TikTok trends come and go (galaxy nails, anyone?), but one that has been sticking around for some time now is the Clean Girl Aesthetic. The look has its champions and its detractors. The former point to the effortlessly boss look you can achieve with minimal product, while the latter will tell you that it chases a predominantly white, successful (translate: rich), and consumer-driven stereotype. But what exactly does this look involve, why should you care about it, and how can you achieve it (if you want to)? Let’s take a closer look at being clean.
What Is the Clean Girl Aesthetic
@mkishanthini literal goddesses #greenscreen #cleangirl #cleangirlaesthetic ♬ original sound - ᴛᴠᴅᴜ
The Clean Girl Aesthetic mostly consists of a slicked-back bun, light makeup, glowy skin, and fluffy eyebrows. You know you’ve nailed it if it looks like you’re not wearing a whole lot of makeup, but rather just rolled out of bed with some hair ties and a plan to dominate your day. That’s the essence of the clean girl; it’s not just about a look, but also a lifestyle, a statement that you’ve got your life together. Beyond hair and makeup, it extends to perfume, style, accessories, and even dietary choices.
Where did it come from? Many industry experts point to style trendsetters like Bella Hadid, Hailey Bieber, and Selena Gomez, all of whom flawlessly pull off that perfect bun with a part in the middle, fantastic skin, and seemingly effortless beauty. But we also love Kishanthini’s callout of OG clean girls pulling off the same look centuries ago.
Influencers and TikTokers the world over have emulated Clean Girl tutorials and how-to’s. Sloan Byrd has an excellent step-by-step, complete with hair bun, simple jewelry, skincare routine, “no makeup” makeup, and deodorant and perfume to complete the look.
Why Do Some People Hate It?
@_beckyjade one day i will make a video explaining the djerfication of fashion but today is not that day! #cleangirl #fashiontok #style ♬ original sound - becky 😽
As with most style trends, social media is full of people who call BS on the Clean Girl Aesthetic. Many point to the obsession being more toxic than empowering as well as classist and racist, because the women who champion it tend to be white, skinny, and boasting acne-free, incredible skin that’s probably the result of expensive treatments that basically defeat the purpose of a no-frills look. Others point to chasing a lifestyle and persona that is completely foreign to most women. The idea of “16-year-old girls dressed up like they’re about to go into a meeting with their tech startup CEOs” isn’t one we should embrace, fumes one TikToker.
Our Take on the Clean Girl Aesthetic
@latinusbeautyofficial clean girl braid instead of a claw clip so our hair will dry with super cute waves 😌 #cleangirlaesthetic #cleangirlhair #latina #LuRESCUE ♬ just like magic - Ariana Grande
As a new hair care brand, what do the beauty experts at Lu think of the Clean Girl Aesthetic? We have to admit, we dig the spirit of this look. Clean beauty is in Lu’s DNA. Our shampoos, conditioners, and styling creams were designed to be cruelty-free and clean – that is, free of sulfates, parabens, phthalates, and colorants. These hair care products were made for all hair types and styles, from thick, curly hair to long, straight strands and everything in between. Lu helps your hair’s natural texture and shape shine through, and works to protect and strengthen your locks while giving you the ‘do you want. And our Control Collection is ideal for that slicked-back bun, getting you out of the shower and ready to conquer the world with no flyaways, frizz, or time for touch-ups.
As with most trends, you can make the Clean Girl Aesthetic work for you. Minimal makeup, simple styles and accessories that work with almost any budget, and no-fuss hair are #goals many of us can get behind on any given day. But it doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing choice. Want to glam it up, rock your curls in a natural ‘fro, or go in another direction entirely? You are your own trend-setter. It’s why we designed our products to be mood-based, giving your hair the ally it needs when you need to control your look (clean or otherwise), set your locks free, or come to the rescue when your hair needs that extra TLC. You do you, and let the beauty trends come and go as they always do.