The 1980’s are primarily symbolized by three things: big clothes, bad music, and the 80s hair styles. It is no surprise what brought on these fashion trends; enough time had passed after the second World War and Vietnam that people were beginning to experiment again with the way they looked without fear of repercussions or political backlash. The Cold War further reinforced the need to express oneself as a way to forget about the constant fear and threat of a Communist invasion. Technological advances allowed one to try many different styles without permanence; hair could be straightened and permed back and forth countless times (the damage it was doing was not known then). This freedom, carried on from the love-driven 60’s and 70’s, exploded in the decade through a variety of rebellious attitudes, and one of the most popular ways to express oneâs identity was through their hair. This decade gave birth to many fashions that are just now coming back in style, from 80s metal hair, 80s band hair, and even the M.C. Hammer pants, to name a few.
In the most simple definition, 80s hair styles were big, and while they were often unique enough to deserve their own names, many did not have such classification. Instead, they mimicked popular artists, either musical or in film, and were categorized as such. Men with long, clean hair were said to have 80s metal hair, named so after such metal bands as White Snake and Duran Duran. These were symmetrical, often grown past the shoulders, and had layers upon layers of curls and texture. Men would use blow-dryers to âblow outâ the style so as to create grand manes surrounding clean-shaven faces. This was also labeled as 80s band hair, for rock music soared in popularity, and with it came the act of head-banging to the beat, the hair as important to this dance as the music invoking it.
Womanâs 80s style hair was similar, blown-out with a hair dryer and permeated through with hair spray and other products to give it endless bounce and just enough lift so that it would stick out from the head but still allow styling. Women would not be afraid to be compared to such bands as Poison, since the members of Poison styled their hair like the women of the 80s, a type of endless loop that left hair getting larger and larger until eventually it became a mockery of itself and the trend slowly, but not completely, died. By the 90’s, womanâs styles began to calm down, with such musicians as Sinead Oâ Conner shaving her head completely and Madonna finally taming her mane (but not her antics or music).
As the larger hair gave way, extreme fashions did not. The side ponytail became a popular style, as did the top of the head being teased into a pouf while the sides remained short, or at least shorter. New Wave hair styles were among the last to emerge from the 80â²s, characterized by asymmetrical cuts and straightened bangs extending past the eyes. While the trend of the big hair has come and gone, remnants of 80s hair styles still persist today, and can even be said to be making a come back, depending on what side of the opinion one is on.