24 July 2012


The 1980s was a lousy time for a lot of things—but not even Abu Ghraib can match the cumulative tortures the decade inflicted upon otherwise innocent heads of hair. I myself remember trying to cajole my limp, lifeless bangs into a gravity-defying chaos—equal parts Robert Smith and sorority girl. I tried mousse, I tried hair spray,  and I tried gel, but all I succeeded in doing was making my hair look stringy and greasy (which could actually serve as passable 'style' in that strange, distant era known as the 80s). 

I won't say that I was prescient or ahead-of-my-time, but I'm convinced I always knew there was something fundamentally wrong with the fashion and hairstyles of the decade. Even when I was in my parachute pants and white leather Puma high-tops, there was a nagging sense of my own absurdity. Did I really just pay money for a little yellow rubbery band I could place over the face of my Swatch, ostensible to 'guard' it? Was I seriously concerned about having the tightest peg-roll on my Jordache jeans? And did I actually wear a fire-engine red Izod with a popped collar under a gray zippered vest to the Daughters of the American Revolution awards dinner? (Oh, the humanity...)

Richard Marx.

Jane Child.

John Parr.

A Flock of Seagulls lead singer.

Boy George.

Taylor Dayne.

Nancy McKeon.


Patti LaBelle.

Reba McEntire.

Eric Carmen.

Pepa, Salt, and Spinderella.

David Hasselhoff.


  1. The eighties were a great time for hair. You had all the punk/new wave styles, heavy metal hair, mullets, Sun-in, spiral perms, and feathered hair galore. People aren't as adventurous with their hair these days.

    1. The only one of those I can really get on board with is the punk/new wave style.

  2. I agree. I find it fascinating that groups of people were divided by hairstyles - at least in my high school they were. The hairstyles never mixed - even the heavy metal kids and the punks, who were equally shunned by the feathered hair popular kids didn't hang out.

  3. That Reba one made me LOL. I love it!!

    Remember when boys used to get perms in the 80s. I loved one of those boys...