80s Hairstyles

80s Hairstyles, you can almost smell the hair spray.

With the aid of bottles of Aqua Net hair spray, and cans of mousse, both men and women in the 80s achieved gravity-defying feats of hairstyling prowess.

The 80s hairstyles were big, bold, and stiff as a board.

80s Bangs

The feathered hairstyle bangs of the 80s were teased and sprayed sky-high.

Whether they created a solid half moon of stiff hair or the equally popular wave of hair that rose straight up and then flowed down to one side or the other, a girl’s bangs in the 80s never laid down on the job.

Women carried hair spray, and hair picks everywhere (good thing big purses were in style) to touch up their huge hair bangs – assuming that any piece of hair was actually able to move!

The stiff look extended from the bangs and into the sides of the hair. This look wasn’t just worn by women, but also by men when it was adopted by the stars of hard rock bands like Whitesnake and Poison – who were aptly known as hair bands.

Sideways Hairstyle

Nothing was done the old-fashioned way in the 80s! Especially not the classic ponytail, which was twisted to the side and pulled as tight as possible.

The hanging tail could be left straight or crimped for extra body and style.

Another popular sideways look was to sweep all the hair to the side and spray it heavily with hair spray, so that it appeared that you had been caught in a strong wind. 

Often one side would be shaved off entirely.

80s slicked back hair

Robert Palmer’s lineup of blank-faced beauties in the “Addicted to Love” video made this look popular. It is probably the only hairstyle of the 80s that didn’t involve a lot of hair spray.

Wet hair was slathered with heavy hair gel so that it remained wet-looking and slicked back into a bun.

Mullet Hairstyle

Business on top, party in the back is how the mullet hairstyle was described. The look was defined by hair that was longer in the back and cut short on top – and was worn by men and women alike.

Ranging from the more conservative mullet with the hair in the back merely reaching the shoulders, to much longer hair with the top heavily teased and held with hair spray.

It may be the most mocked hairstyle in history, but was a hot hairstyle as could be in the 80’s.

80s Rat-tails

Especially popular with boys and young men, the single long piece of hair down the back, extending from a short hair cut was seen everywhere in the 80s.

Sometimes, the tail would be braided or dyed a different color to make it stand out.

Flock of Seagulls Hair

Modeled after the popular New Wave band, this strange hairstyle for men involved hair that was flat in the middle and had large wings on either side that swept up and then down in a curl.

As though a large hair curler had been placed on each side of the head, heavily coated with hair spray, and then removed. It was finished with the front of the hair flowing down the middle of the face in a long wave.

Jheri curl

The top African-American hairstyle of the 80s was the Jheri curl, named for its creator, Jheri Redding. 

The tight, shiny curls were worn by superstars like Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie.

80s Perms and bleach hair

Hair in the 80s was heavily processed to help obtain the popular looks.

Both men and women sported tightly curled perms and bleached their hair out to the white-blond made popular by stars like Madonna.

Bright hair colors like the orange worn by Cyndi Lauper were also trendy. Home perms and hair dye were popular, and their use skyrocketed in the 80s.

With unnatural height, color and styles, 80s hair was as unapologetically extravagant and over the top as everything else in the 80s.

80s Hair
Woman with 1980s style makeup, big blonde hair, green shirt and acid washed jeans.