Craziest Hairstyles of the 1980s

The 80’s are a time fondly remembered by many today. Some people spent their childhoods during the 80’s, and reminisce about the Summer days where they walked around with their Walkman music players and spent half the day with their eyes glued to MTV on a CRT TV. Others were much older during that decade, and look back on the distinct fashion choices of that era and the anxiety of calling their crush on a house phone.

One of the things most associated with the 80’s are the unique hairstyles that the decade saw. There were people imitating Elvis Presley with their huge slicked back hair and then there were…others shall we say. Not everything from the 80’s made perfect sense. Some of the fashion choices people made back then were, if nothing else, very different. Hairstyles from the 80’s reflect this perfectly, and provide us with some really wacky and unusual looks that would make every head in a room turn to look if it was brought out today.

The Hi-Top Fade

The Hi-Top Fade

Very characteristically 80’s, the Hi-Top Fade haircut is one of the less crazy hairstyles from the 80’s. Keeping in tradition with the large hairstyles that defined the 80’s, the Hi-Top Fade constitutes a sizeable chunk of a person’s face. Though this hairstyle was founded in the 80’s and became trendy during that time, it never completely died out and has recently seen resurgence in popularity. It goes great with people who have long, uniformly shaped faces, because of the short sides lending to an illusion of a much longer face.

Big Volume Hairstyles
Big Volume Hairstyles

Once again proving that the 80’s was the decade of big hairstyles, big volume haircuts were insanely popular in the 80’s. Like the name suggests, these hairstyles consisted of large amounts of hair, usually in equal proportions on all sides. These hairstyles sharply contrast with today’s much cleaner cuts and smaller haircuts, but as any hairstyle from the 80’s, haven’t completely died out either. Nevertheless, it was only during the 80’s when you could enter a room and not find a single person that didn’t have a whole bush growing out of their heads.

Crazy Hair

Bluntly but aptly named, ‘crazy hair’ hairstyles often consisted of wild, uncombed hair bunched up in any direction the person fancied. A common hairstyle from the 80’s that fit the description for this particular category of hairstyles was when women would grab all their hair and bundle it together with a wide band. This jutting pillar of hair was usually sticking out of either side of the head, and the rest of the head consisted of tangled lines of hair that were being pulled towards the bunch.

Big Mohawk

Combining the mohawk with the big volume category of hairstyles, this particular cut was made of a large amount of hair at the top that went back just like the usual big volume hairstyles, but also shaved sides as seen in mohawks. This made for an interesting look that would definitely be seen as quite the unusual look if anyone sported it today.

Curly Bangs

Yet again, it wouldn’t be an 80’s hairstyle if it didn’t constitute 50% of a person’s surface area. Curly bangs were a hairstyle that was basically a ton of curled up hair falling down on both sides with even more curly hair on top. With this hairstyle it would be a miracle if people could even see your arms, as almost all of your front was shrouded behind curled hair. Similar to the big mohawk, this is one hairstyle that generally isn’t regarded as a very pretty one.

Crimped Hair
Crimped Hair

Crimped hair was quite popular in the 80’s. Done with wet hair and braids, and later with a crimping iron when it was invented, crimped hair took straight hair and gave it a very crinkled look. And when we say a very crinkled look, we mean it. Imagine crinkle cut French fries growing out of your head falling down on either side as long braids. That was the crimped hairstyle, and it was just as “distinct” as it sounds.

The Rat Tail Haircut

Oh, where to start? Where to start? The rat tail haircut is something we would rather never talk about so it remains forgotten like it deserves to, but on the other hand this article wouldn’t be complete without a mention of this monstrosity. Imagine if you had long hair, and you got a clean, short haircut, but the barber forgot to cut some of the hair right in the middle. That was the rat tail hairstyle. Inspired by ponytails but nowhere near as charming, the rat tail haircut was a weird fad in the 80’s that saw people going around with seemingly ordinary haircuts except for a rat tail replica hanging from the back. Some people would braid or style the tail to make it more pleasing to look at, but we would rather they snip the whole thing off and swear to never partake in this crime against fashion ever again.

The Whale Spout

A haircut familiar to anyone who lived through the 80’s, this popular hairstyle was a simple case of taking a bunch of your hair at the top and making a ponytail that pointed up. This led to a look where hair would flow around the head like usual, but a big chunk would just be shooting up into the sky, hence the name whale spout which references the jet of water whales shoot up from their spouts. This was a very trendy hairstyle during the 80’s and, if done right, could look really attractive as well.

The Headband

A wilder variant of the hipster hairstyle that made use of a hairband, this haircut combined big volume hair with a wide headband that the wearer would push all their hair through. This meant that, quite opposite to the whale spout hairstyle, all of the hair would be shooting up and then falling around the head. The thicker the volume of hair and the wider the headband, the crazier the results.

Hairspray Hairstyles

What better way to sport a wacko hairstyle than by applying liberal amounts of hairspray or hair gel? If you wanted to just say “screw it” and make your hairstyle the weirdest in the world, the 80’s had a high level of tolerance and saw many people who would twist and pull their hair into impossible shapes and forms with a ton of hair product. Floating spikes on your left? Got it. Wavy crimped hair rising up and then being stuck in place? No problem. A bombastic hairstyle with hair flying in every direction as if frozen in time?Absolutely. Suffice it to say, the 80’s was a weird time to have hair.


Hairstyles weren’t the only wacky thing from the 80’s, but they sure were one of the more memorable ones. It was a decade filled clashes of new and exciting stuff with old traditional things as well, so it’s no wonder it produced such memorable and… err… “interesting” hairstyles. Nevertheless, it was a fun decade and there’s no shortage of people today who would kill to be able to experience that magic one more time.