80s Big Hair
We all know the phrase ‘the bigger, the better,’ and the 80s big hair trend took the phrase literally.
Get out the curling iron and Aqua Net – we’re looking back at one of the biggest trends of the decade.
Classic 80s Big Hair
80s big hair was a look that defined the decade. It was big and fluffy, and sometimes crunchy.
Bangs were curled back, teased up, and sprayed with copious amounts of hairspray.
The big hair look worked best if you had some natural curl or waves in your hair, but if not, perms were the perfect way to get these curls. The look was also much easier with unwashed hair.
Length was also an important factor to this look. The longer your hair was, the bigger it could be, especially if you had layers. Bangs were cut thick and long so you could achieve just the right look once they were styled.
This awesome 80s hair was not just for women. Men, especially if they were a rock star, loved this big, teased style; they even got perms. Bands like Poison, Cinderella, Great White and Winger – among many others – made this their signature look and sometimes paired it with a cool bandana.
80s Big and Spiky Hair
For the people with pin-straight hair that couldn’t hold a curl, there was always the option to go a little punk with your hair.
To make it work, the top was cut shorter than the rest of the hair, and there were plenty of layers. These layers would help create a choppy, funky look that could be teased to great heights.
This look could be long or short, and in mullet form or not. It also looked especially rad with streaks of wild colors.
Tools of the Trade
For any great 80s look, you would need to use a lot of styling products. You could use mousse or gel on wet hair before blow-drying – with your head upside down, of course.
The legendary giant can of Aqua Net was a staple on many bathroom countertops, which you could use while you performed the mandatory ‘scrunching’ while drying your upside down head. It was truly a skill.
The curling iron was essential to getting the perfect bangs. With a little manipulation – and a routine of curl, tease, spray, repeat – you could make your bangs as big as you wanted them.
Once you were happy with the look, that giant can of hairspray really got a workout. Even on a windy day, these perfect bangs would not move.
Many people, men included, got perms to add body to their hair. Spiral perms were expensive, but if you had the money and didn’t mind the smell, they were an effective tool to get the perfect 80s hairstyle.
If you didn’t want to commit to a perm, a curling iron would work, but you would have to spend a lot of time in the bathroom, especially if you had long hair.
There were also crimping irons, which were essentially two metal plates with a zigzag pattern. This also took a long time, but gave a sharp and uniquely geometric look to your hair.
If people couldn’t see the movie screen when sitting behind you in the theater, your totally 80s big hair was a success.