How to do your hair like the 80s

Written by helen holzer
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How to do your hair like the 80s
Get your hair to look like candyfloss. (Polka Dot RF/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Along with those shoulder pads and leg warmers, if you want to emulate a 1980s look, go for the outrageous big hair. This was the era of Cyndi Lauper and Madonna as teen trendsetters. The hair was long, teased, moussed and sprayed. There were the good girl preppy looks and the bad girls who had all the fun. Guys also got in on the fun with Mohawks, mullets and everything in between.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Temporary hair dye
  • Mousse or gel
  • Hairspray
  • Hair accessories

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  1. 1

    Go for the Madonna look.

    Wear big hair bows and lacy mesh hair accessories. Crimp your hair, tease it, gel it and use hairspray to maintain the big hair of the 1980s. Hair can be straight or curly, as long as it's free flowing. The "in" styles should resemble candyfloss.

    Use temporary hair dye in any colour of the rainbow. Buy a package of temporary dye and follow the directions for a look that shampoos out in a few weeks. It also does not harm the hair like permanent dye.

  2. 2

    Use hairbands, banana clips or barrettes to maintain a preppy, sophisticated look.

    Hair straighteners -- or large rollers to provide a fuller look -- parody the '80s styles worn by Molly Ringwald, Joan Collins, Princess Di or those "Designing Women." Aim for a more controlled big hairstyle that is teased high at the top and is straighter at the bottom. Full fringe are also a must.

  3. 3

    Style men's hair to be shorter at the top and longer at the back, resembling a mullet.

    This look made ponytails popular for guys. Punk and rock band influences brought in big hair for men that was long and loosely flowing. Men can also tease, mousse and spray to get the look popular with rock bands of the era, such as Bon Jovi or KISS.

    Classic styles of the '80s for men were suave and worn a bit long on top. Hairstyles were influenced by actors Don Johnson, Tom Cruise and David Hasselhoff.

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