Worst Hairstyles of the 1980s - Top5 (2023)

Worst Hairstyles of the 1980s - Top5 (1)

The 1980s was a decade of big, bright fashion fails. Some of the hairstyles of this decade took a small army to achieve and the results often left us wondering why we even bothered. Forget the leg warmers, Hammer pants and scrunchies. Those were minor fashion faux pas when compared with the worst hairstyles of the 1980s.

Here are the worst hairstyles of the 1980s.

30.) Bowl Cut

Worst Hairstyles of the 1980s - Top5 (2)


This was a popular hairstyle in the 90s. You would find almost every boy having this cut

Although better than the mullet in appearance, the bowl cut was also one of the 80s worst hairstyles.

Imagine someone spotting this hair without the image of mushroom coming to mind. It’s almost impossible not to!

29.) Feathered Mullet

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It was probably the second worst hairstyle in the 80s after the Mullet.

This hairstyle is an offspring of the mullet. It gained popularity in the 80s but still maintained that popularity into the early 90s. However, the mullet-inspired style became extinct when people probably decided it didn’t look good on anyone, just like the original mullet.

28.) Wild Hair

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This hairstyle was mainly championed by pop star Madonna.

This hair was wild and usually dyed many colors. This wild hair was a popular thing in the 80s but was also one of the 80’s worst hairstyles.

27.) Perms

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The curly look of the hair was obtained with the use of chemicals.

The chemically altered hair was turned into small, tight curls, and this item on our list of 80’s worst hairstyles became known as the perm.

26.) Jheri Curls

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Pilot Online

Rocked mostly by the Afro-American folks, the Jheri curls were made popular by entrepreneur Cotrell.

The Jheri Curls involved a two-step process of first turning the hair straight and then turning the hair into coils. The coils were probably the reason this hair looked ridiculous.

25.) Punk

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Style Interest

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The punk hair arrived with the assimilation of the gothic culture by young people and teens.

Teens and young adults expressed their style through the Gothic attires and the punk hairstyle, which was mostly long Mohawks and spiked hair that had been bleached and dyed various colors.

24.) Flock of Seagulls

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Get Yarn

This hairstyle looks pretty much like it sounds — maybe a little worse. Imagine trying to make your hair look like a bird taking flight. Awesome, right?

Slicked down straight in the middle with mousse or gel, then sprayed up on both sides, like wings, the flock of seagulls hairstyle defied reason.

Blame Mike Score, lead singer of the synth-pop band Flock of Seagulls, who started the trend. No one perfected it quite like Score, but they sure tried. This hairstyle definitely belongs on the list of80s worst hairstyles.

23.) High-Top Fade

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Macho Hairstyles

The high-top fade, also known as the MC and the Nib, became popular in the 1980s and persisted into the 1990s. Hip-hop artists made it a fad, with everyone from Jay-Z to Kid ‘n Play and the Fresh Prince of Bel Air doing the high-top.

If you think it’s bad on the guys, imagine the women who tried the style, like Grace Jones. It’s okay to shudder a bit. Perhaps its popularity was due to how easy it was to maintain.

Consider how difficult it is to make tight, dense curls do anything they don’t want to do. With the high-top, you just grew out the top so it stood nice and high, and shaved the back and sides. Trim it into an eraser shape, and you were styling with the ’80s hip-hop elite.

22.) Rattail

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Who remembers the rattail?

It made a resurgence in the 1990s, but this truly awful unwanted offspring of the mullet was certainly one of the worst hairstyles at that time. Particularly popular with the male population, the rattail is exactly what it sounds like: a short cut with a long “tail” of hair extending from the back.

Some devotees of this style braided the tail and others dyed it bright colors, but everyone looked ridiculous.

21.) Mullet

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Business in the front, party in the back and stupid all over. The mullet is a hairstyle that seems to linger. Defined by hair long in the back and cropped short at the front and sides, this hairstyle was worn by men and women and looked ugly on everyone.

However, there’s something to be said for the mullet’s versatility. Some people kept it conservative, with the hair reaching the shoulders and the front cropped close to the scalp. Others went wild, growing the back to great lengths and teasing the front to heights that defied the laws of gravity. This definitely is one of the80’s worst hairstyles.

20.) Big, High and Fuzzy

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To say that hair in the 1980s was processed would be an understatement. This decade brought back the home perm, in which your friend or your mother used a home kit to give you the fuzziest, poodle-looking perm possible.

Short hair, long hair or already curly hair? It didn’t matter. Everyone did the perm. Included in this atrocity of fashion were the big bangs of the 1980s, teased and sprayed mercilessly to create sky-high bangs that could hold their ground in a hurricane.

Maybe there was something in the water back then that short-circuited the part of our brain that said, “This looks ridiculous.”

Wait. It was probably the chemicals in all the hair products needed to achieve ’80s rock band hair. Women carried cans of hairspray just in case their hair dared to move, but the ladies weren’t the only ones guilty of this style choice. Men, primarily hair band rockers, also adopted this hairstyle, with higher, poofier results.

19.) The Don Johnson Hair

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Miami Vice/NBC

Miami Vicewas a popular NBC TV show that ran for 6 years in the 1980’s. Throughout the show’s run, there was one hairstyle that stood out and that was the actor Don Johnson’s do.

He had long puffy blow-dried back hair that made the hairstyles in the 80’s more iconic.

18.) Side Ponytail

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The 80s hairstyle became famous when the character, Stephanie Tanner, on Full House wore it on a few episodes.

Even though the side ponytail was popular, doesn’t mean it makes the style okay!

17.) Crimped Hair

Texture hair was popular back in the 80s. The crimped hair was just frizzy and it was not really good looking.

Thank goodness this trend went away.

16.) Wedge Cut

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The wedge haircut was one of the most famous cuts during the 80s because all of the stars would had it.

Unfortunately, it looks like a stylish version of the bowl cut, it just has more layers!

15.) Permed Mullet

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Getty Images

Imagine a permed mullet? Well, this was popular in the 80s because it’s a mullet and a perm in one hairstyle.

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Every single man and woman loved it!

14.) The Headband

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This headband-style was another big and wild style.

The 80s were crazy.

13.) Spouting Water

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Style Interest

If you look closely, it looks like the hair is spouting water like a whale.

It’s like all of the stars were wearing it on TV shows or movies.

12.) Big Bangs

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Like Totally 80s

The bigger the bangs, the better.

The whole point was to have thick hair and bangs that you can hairspray together so it would not move out of place.

11.) Rolling Mohawks

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Style Interest

Not just any mohawk, but a mohawk style that had curls on top.

The rolling curls give the classic look of a 1980’s hairstyle.

10.) Permed and Teased

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Getty Images

Remember permed hair? Well, it takes a few hours to get it to me this look, but the hair gel with the tease definitely helped!

The bigger the hair, the higher the goals!

9.) Wrapped Up Hair

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Getty Images

The 80s was a time that the punk theme became popular.

The wrap is tied into a bow and completed the look.

(Video) My Top 5 80s Hidden Gems That Were One Hit Wonders | Professor of Rock

8.) Ribbon Barrettes

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Barrettes aren’t that popular anymore but in the 80s, they had ribbons on them!

People loved to match the ribbons with outfits.

7.) Hot Roller

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Wire Image

The bigger the rollers on your head, the better.

First, there was a hot roller, then you would cool down your hair and tease it with hairspray to get this amazing look!

6.) The French Braid

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Lionesse Flat Irons

The French Braid was very popular back in the 80’s because you would make the braid big, like hair was in the 80’s.

You would also hairspray it together so it wouldn’t move for days.

5.) Simple Wave

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This style is considered a low-maintenance back then.

There is no need for hairspray.

4.) Partial Pony

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Style Interest

We talked about the side pony at top, but then the evolution of this grew into the partial pony.

One part of the hair was up, while the other was down.

3.) Curly Styles

Worst Hairstyles of the 1980s - Top5 (29)

Sarah Jessica Parker rocked her curls in the 80s.

She had the same hairstyle in the movie Footloose.

2.) Side Part

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For some reason, a big style in the 80s was to always look like you were on the way to the gym.

It was mainly because of these headbands.

1.) High Top

Worst Hairstyles of the 1980s - Top5 (31)

This a great style if you are looking for high drama.

(Video) Top 15 worst haircuts

That’s what the 80s were filled with.

Tired of looking at the worst hairstyles? Click next to read about the top fashion trends making a comeback.


What was the most popular 80s hairstyle? ›

Hairstyles in the 1980s included the mullet, tall mohawk hairstyles, jheri curls, flattops, and hi-top fades, which became popular styles. Amongst women, large hair-dos, puffed-up styles, permanent waves, and softer cuts typified the decade.

What is 80's hair called? ›

The mullet is among the 1980s hairstyles that worked for both men and women. If you're going out with a spouse, brother, sister, or cousin, then this is a good style you can both try. The way you style your mullet may depend on the length of your hair.

Why did everyone have big hair in the 80s? ›

The 1980s saw the onset of huge, voluminous locks on men and women, often in the form of long, curly hair. Inspired by heavy metal and appropriately-named "Hair Bands," huge hair was everywhere.

What was the main style in the 80s? ›

When thinking of 80's fashion, the words 'big and bright' surely sums it up. It was a decade of big hair, shoulder pads, large and dramatic earring types, acid wash jeans and eye-straining fabric colors and patterns. Fashion trends in the 1980s were about materialistic values and flaunting wealth.

How did girls in the 80s do their hair? ›

There were many popular hairstyles to emerge from the 80s. It was a decade known for its big hair and fun looks, including permed styles, hair with a lot of volume, crimped locks, and bangs. It was also the time of mullets, shaved sides, and a wide selection of ponytails.

What were 80s bangs called? ›

What are '80s bangs called? The popular '80s bangs are called mall bangs.

What was a mullet called in the 80s? ›

in the 70's it was called a 'shag', that's what bowie and stewart had. in the 80's in usa it was indeed called a bi-level. it was NOT called a mullet until the 90's.

Who started the big hair trend in the 80s? ›

In the early 1980s, Brooke Shields became a dominant force in the fashion trend after becoming a teen model in 1980. She has appeared in numerous magazine covers with different styles of long and big hair making her one of the most influential fashion icons of the early 1980s.

What was the best decade for hair? ›

A new survey has revealed the 1980s are officially the most iconic decade for hair. The survey asked 2,000 American women about their hairstyle journeys throughout the years and found the 1980s to be the best decade for 'dos. After the 1980s, respondents crowned the runner ups as the 1990s and 1970s, respectively.

Is 80s hair coming back 2022? ›

Metalhead length, pristine bowl cuts, frizzy perms—discover the Stranger Things hairstyles that are coming back into style for 2022!

Who started the mullet in the 80s? ›

I think it's fair to say that these three men together were responsible for the mullet, however. Rod Steward started it, Paul McCartney refined it, and David Bowie perfected it. By the 80's the mullet was in full swing and taking an era by storm whether people liked it or not. To that, I say long live the mullet!

What was the biggest fad in the 80s? ›

  • "Valspeak"
  • The Walkman.
  • Home Video Game Systems.
  • Cabbage Patch Kids.
  • Rubik's Cube.
  • Swatch Watches.
  • Hair Metal Bands.
  • Preppies.

What was the dress code in the 80s? ›

While men wore fewer neon colors than women, bright colors and bold patterns were still in fashion. Tight jeans and parachute pants were also seen in many men's wardrobes of the era. Wear a sweater or shirt with a bold pattern. Think bold geometric designs for sweaters or Hawaiian print for shirts.

What did kids wear in the 80s? ›

Puffy chevron jackets, denim overalls and vest sets, novelty baseball tees and basic denim jeans were all popular boys clothing in this year. Girls wore pleated circle skirts, western style denim and tops, colorful corduroy overalls, bibbed dresses with ruffles, classic blazers in this year.

What makeup was popular in the 80's? ›

'80s makeup overview

While modern makeup trends tend to focus on balance or accentuating one part of the face, like bold lips or power brows, '80s makeup was all about excess. From neon eye-shadow, to contoured cheeks, to frosted lips, there was no limit to how bold a look could be.

How do you do 80s hair? ›

Applying an 80s Style

Make a high or side ponytail. Pull your hair up onto the top or side of your head – the higher, the better! Brush the sides only, leaving as much volume and/or bangs on top as possible. You can add extra teasing and hair product to the front once you've secured your ponytail.

What was ladies fashion in the 80s? ›

80s Fashion Accessories

The famous big hoops were also an 80s thing and just as big a hit back then as they are now. Fanny packs, bandanas, chunky jewelry, crystal watches, and socks were all opportunities for women to add bolder elements to their outfits.

What are mall bangs? ›

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, curly, teased bangs were in fashion, often held very big or high in place with copious amounts of hair spray. This style was called "mall bangs".

What is a cherry curl? ›

The Jheri curl (often spelled Jerry curl or Jeri Curl) is a permanent wave hairstyle that was popular among African Americans during the 1980s and early 1990s. Invented by the hairdresser Jheri Redding, the Jheri curl gives the wearer a glossy, loosely curled look.

What year were bangs popular? ›

1960s: Curtain Fringe

The 1960s birthed today's most popular style: the curtain bang. “Curtain bangs were big in the '60s and are making a comeback right now,” Hylton says.

How did people curl their hair in the 80s? ›

Foam Rollers

Permed hair became popular in the 1980s. However, not all women can go to the salon, so an alternative was invented, which was the foam hair roller. Back then, women would use foam rollers and apply ammonia to their tresses to create larger than life curls, a popular 80's statement.

Who first wore bangs? ›

Bangs date all the way back to the 8th century. People often credit the Egyptian queen Cleopatra for bringing them into style.

What is a female mullet called? ›

Behold the "Shullet": A Modern Take on the Mullet (Seriously) Skin.

What was Billy Ray Cyrus's haircut called? ›

The mullet was also Billy Ray Cyrus' iconic haircut and recently daughter Miley Cyrus also decided to cut her hair following in her father's footsteps.

Who started the mullet craze? ›

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, use of the term mullet to describe this hairstyle was "apparently coined, and certainly popularized, by American hip-hop group the Beastie Boys", who used "mullet" and "mullet head" as epithets in their 1994 song "Mullet Head", combining it with a description of the haircut: ...

Were bangs popular in the 80s? ›

The '80s were full of iterations of bangs, but it was the permed fringe that reigned supreme. Taking on a shape all their own, they were worn curly, teased as high as possible, and set in a way that blended flawlessly with the rest of the hair.

Who was the biggest 80s hair band? ›

Mötley Crüe is nothing less (and, in fact, a whole lot more) than the biggest, best, most outrageous, most unhinged, most extreme-in-every-sense over-the-top and off-with-their-tops living, rocking, wrecking embodiment of 1980s hair metal itself.

What is the most popular hairstyle ever? ›

Coming out on top in a whopping 52 countries worldwide including the UK, USA, Belgium and Germany, and with a lead of over 135,000 searches, it was a clear victory for the world's most popular hairstyle, which we can reveal to be… the bob!

What style of hair makes you look younger? ›

Loose waves are more younger-looking, while straight hair can be aging. Play around with face-framing layers to give your hair some softness and movement. Layers can also make your hair appear to be more luscious and healthy. Parra recommends asking your stylist for perimeter layers that are cut in a straight line.

What is the most popular hairdo? ›

Popular Hairstyles For Women in 2022
  1. The Blunt Bob Hairstyle. The blunt bob has been super popular for some time now, and it's easy to see why. ...
  2. Natural Textured Hair. ...
  3. Beach waves. ...
  4. Shag Hairstyle. ...
  5. Braids Hairstyle. ...
  6. Pixie Hairstyle. ...
  7. Afro Hairstyle.

What is the new hair trend for 2022? ›

The shag— or super layered hair cut— is the trend,” says Saviano. “It works on almost every hair texture and length, and you can even style this look with or without bangs. It gives off a cool, low maintenance vibe, and truly brings out the best of natural hair texture, as the layered cut gives the hair movement.”

What hairstyle is in for 2023? ›

These Haircuts Are Going To Be Huge In 2023
  • 01 of 33. Textured Layers. @chrisjones_hair. ...
  • 02 of 33. Short and Wild Shag. @salsalhair. ...
  • 03 of 33. Blunt Collarbone Cut. @hairby_chrissy⁠⠀ ...
  • 04 of 33. Soft Curved Bob. @lucyhale. ...
  • 05 of 33. Cheekbone-Grazing 90s Bob. ...
  • 06 of 33. Mia Wallace Bob. ...
  • 07 of 33. Wispy Bangs. ...
  • 08 of 33. Blunt Textured Cut.
19 Oct 2022

What is the new hair cut for 2022? ›

Long layers and volume

"Things are going from really short shags and mullets to mid-length haircuts," she said. Expect to see '90s-inspired long layers and stylists focusing on adding more volume while keeping the hair length intact. "Two of the most frequently used techniques will be slide cutting and texturizing.

Is mullet still in 2022? ›

In short, yes. A mullet 2022 is one of the hottest hair trends to make a comeback.

What is mullet slang for? ›

According to The Mullet: Hairstyle of the Gods the term mullet in slang refers to haircuts that are “sort at the front and long in the back”.

Who is the most famous person with a mullet? ›

Being the possessor of the most renowned and recognized mullet of all time, one cannot craft a “celebrity mullet” list without Billy Ray Cyrus. Billy Ray's mullet came to prominence in 1992 when “Achy Breaky Heart” exploded onto the music scene.

How did they style hair in the 80s? ›

Soft full curls, big fluffy blowouts, flawless perms, sharp layers, and hair-raising mohawks; the 80s were way edgier than we are. So, take a ride into funky town with some rad 80s hairdos. You will be embracing that decade sooner than you know! The signature element of an 80s-inspired hairstyle is volume.

Was big hair popular in the 80s? ›

For both genders, big hair became popular in the 1980s. The term is also used in the punk, glam, hair metal, goth and alternative cultures and is particularly associated with fashion of the 1970s, 1980s, and early 1990s, or inspired by the period.

How was hair done in the 80s? ›

1980s hairstyles were back-combed, curled, crimped, pummelled, stretched to within an inch of its life. It was teased, rolled, permed, blow-dried, highlighted, lowlighted, ponytailed, cornrowed, fringed, de-fringed and generally cocked up.

What was the name of the must have hair accessory of the 1980's? ›

The banana clip, a hair accessory ruling the 1980s as much as neon scrunchies, is a precursor to the popular claw and butterfly clips used to pull hair (feathered bangs included) into ponytails and loose updos and even a low-flipped bun.


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