends) will recognize the grunge aesthetic. This punky style revolves around baggy ripped jeans, oversized flannels, dark lipstick, and combat boots. When it comes to grunge hair, it’s all about messy layers, textured braids, and tons of color.
Grunge Hair Ideas
The wolf cut may be a 2021 grunge trend, but it's undoubtedly inspired by ‘80s and ‘90s rockstars. Watch the video above to see Matrix global educator and pro stylist Philip Wolff break down how to get a wolf cut.
Spiked Pixie Cut
If you have super short hair, all you’ll need is a hair paste, like Pureology Style + Protect Mess It Up Texture Paste to give your pixie cut instant grunge vibes.
Grunge girls are all about veering outside the norm, and what could be less typical than having two different hair colors? If you want to go all-out with your grunge hair, ask your colorist for half-and-half hair color.
Those who embrace the princesscore aesthetic want to look and feel like real-life royalty. You wear glitzy jewelry (including tiaras), lace, flowers, and “feminine” colors like pink and baby blue. And you also act like a princess. You’re poised, educated, and polite. Princesscore hairstyles are also fit for a queen—think polished updos, bedazzled hair accessories, and floral accents.
Princesscore Hair Ideas
Princess Length Waves
If your idea of royalty dates back to your childhood, you probably admire the long hair worn by some of your favorite movie princesses. Use a shampoo and conditioner like Redken Extreme Length Shampoo and Conditioner with Biotin to help you grow longer, stronger hair over time. Or, opt for clip-in extensions for quicker (but equally gorgeous) results!
A tiara isn’t the only accessory fit for a princess. You can give a simple hairstyle like a ponytail immediate princess vibes with pearl hair accessories.
This side-swept braid is soft, pretty, and romantic—like any princess should be!
You might have guessed this one, but the colorcore aesthetic is all about...color! Rocking this aesthetic is all about playing with vibrant hues—and that also applies to your hair!
Colorcore Hair Ideas
Show off your aesthetic while staying on-trend in the hair world with a technicolor balayage. If you opt for vibrant, color-treated hair, be sure to use a shampoo and conditioner like Biolage Colorlast Shampoo and Conditioner. This system helps protect hair, balances moisture, and evens out the hair’s surface to maintain saturated, vibrant colors.
Working with natural curls? We love the way ringlets showcase the dimension of rainbow hair color.
Rainbow Space Buns
While colorcore is all about colors, you’ll need a hairstyle that best accentuates them. We love this rainbow hair look paired with space buns.
If you love to embrace your inner child through your fashion and hairstyle choices, you’ll love the kidcore aesthetic. This aesthetic centers around kid themes and ‘90s childhood nostalgia.
Who didn’t love wearing pigtails as a kid? Luckily, these modern pigtails work for all ages.
‘90s kids were obsessed with butterfly clips and luckily, these tiny accessories are back in style. Take on the kidcore aesthetic by placing butterfly clips throughout your mane.
Ahh, glitter—our parents hated it, but we loved it! Use glitter or hair glitter spray to give your strands serious sparkle. Pro tip: If you want shiny hair without the mess, use a shine spray like Redken Shine Flash Hair Spray.
This aesthetic is meant to emulate the imagery and characterizations of angels. If you follow angelcore, you wear dainty or ethereal clothing in a light color palette—and your hairstyles and color match this aesthetic.
There’s nothing quite as angelic as a halo braid. Click here for a complete guide to achieving this soft, dreamy hairstyle.
If you admire the soft, pastel color scheme of angelcore, opt for an angelcore-inspired hair color like pastel pink.
Tied With A Bow
Searching for a less permanent way to add pastels to your hair? Wrap your ponytail with a pastel pink hair bow.
This out-of-this-world aesthetic pays homage to astronomy, stars, and planets. If you follow spacecore, you’ll use galactic shapes and colors in your clothing, decor, and even your hair.
Galactic Hair Color
Fully embrace the spacecore aesthetic with a galactic hair color, featuring vibrant shades of purple, magenta, blue, and turquoise to create a celestial look.
You can also try spacecore hair through accessories like moon-shaped hair clips.
Star-Studded Low Knot
Upgrade your low knotted hairstyle by placing a few star accessories throughout the look.
What we love most about the vintage aesthetic is that you can recreate looks from any time period you want. In this case, “vintage” is an umbrella term that refers to aesthetics from any past decade (or a mixture of decades). When it comes to vintage hair, you can wear on-trend looks from the ‘90s, ‘70s, or even the ‘20s—the choice is yours!
Vintage Hair Ideas
Victory Roll Updo
This victory roll hairstyle takes us all the way back to the 1940s. If you’re a fan of that era, you’ll want to recreate this classic ‘do.
‘60s Flipped Ends
Watch the video above to learn how to recreate ‘60s flipped out ends using a flat iron.
Pair your bell bottoms and bell-sleeved blouses with a ‘70s-inspired haircut! We love this shaggy cut with piece-ey voluminous bangs.
Interested in trying a new haircut, color, or style? Use our salon locator to book an appointment at a salon near you.