'80s Retro Hairstyles

Written by laurel handfield
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'80s Retro Hairstyles
Hair in the '80s was big and bold. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

The hairstyles of the 1980s was all about volume, colourful accessories and, sometimes, asymmetry. Hairstyles of the '80s were influenced by several trends, including fashions that were influenced by prime-time dramas and popular music. Haircuts in the 1980s included short and layered styles, as well as long, curly masses of highlighted locks.

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Short cuts mimicked prime-time soap stars on shows, such as "Knots Landing" and "Dallas." For a professional look, the shorter '80s hair was layered all around, such as the 'do pop star Sheena Easton sported, or had longer layers in the front like the Princess Diana style. Younger kids punked-up the style with a Mohawk with spray-on neon colours in the front. Modern variations of the '80s short cut are worn today, but instead of the fried and died look, the current short style includes romantic curls or high-volume waves.


The bigger, the better was the '80s hair mantra. In the '80s, one of the most popular movies, "Dirty Dancing," inspired a generation to don the mid-length curly perm. Hair sprayed with a bottle of spray could add at least 3 inches of hair height. Madonna was the epitome of style with her two-toned mid-length teased hair. Professional women wore a longer-layered hairstyle, which usually included fringe -- rhink Linda Evans and Joan Collins from the television drama, "Dynasty."


Longer hair was teased to new lengths in the 1980s. Unlike medium-length hair, which could only be teased so high, longer lengths had endless possibilities. The side ponytail was fastened at the crown of the head with a scrunchie and teased to give a fuller look. If a perm hairstyle full of hairspray wasn't enough body and pouf for you, you could plug in the crimping iron for a party look.

Black Hair

The asymmetrical 'do worn by rap artists such as MC Lyte and Salt-n-Pepa was a hit style for the younger generation. Guys and girls of all ages and hair lengths wore chemically aided curls, called the Jheri Curl. For guys who preferred less chemicals in the hair, boxed cuts were an option. Boxed cuts contained shorter or no hair on the sides. The top was cut into a squared-off shape. Men added a little flair with designs cut into the style.

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