The 80s were an iconic time for men’s fashion, style, and hair. Not surprisingly, many 80s hairstyles for men survived the decade, got carried into the 90s, and are even seeing a resurgence today, albeit in modified forms with modern twists. From the perm to the high top fade to slicked back hair, hairstyles in the 1980s were all about stunning haircuts and big styles. Whether you want a retro look or just doing research on trends from past decades, here are the coolest 80s hairstyles for men to rock at the time! Let’s explore how men cut and styled their hair in the 80s!
1980s Hairstyles For Men
Nothing screams the 80s more than men’s permed hair. A favorite of rock stars like Bon Jovi, this hairstyle was textured and voluminous. Created by treating the hair through a specific process, a perm was the go-to way to embrace cultural trends. Curly hair has shifted over the years to create something with less poof and more definition.
Big Hair with Volume
When it came to men’s hairstyles, the standard big hair with volume was considered one of the best options. Think David Hasselhoff in Knight Rider – cool, thick long hair with enhanced flow and fullness. Typically coiffed with the assistance of hairspray and some comb teasing, this 80s hairstyle was one of the most fashionable and memorable looks of the decade.
High Top Fade
Men with natural hair embraced the high top fade during the 1980s. With added length on top that was perfectly trimmed into a square shape and a clean fade on the sides and back, the high top haircut was visually striking and effortlessly unique. Carefully placed styling product and sheer force of will were needed to keep the shape in place all day.
Slicked Back Hair
For men who wanted something sleek, slicked back hair was the way to go. Handsome and masculine, this retro hairstyle was a favorite of the Hollywood elite and Wall Street stockbrokers alike. Easy to cut and simple to style, the slick back hairstyle needs a good haircut with strong styling product for the perfect shiny finish. Ultimately, slicked back styles have evolved with time. The modern version of the slick back now has a fade or undercut on the sides and back.
Made famous by the King of Pop himself, Michael Jackson favored the distinctive Jheri curl in the 80s. Numerous African American artists followed in his footsteps, as did an array of teenagers around the world who wanted to embrace this fashionable hairstyle. Textured and perfectly styled, this glossy hairdo was created with a specific chemical treatment provided in barbershops and salons across the globe.
The ultimate low-maintenance short hairstyle, the buzz cut has been trendy for decades. Fresh and masculine, short hair works well for men who want to be able to get ready with minimal effort. You’ll need some general upkeep for the hair to stay short, but overall, this is a great option for men who shy away from styling. You don’t have to be in the military to embrace this blunt look as it’s considered flattering for a variety of face shapes.
Mr. T paved the way for the mohawk in the 1980s. A favorite of men who embodied the punk music movement as well, the daring mohawk hairstyle was perfect for those with an edge. The height and overall styling of the mohawk varied based on preference, but the style was striking no matter what. Cut by shaving the sides and back down to the skin while leaving only a strip of hair in the middle, long mohawk styles are achieved with strong styling gel. The modern variation pairs a mohawk with a fade or undercut to create a less extreme finish.
Though looking back on mullet hair paints this hairstyle in an unflattering light, there was a moment during the 80s when this was one of the trendiest styles around. Notable celebrities like Billy Ray Vaughn and Rob Lowe rocked this look which was partially disheveled and partially sleek. This is one of the few hairstyles that likely won’t see a revival as the trends come back around.
Pretty Boy Hair
If you were preppy in the 1980s, you probably went for the pretty boy hairstyle. Clean-cut with the slightest hint of texture, this was a popular look for men who wanted a reliable look. Most recognizable on Emilio Estevez, this hairstyle was favored by many who wanted a tame alternative to other popular styles.
Bold and eye-catching, dyed hair was preferred by men who wanted to stand out in a crowd. Common among those involved in the punk movement, hair dye was as popular for men as it was for women. Whether blue, green, red, or something in between, this trend was an easy way to show off your own unique style.
Popularized by Billy Idol, spiky hair was often combined with blonde highlights or frosted tips. Created with strong-holding hair gel, the spiked look took dedication and concentration to perfect. Whether you want short or long, thick or thin, neat or messy, spiky hairstyles have always been trendy and fashionable.
Feathered hair wasn’t just for Farrah Fawcett. The hairstyle saw a surge in popularity among male celebrities like James Spader, who made this textured hairstyle cool and classic. If you’ve seen and loved any movie produced during the 1980s, you’ve probably seen firsthand how the feather hair look was rocked by man men of this generation.
80s Rockstar Hairstyles
Where would this decade be without the 80s rockstar hairstyles popularized by bands like Poison, Mötley Crüe and Bon Jovi? Whether embracing volume and hairspray or using styling gel to create defining looks, these hairstyles were known for being daring. With some dedicated teasing and perfectly placed products, men could emulate their favorite musicians for a night out.
Embrace your inner James Dean with a classic rockabilly hairstyle. Also known as greaser hair, rebellious rockabilly men’s hairstyles were first made popular by movie stars and singers of the 1950s. This look experienced a resurgence in popularity during the 1980s, thanks to The Outsiders. The iconic actors in this famous movie embraced the rockabilly style with perfectly styled hair that was held firmly in place with the generous use of pomade.
80s Punk Hair
Sid Vicious is one of the most notable examples of the 80s punk hair trend that took the world by storm. Mohawks, spiked hair, and dyed hair were only a handful of options available to men who wanted to look cool and edgy. Liberty spikes, sharp undercuts, and sleek pompadours were also embodied in this movement. The style you chose was dictated by your commitment to this loud, in your face lifestyle.