Head and neck cancer is the sixth most common cancer worldwide. It remains one of the leading causes of death, and its early detection is crucial. Liquid biopsy has emerged as a promising tool for detecting and monitoring the disease status of patients with early and advanced cancers. Circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA), circulating tumor cells (CTCs), and exosomal miRNAs have received enormous attention because of their apparent clinical implications. Analyses of these circulating biomarkers have paved the way for novel therapeutic approaches and precision medicine. A growing number of reports have implicated the use of circulating biomarkers for detection, treatment planning, response monitoring, and prognosis assessment. Although these new biomarkers can provide a wide range of possible clinical applications, no validated circulating biomarkers have yet been integrated into clinical practice for head and neck cancer. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge of circulating biomarkers in this field, focusing on their feasibility, limitations, and key areas of clinical applications. We also highlight recent advances in salivary diagnostics and their potential application in head and neck cancer.