Primping and Crimping Your Hair in the 80’s

What’s not to love about the hair trends from the 1980’s? There were more than a couple of hairstyles that not only stood out but stood up. Here are a few of the top hair trends that left everyone’s heads turning back in the 80’s.

Spiral Perm

Do you recall Whitney Houston’s famous spiral perm from the late 80’s?  This style was also known as the poodle perm. To achieve this look, the rule typically was the higher, the wider, the curlier, the better. Also, you needed time because it took at least a couple of hours to complete the process from start to finish. We may have lost a few brain cells from that awful perm solution smell, but it was worth it!

Wrap it With a Bow

Madonna was famous for creating some really great hairstyles in the 80’s. How about the slightly teased punk-style look that was then finished with a loosely tied bow? Bows were crazy popular and everyone sported one from Cyndi Lauper to almost every girl at school.

Crimped Hair

Just spray your hair with a ton of Aqua Net hairspray and then take a hot crimping device, clamp down, and fry your hair (don’t worry if you see a little smoke, that is totally normal) and voilà, you will have one of the hottest hairstyles of the 80’s – crimped hair. Those who wore this style pretty much looked like they had stuck their fingers in a light socket, but hey, if it was good enough for the stars it was good enough for us.

New Wave

Jet black punk hair or asymmetrical hairstyles were front and center in the 80’s. Imagine Edward Scissorhands creating the perfect goth look for you. All the members of the band Cure and Depeche Mode had these styles and even Cyndi Lauper went for the radical asymmetrical look. You had to be bold and edgy to want to look like you came from the dark side or that your hairdresser forgot to finish cutting one side of your hair. If you were looking to stand out, New Wave hair was the way to go.

Mile High Bangs

Anyone know how much Aqua Net was needed to achieve the mile high bangs hairstyle of the 80’s? Hopefully, there were some savvy investors out there who purchased stock in hairspray back then because they probably made a fortune. Both men and women tried this popular look. Don’t believe us? Open any yearbook from the 80’s and see for yourself. A trophy for the highest bangs!

Whale Spout Ponytail

Remember Debbie Gibson, D.J. Tanner, Punky Brewster? These gals made it hip and fun to wear your hair tied up or down in a ponytail to one side or the other with a scrunchie in it. Most girls loved to tease their hair and create high or low side ponytails that resembled a whale spout. Also, it was very important to have a collection of scrunchies to match every outfit.

Rat Tail

The rat or duck tail was a style created when a small piece of hair that grew from the base of the neck was left hanging down. This was a short cut with just a thin long strand of hair left hanging, not a full mullet. While mostly boys rocked this style, you could definitely find a few girls sporting a rat tail too. Ever get the urge to just clip that tail right off someone?

Sun Kissed Hair

Achieving the sun kissed hair look of the 80’s gave everyone that perfect summer glow. Not only did you want the perfect tan, but you even put a little extra something in your hair to achieve those special blonde highlights too. We usually achieved this look by putting lemon juice in our hair. Just make sure not to get it in your eyes!


As you can see, hair in the 80’s was all about the cut, the perm, and the color and don’t forget to tease it, accessorize it, or crimp it. Yes, you could pretty much do anything you wanted to your hair in the 80’s and that was the beauty of it. While some might be shaking their heads over these 80’s hairstyles, they are starting to make a comeback. Time to dig out my old crimping iron out of storage!

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