The 80s were an iconic decade for fashion and style. Today, the elements of the era are back – including many hairstyles for men. From stately mullets to wild curls to bleached blonde punk looks, the 80s offers a wide variety of inspiration for your hair. Check out these modern takes on retro classics.
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The mullet is one of the most iconic men’s hairstyles of the 80s. Short in the front and long in the back, it’s surprisingly flattering and suits many different face shapes. Moreover, a mule always stands out from the crowd. From athletes to fashion makers, the mullet is back in fashion. It suits men who want a trendy haircut with a quirky side.
2. Flat top
The flat top – a type of high fade with a smooth, table-like look – remains one of the most daring haircuts for men. Because it looks so unusual, it will ensure all eyes are on you. It is suitable for both afro-textured and straight hair types. There are several options for adopting the flat top. You can recreate the classic 80s look by blow drying your hair up and using a strong hold product to hold it in place. Otherwise, opt for a short, neat and modern take that requires less styling and effort.
3. Large Mohawk
The 80s punk era was all about oversized mohawks. A rebellious, wild and bold style, the mohawk makes a bold statement and puts you in the center of attention. Tailor your mohawk by pairing it with a bob, braided sides or fade. You can also give a tall mohawk a more polished feel by slicking it back or give it a rugged, masculine edge by pairing it with a full beard.
One of the most iconic trends of the 80s was the perm. However, while the tightly-coiled “poodle” look may have been all the rage back then, today’s perms are much more natural and flattering. Perms can last up to six months and can be combined with many other styles, like undercuts and fades, for a modern twist. Try a medium length hairstyle and use a curl defining serum to make your hair look flawless.
5. High Fade
The high top fade found popularity in the golden age of hip-hop. At the time, the flat top – a type of high-end, very smooth and angular fade – was one of the trendiest looks for men. Today, it is advisable to choose a high top fade that suits you. Whether you pair it with twists, a line, or some other twist, your high fade will look cool and interesting.
6. Jheri Curl
The Jheri curl is an iconic 1980s hairstyle for black men. Stars from R&B singer Lionel Richie to pop superstar Michael Jackson and rapper Ice Cube had Jheri curls. A specific type of perm, the Jheri curl technique, gives Afro-textured hair loose but defined curls with a shiny finish. It’s a statement style that has a retro appeal and works on all hair lengths, from short to extra long.
7. Long waves
Long, curly or wavy hair was all the rage in the 80s. From shoulder-length locks to a wild mane, long hair with a natural texture is a sexy and masculine look. Once your hair is long enough, use a sea salt spray to give you surfer style waves. Effortlessly cool and laid back, the style looks as good today as it did then.
8. Slick Back
If you need inspiration for your smooth back, look no further than the 1987 film Wall Street. At the time, the hairstyle was a favorite of stockbrokers and businessmen. Today it’s popular with guys everywhere. To maintain the wet look of the slick back, use gel and glossy hairspray instead of more matte products when styling your hair and using a fine comb.
The pompadour is all about volume, so it’s no wonder it was so popular in the 80s. Like the elephant trunk, the classic pomp came back into fashion with the 50s revival and the rockabilly trends. Go for the ultra-high and smooth traditional pompadour if you want your hair to do the talking all the time.
10. Shoulder length
While the 70s was best known for long hair, shoulder length hair became a defining trend of the 80s. Whether curly, wavy or straight, shoulder length hair looked great. It has a laid back, casual vibe, and you can wear it loose or tie it up in a low bun.
11. Bleached Hair
Pop stars like Billy Idol popularized bleached hair three decades ago, and for men who aren’t afraid to stand out, the trend never really went away. If you’re considering taking the plunge, go to a professional rather than trying it at home. Bleaching can do a lot of damage to your hair, and if yours is naturally very dark, you may need a few sessions to give it an icy platinum shade.
12. Slick Back Quiff
The banana is one of the simplest and most versatile hairstyles for men. To give yours that 1980s Johnny Depp look, try the slick banana. Use pomade to give your hair a semi-damp, almost greasy look, and use your hands to push your hair back. The key is to make it look effortlessly cool, rather than smooth and neat.
13. Wild Natural Curls
Curly hair was a massive trend in the 80s. Now it’s back in fashion for men. Whether short, medium or long, men lucky enough to have waves and coils should make the most of their natural texture. If your hair is naturally straight, try a modern perm. New techniques and formulas will give you a natural effect, rather than tight coils or the “poodle” look – some trends are set to stay in the 80s.
14. Feathered Hair
The feathered hairstyle was popular in the late 70s and early 80s, and it is coming back into fashion now. Developed for medium straight or wavy hair, it involves cutting in layers, parting in the center and then pushing the layers back. It is best suited for those with angular and longer faces because, like most center-parted hairstyles, it can make round faces look even wider.
The punk movement made rebellious hairstyles like mohawks and undercuts popular in the 80s, and they are still a favorite hairstyle for men today. Pair your undercut with volume and texture for a faux mohawk effect. It will give you all the attitude of the era without making you look dated.
16. elephant trunk
Also known as the messy pompadour or wavy pompadour, the elephant trunk first became popular among greasers in the 1950s. The Rockabilly trend of the 80s brought it back into fashion, and it was memorably worn by Duckie in the classic movie Pretty in pink. Today, the elephant trunk makes an interesting twist on a classic pompadour, and it’s still a strong statement.
17. Long comb over with texture
One of the most relaxed and timeless hairstyles of the 80s is the long comb-over with texture. Part your hair to the side and blow dry it up so there’s plenty of lift. Your hair needs to look voluminous, rather than flat, for the classic 80s finish. Then use a volumizing powder or spray and work it in to add definition to your hair, so it looks the looking relaxed and casual, rather than fluffy.
18. Pink Hair
The New Wave movement of the 80s was all about self-expression, and wild, unnatural hair color – like pink – was part of the style of the subculture. Today, men are embracing pink hair as a cool and stylish statement. Ideal if you work in a creative industry, it showcases your personality and your boldness. It’s still a hair color for men that has a rebellious, subversive, and edgy feel to it.
What were the popular hairstyles in the 80s?
Some of the most popular hairstyles of the 80s included the mullet, flat top, high mohawk, perm, and high fade.
Are 80s hairstyles coming back?
80s hairstyles are back. However, like all throwback trends, this time around they feature modern updates and interpretations. Mullets feature a more shag texture and subtle shapes, while mohawks are more viking than punk. Perms have evolved to yield much better and healthier results, and sleek styles like the pompadour, quiff, and slick-back are more likely to be seen in bars and restaurants than just Wall St.
How did men style their hair in the 80s?
Men had a lot of choices when it came to hairstyles in the 80s. There was a lot of length with styles like mullet, Jheri curl, long waves, perm, shoulder length hair, wild natural curls, feathered hair and a long comb. Shorter options included flat top, mohawk, high fade, slicked back, a pompadour, slicked back, and undercut. Finally, like trending colors, hair shades were bold, with bleached blonde and pink as popular choices.
How do you get great 80s hair?
Embrace the volume of the 80s by making friends with the right styling products and tools. Work the mousse through wet hair to start. Then, use a hair dryer and a large round brush to dry from the roots, securing even more volume. Depending on the style, you can also comb your hair; However, it can cause damage, so do it sparingly. Finally, add more texture and finish off your chosen style with a high-hold product like wax or clay and a final spritz of hairspray.
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