Popular '80s Hair Styles

Written by sonie guseh
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Popular '80s Hair Styles
Hairstyles in the 1980s tended to be over-the-top. (To tighten up hair image by Andrey Andreev from Fotolia.com)

In the 1980s, "big" was the word of the decade. From big accessories to brightly coloured clothing, style was nothing subtle. Instead, it was all about making a huge statement. Hairstyles were no different--the bigger the better.

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The Mullet

The Mullet was class '80s style. This is one style that can't really be cut in place--it's just overgrown hair that hangs down to the nape of the neck, with the hair cut short in front. The greasier mullets were the better ones in this decade.

Sky-high Bangs

Sky-high fringe were all the rage during the '80s. Many women teased them to get the fullest effect. Extra hairspray made for the stiffest fringe in sight.


The Afro emerged in the 1970s, but continued to be all the rage in the '80s. It was all about African-Americans embracing their natural texture and freeing themselves in society, and through their hairstyles. It was sometimes about a political statement, but sometimes just a plain old fun hairdo.

Side Ponytail

This side-swept hairstyle adds some variation to the traditional hair pulled back. The bouncy side ponytail was a popular look for girls who "just wanna have fun."

Jheri Curls

Music artists like Lionel Richie made this African-American '80s hairstyle popular. This style was in constant need of spritz and spray to keep those curls intact.


Often, men and boys would cut their hair into a conservative style--except the nape of the neck, where they'd let that rattail of hair get longer and longer.


In accordance with the huge-hair theme, women permed their hair to make it curlier and bigger, adding volume, body and height.

Asymmetrical Hair

In the '80s, asymmetrical cuts were seen in the streets, allowing one side of hair to be significantly longer than the other side. The fun and funky look sent a message that everything doesn't have to be straight, narrow and structured, and that variation is sometimes a good thing.

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