If you love falling in love, always have a crush, and fantasize about finding yourself in a meet-cute every time you go to the grocery store, rom-com core may just be your thing. The latest viral social media trend to inspire everyone’s beauty and style directions for the new year is inspired by—you guessed it, rom-coms, aka romantic comedies. Feeling uninspired with your hair lately? This viral aesthetic might be the antidote.
Rom-com core is especially perfect for hair for myriad reasons. Whether it’s an updated version of the ‘90s messy bixie cut worn by a stylish Gen X slacker or a new way to curl your hair that’ll make you feel like a women’s magazine writer (trying to get a guy to break up with you in a certain amount of time), there are rom-com hairstyles galore.
Rom-coms are one of my favorite movie genres, right next to horror, and I’m not even joking. I’m sure some people who know me more as a horror and B-movie nerd would think it was a little strange that I have watched certain romantic comedies on repeat (especially during the holidays), but I am unabashed in my love for them. I understand why these types of movies have gotten flack from critics and movie-goers alike. Rom-coms have always had the reputation of being a little cheesy since they’re often formulaic and come with a predictable happy ending. But that never seemed to hinder their overall popularity. There’s something so incredibly comforting about curling up on the couch with a bowl of pasta and putting on my favorite rom-com. It just never gets old.
What Is Rom-Com Core?
It makes total sense why the rom-com aesthetic is having its moment in our wardrobes and beauty closets. Not only do these feel-good films serve as a cinematic balm to us in these trying times, but they low-key have some of the best fashion and beauty moments. And because ‘90s and aughts-era style have made their way back into the trend cycle in recent years, it’s understandable why we’d look to the movies of these decades for inspo. After all, the ‘90s and 2000s produced some of the best rom-com movies of the genre. For those of us who existed during that time, it wasn’t unusual to bring a photo of a particular rom-com heroine to our hairstylist. I certainly have.
Rom-Com Core Hair
One of the great things about copping a rom-com hairstyle for yourself is there isn’t just one type of haircut or style that represents the whole genre. In fact, there are plenty of options to fit your own personal rom-com aesthetic, no matter if your hair is short, long, straight, or curly. Got a blonde, chin-length haircut? Perhaps a perky, flipped-up bob is more suited to your taste (especially if you and an old friend pretend to date each other to make your exes jealous). If you have long, curly red locks, you’re practically destined to procure a red tuxedo jacket and some thigh-high boots and channel one of the most iconic rom-com queens of the ‘90s. (Just don’t forget to show your curls a little love by moisturizing and defining them with Matrix’s A Curl Can Dream Light-Hold Gel.)
But even with all the different rom-com hair options, there is something about a classic curl or wave that embodies that whole romantic vibe for me. It’s also perfect for my own current hairstyle, which is blonde and long. To celebrate my favorite movie genre having its time in the spotlight, I’ve recreated three of my favorite rom-com ‘dos that work with my hair. Ahead, see how I did them with tips on which salon-grade products to use.
How to Get Rom-Com Core Hair
Loose Waves Like a Wedding Planner Who’s Unlucky in Love
Imagine having a busy and stressful job that requires utmost organization (and patience for demanding brides-to-be). A slicked-back chignon may be the perfect hair accessory for your blazer and clipboard, but what about off-duty style? In case I find myself having a heart-to-heart with my, ahem, client’s fiancé in the park while we watch old movies, I’m gonna go for something a little more casual. A middle part with loose, wavy ends is easy to do but is still soft and pretty.
After making a center part, it’s time to use a 1.5-inch curling iron to make some curls that I’ll comb out into waves. Editor tip: Always use a heat protectant, such as Biolage Professional Thermal Active Spray, before using a hot tool! Then, just add some mousse to the wavy ends for a little fullness, like Kérastase Densifique Densimorphose.
A Side Part and Flipped Ends Like an NYC Fashion Editor
I don’t have to use my imagination too much for this look since I’m inspired by a certain rom-com fashion editor like myself (who may or may not be celebrating a 30th birthday)! I'll do a side part with flipped ends for a cute hairstyle but a little more put together. For this look, it’s all about the hair being smooth and teased. First, make a side part. Next, straighten your hair with a flat iron, and don’t forget the heat protectant! One like Redken Spray Smooth will smooth out any flyways and provide all-day humidity protection in addition to its thermal powers.
Finally, you’ll want to add some height! I love using a product that will help bring volume to my roots, like Redken Root Tease Backcombing Spray or Matrix Total Results High Amplify. Just spritz it in and tease the roots with a fine-tooth comb.
A High Ponytail for a Lawyer Wannabe in Love
Rom-com hair is also a great go-to if you’re looking for inspiration for a party or other type of formal event (even a wedding!). All of the buns, chignons, and updos worn by rom-com leads can make for a great mood board. However, if you’re looking for a fun updo that can be worn to both a concert or Civil Procedure class, a high half ponytail with curly ends is a great choice.
Wrap a piece of hair around the pony to camouflage the hair tie, and then go ham with your favorite hairspray to lock everything in place. I love Pureology Style + Protect Lock It Down Hairspray.
Question, can you still have a meet-cute with your S.O. even if you're already married? Because my hair looks so good, it shouldn’t go to waste!
Marie Lodi is an LA-based writer and editor covering beauty, fashion, costume design, lifestyle, and pop culture. Marie is also the co-host of the Fishnet Flix Podcast, where she interviews costume designers and breaks down the fashion in movies and TV. Read more of her work at marielodi.com and follow her on Instagram.
Interested in finding more hairstyles and products to recreate your favorite hair moments from your romantic comedy of choice? Shop Hair.com for all your styling needs, plus find pro tutorials to get the look.