Larger than Life: 1980s Hairstyles

Published By Brooke
Updated 09-29-2016

The 80s started to return to shorter hair for men, except the options were becoming larger than life. Floppy hair, spiked up dos, and more were seen in this time period, many of which were again inspired by musicians and famous actors of the time. Not many had a traditional look, with countless men walking around with an edgy design that was completely new. Several longer styles still existed, but they too added volume.

Long and Poofy

The 70s saw long and natural, and the 80s saw long and poofy. Many men chose to keep their long locks, but add product to add even more volume and body to the hair. Some had poofed out hair that appeared very large and wild. This was typically known as rocker hair, as many of the decade’s most popular rock stars rocked the look. It inspired fans to follow.



Layered hair became extremely popular in the 80s. Many chose to keep the hair on top of the head thick, with decreasing thickness down throughout the remainder of the hair. This meant thick hair on top and straighter, narrow hair toward the shoulders.


The Mullet

The mullet is a well known style that countless people had. It seemed like an odd look to many, but it fit in well with its time period. The mullet involves shorter hair on the top of the head and even around it, but longer hair falling down past the shoulders. It made men feel like they were getting the best of both worlds, with essentially a long and short style rolled into one.


Jheri Curl

The jheri curl was a popular African American hairstyle in the 80s. This style was essentially curled, long hair. It fell almost too many men’s shoulders, and provided an extra curliness, much like that of an afro. Rather than it sitting atop the head though, all the hair fell down to the shoulders. Two extremely famous musicians were known for this hairstyle, including Lionel Richie and Michael Jackson.


Swooshed Side Bangs

One of the shorter hair styles was paired with swooshed side bangs. Although it was only the bangs that were left large, it was enough to give the entire look an edge that was typical for that time period. This look resembles the flip seen in a previous decade, but the hair then was kept straighter. This uses curly and poofy hair to make the swoosh more prominent.


See Also...