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How to do a Madonna hairstyle from the 80s

Updated April 17, 2017

During the 1980s, Madonna's fresh, unique style was imitated and copied more than any other celebrity of the era. Known for her music, films, attitude and style, Madonna influenced the fashion of the time period with unforgettable, iconic and well-known ensembles. Her hair became an integral part of Madonna's image. Whether your hair is brown, dirty blonde, streaked with bleached-blonde highlights or platinum with dark roots, Madonna went through many colours and textures during her vogue phase.

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  1. Plug in the curling iron, turn it on and allow it to heat up per product instructions.

  2. Run a quarter-sized portion of mousse through dry, straight hair.

  3. Separate hair into five or six sections and secure each section with a clip or hair tie.

  4. Use the curling iron to make loose, 6 cm curls in your hair, moving one section at a time until all sections have been curled.

  5. Spray your hair with water so that it is slightly damp. Grip the curls from the root and gently pull your hands down to the root, stretching out the damp curls so that they become waves.

  6. Apply a handful of mousse to your hair and blow-dry on low. Once waves are dry, run a nickel-sized amount of gel over waves for emphasis and hold.

  7. Place a thick, lacy ribbon under your hair, just above the base of your neck, bringing the ends up behind your ears and above your head. Pull taught at the side of your head into a bow.

  8. Apply a final, light shot of hairspray all over hair for hold.

  9. Tip

    Perm hair for a semi-permanent wavy look or use a crimping iron instead of a curling iron for a playful, 80s-inspired twist.

    Tease front fringe or use a curling brush with a blow dryer for big Madonna volume. Complete the look with big, mismatched earrings and lots of bangle bracelets and long charm or chain necklaces.


    Use heat styling tools with caution and always unplug after use.

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Things You'll Need

  • Curling iron
  • Spray bottle with water
  • Styling mousse
  • Extra-hold hairspray
  • Gel
  • Hair dryer
  • Hair clips or hair ties
  • Lace ribbon

About the Author

Debra Pachucki has been writing in the journalistic, scholastic and educational sectors since 2003. Pachucki holds a Bachelor's degree in education and currently teaches in New Jersey. She has worked professionally with children of all ages and is pursuing a second Masters degree in education from Monmouth University.

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