The 1980s spawned the creation of many different eccentric styles, like punk-pop fashion and gender-blurring haircuts. It was a decade obsessed with volume, bright colors, making a statement, and expressing all of these things with hair. And the epitome of eighties hairstyles was the cool girl with big curls and feathered bangs.
It seems like some of the ’80s hair trends are coming back, with fashionistas seen rocking the big hair and high ponytails. While vintage hairstyles coming back isn’t a new phenomenon, the 1980s was such an iconic decade for hair, it’s hard to ignore this particular style rebirth.
80s Hair Trends
Popular hairstyles of the 1980s included permed curls, crimped styles, soft cuts, feathered waves (think Farrah Fawcett), and most importantly, teased roots. In the 1970s, pin-straight strands parted perfectly down the middle was the “it” way to wear your hair, but once the year 1980 came around, attitudes towards hair changed. The typical ’80s hairstyles were part-free, featuring an effortlessly tousled look with plenty of volume.
Where did this desire for the famous ’80s big hair come from? To answer this, we look back to 1960s icons like Brigitte Bardot and Jane Fonda, who originated “big hair”. These styles became all the more popular during the 1980s, when the volume was wanted by both sexes, not just women. The punk and goth subcultures also began gaining popularity, contributing to the big hair phenomenon and legacy. Check out some of the best 80s hairstyles that you may see on women today and get ready to rock the 80s hair trends!
#1: Boss-Lady Blowout
A fresh blowout is always trendy and empowering. It’s the ultimate pick-me-up that never goes out of style. The rise of blow-dryer brushes so that we can create that chic bouncy blowout look at home is proof that this hairstyle still takes the crown. The 80s embodied volume and curls, and that is exactly what this style achieves. You can always make power moves with a boss-lady blowout!
#2: Shag Cut
Bring on the shag haircuts and carpets – and keep it groovy. A modern shag haircut can work with any length of hair, and it always creates that edgy flare. If you have more fine hair, a shag cut can optimize volume and get rid of frizz. If you have thicker locks, it can establish lots of layers to reveal the ultimate cool-girl look.
#3: Half Up-Half Down Ponytail
The half up half down ponytail trend is here to stay. This timeless hairstyle has been popularized by celebrities over the last decade, especially pop singer Ariana Grande. The great thing about this 80s hairstyle is that it doesn’t take much time to execute, but it always turns out flawless. It can be done using a flat iron, curling iron, wand, or blowdryer brush. Pro tip: the bigger the volume of your whale spout, the better!
#4: Big Messy Hair
The 80s hairstyles were all about that big, messy hair and we are still here for it decades later! These hairstyles create fun, playful and youthful look. An added bonus is that messy styles are not complicated and they do not take very long to achieve. A win-win choice!
#5: 80s Pixie
Pixie cuts popularized in the 80s are still in demand for those times when you want a cool, contemporary hairstyle. Modern pixie cuts can be created on all hair types and textures, and they are incredibly easy to manage. The possibilities are endless with a pixie cut, as you can rock it with bangs, waves, faux hawks – or switch it up with an underut pixie. This hairstyle is feminine and bold.
Hair accessories, like headbands, can completely transform a look. They are a great choice when you want to elevate a casual, simple hairstyle. They also do wonders when you want to add a little embellishment for that special touch. Headbands were also popularized on the show “Gossip Girl,” as they represented a crown that the main character Blair Waldorf would often put on. Singers like Lana Del Rey and music festival culture popularized flower crowns, too.
#7: Feathered Hair
The saying goes, “birds of a feather, flock together” and people are still flocking to feathered haircuts. Feathered hair is all about showcasing layers, and the results are always elegant and sophisticated. These hairstyles became prominent in the ’70s and ’80s, with starlets like Farrah Fawcett of “Charlie’s Angels” fame making it an iconic look. Today this style is just as trendy, with celebrities like Jennifer Lopez and Selena Gomez rockin’ the timeless look.
#8: Whale Spout Pony
The whale spout pony is one of the most recognized styles from the ’80s. This decade was a time of excess, bold colors, and lots of hairspray. Crimped hair, teased locks and loads of volume are coming back in a big way right now. To create the perfect crimps and waves, you can use a three-barrel iron or sleep with your hair in braids and then unravel them in the morning.
#9: Permed Hair
Perms were a huge part of the 80’s culture, that featured tons of curls and crimps. Now people are giving perms a modern twist by opting to personalize their perms. From size to texture to tightness, people are enjoying customizing their curls. You can play around with the types of curls you want, and you can create different looks simply by moving your part or adding more layers.
#10: Slicked Back
Sleek and chic hairstyles never go out of style. Celebrities such as Gigi Hadid, Jennifer Lawrence and Charlize Theron have all put a modern twist on this 80’s hair trend. It gives off effortless vibes. A popular modern version of this hair trend is the wet slicked back look that gives the out-of-the-shower feels. Many members of the Kardashian family are fans of this cool, chic look.
#11: High Powered Ponytails
A high ponytail is always trendy because they look so elegant, and there are so many ways to style them. Big curls, beachy waves, braided crowns or a bubble ponytail are great ways to add a lot of volume to your look. You can also opt for a sleek and chic straight ponytail. High ponytails illuminate the colors and layers of your hair while showing off the softness and shine. Plus, it’s the perfect hairstyle if you need to keep your hair out of your face.
#12: Marvelous Mohawks
If you ever want to try out a new haircut or hairstyle, a mohawk or faux hawk are some popular choices. Traditionally, this hairstyle features the sides of the head shaved with flowing hair in the middle. However; you don’t have to shave any of your hair if you don’t want to with a modern mohawk or faux hawk. Updos and braids are great ways to achieve these looks without having to cut or shave the actual hair. You can style it to your liking!
#13: Low-to-High Beautiful Bobs
The bob haircut became popular in the ’80s, and it remains a common haircut request at salons all around the world. A very popular choice is the low to high hair cut that features shorter hair in the back with longer locks framing the face. You can play around with layers to find the best styles that will complement the shape of your face.
#14: Bow Barrettes
Barrettes are coming back in a big way, baby! These are the ultimate hair accessories that can totally transform a look. Barrettes and clips were a fad in the ’80s and they still are to this day. You can use bow barrettes, or barrettes that feature other embellishments such as pearls and jewels. Use these to hold your hair in place with the half up half down style or put one in while you have a ponytail or braid.
#15: Hair Bows
Everything is better when tied up beautifully with a bow! You can add hairbows to high and low ponytails, braids, and mermaid tails. A fun twist on the bubble ponytail is by using hairbows to separate the hair and hold it in place. The finished look is as dreamy as can be!
#16: Blowout Bangs
The ’80s hairstyles were all about the big bangs and big hair! This look is still a great choice when you want to add some bouncy volume to your hair. Blown out hair and bangs, give off that elegant, enchanting look, while appearing effortless. Use round brushes and a blow dryer, a curling iron with a big barrel, or a blow dryer brush to achieve the perfect blowout bangs – and go out with a bang!
#17: Chunky Highlights
Highlights are here to stay, my friends. Getting highlights and lowlights has evolved for a long time and remains a popular hair treatment at salons. You can have fun picking the perfect hair hues and mixing it up with the tones you select. Chunky highlights have become iconic looks of celebrities through the years, such as Jennifer Aniston and her “Friends” character, Rachel Green. Highlights, ombre and balayage are wonderful ways to add texture and depth to showcase your stunning locks.
#18: Asymmetrical Hairstyle
Steal the show with an asymmetrical cut and style that is sure to grab everyone’s attention. Asymmetrical looks can be achieved with short, medium and long hair. An added perk to having these cool cuts is that they really will shape your face!
#19: Banana Clip Hairstyles
People go bananas for banana clip hairstyles! Banana clips were often seen in movies and magazines in the ’80s, and they continue to be all the rage. The great thing about banana clips is that they are so versatile and work well. They come in a variety of sizes and you can use them to create dreamy buns, ponytails, and half up half down looks.
#20: Floral Accessories
Flower power! There is something so whimsical and magical about adding flowers and floral accessories to our hair. Music festivals like Coachella and Lollapalooza have really brought the flower crown trend to center stage over the last decade. Flowers are so feminine and beautiful, and they really brighten up hair cuts and styles when we add them for a pop of color. Floral accessories are the ‘wow factor’ we all need in our lives!
Scrunchies are here to stay! Back in the ’80s and ’90s, scrunchies were trendy thanks to style icons like Madonna and Cindy Lauper. They are still having a moment right now, with starlets like Bella Hadid and Selena Gomez rockin’ them. They come in a variety of colors, prints and sizes – and are made using various types of fabrics. Scrunchies are great because they will not damage your hair and can create numerous looks. Scrunchie season is definitely in session right now!
Mullets are one of the most recognizable ’80s hairstyles. Today, they are being incorporated again by both women and men. The style started to come back because Millenials have a fondness for the edgy look. Modern mullets can be created with a variety of hair lengths and colors.
#23: Keep It Wavy, Baby
Adding some soft, delicate waves to your hair will always be a good idea. You can achieve this style by using a 1- or 1.5-inch curling iron, a flat iron, a wand, or a blow dryer brush. You can choose the tightness of the waves and curls to create different looks. A good tip is to initially start with tighter curls that will then turn into loose curls as the day goes on. Top it off with a texturizing or silkening spray for ultimate shine.
#24: Curly Bangs
Curly bangs are always cute and charming. You can opt for bangs with curly hair, or choose to curl your fringe with straight or wavy hairdos. A common myth about bangs is that they are hard to style, but in reality, the options are endless, by playing around with the textures, sizes and tones of the curls. This style works great for any hair texture and length.
#25: 80s Bob Style
A bob haircut screams high fashion – think Victoria Beckham AKA “Posh Spice”! There are multiple ways to style a bob haircut: shaggy or layered, wavy or straight, short or long, or with an 80s flair this bob has. Whether you prefer an asymmetrical or symmetrical bob style – they look bold and beautiful!
#26: Long Messy Hair
Long hair, don’t care! The trend of styling your hair long and messy is not going anywhere, thanks to it illuminating that effortless, free spirit look. This style has been made popular by supermodels like Kate Moss and Alessandra Ambrosio and celebrities such as Blake Lively and Jessica Alba. The cool thing about this long and messy hairstyle is that it looks so appealing and still gives off the impression that you did not try too hard to achieve it.
#27: Rocker Hairstyle
Rock & Roll! The ’80s are well-known for the rise of some of the best hard rock and heavy metal bands of all time; think Guns N Roses, Motley Crue and AC/DC. Along with the rise of rock and roll music, there came incredible rocker hairstyles that never go out of style. From mohawks to faux hawks, shaggy strands to wandering waves, edgy cuts to cool colors – there is something for everyone.
#28: Layered Cuts & Bangs
Add some layers to your hair and bangs to create a flattering look that is sure to complement your face and emphasize your features. Layers and bangs are a fun way to keep your hair out of your face, and it is incredibly convenient and will save you time in the morning while you are getting ready. The great thing about layers is that when you are doing different hairstyles, the layers will be revealed and have a well-deserved shining moment!
#29: Crimped Hair
Crimped hair is the ultimate comeback kid! These crimped styles can be created in braids, updos, ponytails and loose, flowing hairstyles. To achieve the perfect crimped look, use a hair crimper iron and a heat protectant spray. The finished product is so feminine and fun!
#30: Big Hair
The ’80s are memorable for the big hair, and that look is still sought after today! Stars like Brigitte Bardot, Jane Fonda and Debbie Harry made big hair an iconic look. From celebrities to influencers, we see big hairstyles everywhere around the globe. Victoria’s Secret angel supermodels have popularized the big, bouncy curled hairstyles that look heavenly. After all, the saying goes, “The higher the hair, the closer you are to Heaven.”
There are so many ’80s hairstyles and haircuts that are still modernly worn today. From cool cuts and curls to soft, shiny messy waves, to punk rocker hair, the hairstyle options are endless. Make a statement with your favorite look, because the 80s hair is here to stay!