Short Haircuts From the 80s

Written by elaine anderson
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Short Haircuts From the 80s
The mullet was popular for men in the 1980s. (Ryan McVay/Lifesize/Getty Images)

The 1980s was a decade of self-expression and self-centered focus. With the popularisation of credit cards and the media focus on the rich and famous, baby boomers came to be called the splurge generation. This focus on self, individuality and materialism led to a wide range of experimentation in personal style, and hair was no exception. Even though one of the major trends of the 80s was big hair, short hairstyles were still very popular, came in a variety of forms and were often teased or spiked to achieve fashionable sizes.

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Glam artists like David Bowie popularised the mullet in the 1970s, but it really took over the fashion scene with 1980s hard rock. It's striking characteristic was a short cut in the front and along the sides with longer hair in the back, but there were many varieties. For instance, women tended to leave their fronts and sides slightly longer and more feathered than men, and many chose to spike or tease the top of the do.


A variety of bobs were common among women in the 1980s. Short bobs grew out of the 1970s wedge style, where the hair was all the same length until it reached the ears and then was trimmed close to the scalp in the back. Princess Diana's popularity helped the short bob thrive. Other bobs were more traditional, such as the chin-length bob.One e thing all 1980s bobs had in common was volume. Women teased and permed their bobs to make them as poofy as popular, achieving the big hair that was so desirable while maintaining a short hairstyle.


Short, choppy and uneven, the asymmetrical look was considered a daring and rebellious way to rebel against more traditional styles. Jagged fringe, unevenly shaved heads or hair that was longer on one side than the other were made popular by various music artists of the time, such as Cyndi Lauper or Boy George.

Rat Tails

Rat tails were common among men and boys, as most women tended to favour other styles. Men or boys sporting rat tails kept the rest of their hair short and trimmed, sometimes even buzzed, while letting a small swath of hair at the nape of the neck grow longer. Some men even let their rat tails grow all the way down their backs, to their waists, and they would often braid them to make them easier to manage.

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