Woman wearing an 80s style headband

80s Hairstyles and How to Wear Them in 2024

Bringing 80s hair back to life, in a modern way

For those of us old enough to have enjoyed the 1980s in full force, we can truly say the era was like no other. Nothing was off-limits during this electric decade of excess: Everything from ’80s hairstyles to clothes, music, and pop culture were all delightfully OTT — all that neon! All that hair!

It turns out, all things ’80s is back. And it seems to have proven sweeter the second time around. Much more watered down—and less outrageous—versions of its fun hair trends are returning to the scene. Call it a healthy sense of irony, but a rediscovered love for texture and embellishments (as well as love for a good throwback) is giving us back many of these beloved styles, and they look better than ever. Read on for all the ’80s hairstyle inspiration you will need.

’80s Hairstyles to Be Inspired By in 2024

Need some inspo about ’80s hairstyles for all hair lengths? From shags to layers, keep scrolling to check out our top looks.

1. Shag 80s Hair

80's hairstyles shag
The Cali shag: so cool it hurts. Photo credit: Indigitalimages.com

Several industry insiders have referred to the shag as L.A.’s hairstyle du jour, and to be quite honest, we didn’t exactly see this one coming. We’re happy bandwagoners, though, as this year’s redux features totally directional texture—shiny waves—in the hottest length of the year: the lob. Ask your stylist for brow-grazing bangs and chunkier layers that go past the jaw for a less helmet-y look.

2. Feathered Layers ’80s Hairstyle for Medium Hair

Woman in a suede jacket with a feathered 80s hairstyle
Photo credit: Shutterstock

Gleaming, middle-parted waves molded to perfection were the hallmarks of the decade’s pretty girls. A feathered hairstyle was the first-generation “Rachel,” and flattered almost all face shapes due to its democratic layers and low-maintenance length. This shoulder-dusting ’80s hairstyle also was the perfect foil for the exaggerated feminine silhouettes of the era (ruffles and lace!) and easily transitions into this fall’s off-shoulder and ruffle trends too.

3. ’80s Mullet for Women

Woman with a modern mullet
Photo credit: Shutterstock

The fe-mullet gets renewed airplay this year but in a decidedly quieter dosage brought on by a softer, fuller fringe and more blended layers. More Euro-punk than backwater Podunk, this infamous ’80s look sheds its reviled reputation this year with a much more sophisticated, shorter disconnect between layers. This can actually be a flattering look, especially for those with round, square, or triangle-shaped faces.

4. Permed Bob

Woman with tight 80s curls
Photo credit: Shutterstock

A valentine to curly-haired teen queens back in the day, the permed bob is a sweet, angst-free approach to big curls that we can all definitely get in on this year. In fact, it’s quite similar to all the natural-textured bobs we’ve seen lately, save for slightly tighter, more defined ringlets.

5. Crimping

Woman in a silver jacket and 80s inspired crimped hair
Photo credit: Shutterstock

Once the sole property of tweens, pop stars, and after-school-special celebs, crimped hairstyles are another one of those ’80s hairstyles that grew up for the better. Now crimped hair isn’t the zigzag shape it used to be. Instead, in 2024, it translates to S-shaped waves that give you loads of volume, minus the frizz.

6. Bob with Bangs

80s hairstyles bangs bob
It doesn’t get more 80s than this. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

What’s more ’80s than a bob with bangs? Get in on the curly bangs trend and rock your curls with confidence. This is the perfect look for naturalistas who want to try bangs on curly hair.

7. Layered Bob

Woman with an 80s layered bob
Photo by Cornel Cristian Petrus/Shutterstock

Round out your curls with a layered bob that gives your hair shape and bounce. Adding these layers to your hair is the perfect way to give thin hair a pop of volume. Set the volume in place over time with a hairspray such as TRESemmé Hair Spray Flexible Touch-Up Pen.

8. Long Curls with Curly Bangs

80s hairstyles long curls bangs
Show off your curls. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

Go big or go home! Grow out your curls and wear them long for a major statement, especially with the bangs. This look is especially gorgeous when transitioning from summer to fall seasons.

9. The 80s Wolf Cut

Woman with an 80s inspired wolf cut
Photo credit: Shutterstock

The TikTok-famous “wolf cut” may seem like a modern phenomenon, but it’s heavily inspired by hairstyles from the 1980s, ie the shag and the mullet.

10. Flipped Out Bob

Woman with a flipped out bob and bangs
Photo credit: Shutterstock

Big, fluffy blowouts were everywhere in the ’80s. But the cool girls also wore a sleeker version of the look. Emulate it by flicking out the ends of your bob. All you need? A big round brush and a blow dryer.

11. The ’80s-Inspired Long Curly Shag

Woman with a long 80s inspired shag
Photo by Photoeventshd/Shutterstock

Whether you’re getting a perm (very ’80s) or have natural ringlets, you can’t go wrong with a big, poofy shag. It was a favorite of many icons from the era.

12. Half-Up Half-Down Hair

Woman wearing sunglasses with half up half down hair
Photo credit: Shutterstock

Dressing preppy was huge in the ’80s, and offsetting all those sweaters and pastels was the half-updo. Braids—especially the French braid—were an added one-two punch to the whole more-exclusive-than-thou look prevalent in teen TV tropes everywhere. Now that we’ve all gone braid-crazy this year, the half-updo has become a quick and easy way to infuse the trend into our looks in half the time.

Keep this look budge-free with touchable texture from a light mist hairspray, such as TRESemmé TRES Two Ultra Fine Mist Hair Spray.

13. Permed High Pony

80s hairstyles scrunchies
Throw your hair up into scrunchies.

What’s better than one hair trend? Why, three, of course. Here at All Things Hair, we couldn’t be more excited about the resurgence of the scrunchie. Throw in a high pony and a perm on top of that, and you’re definitely rollin’ deep in those ’80s vibes.

14. ’80s Ponytail

Woman with a high ponytail
Photo credit: Shutterstock

Freshen up the quintessential ’80s high ponytail with modern touches like waves at the ends of your lengths or the braided detail in the look above.

15. Wrapped Hair

80s hairstyles wrapped hair
Cute and practical, the head accessory tones down this look.

At one point, “accessories” such as bows, headbands, lace ribbons, and scarves all blurred together into one big, hot mess—#SorryNotSorry! These days, we’re thankfully taking the deconstructed route in terms of hair accessorizing and using headwraps as both a practical and stylish way to look polished with minimal effort. In the 1980s, it was about style overkill. These days, the hairstyle takes center stage, with add-ons just providing a quirky final touch.

16. Headband hair

Woman wearing an 80s style headband
Photo credit: Shutterstock

Speaking of hair accessories — you cannot talk about the 1980s without a reference to the iconic ’80s headband. To modernize this “80s workout video” look, choose headbands in different fabrics like like velvet or (p)leather.

17. Ombré Curls

80s hairstyles ombre curls
Play with color and texture.

Make your ’80s style a bit more modern by mixing it with an ombré color story to your curls as opposed to fully dying your hair. Ombre is a bit easier to maintain if you don’t want to worry about consistently touching up dark roots.

18. Bowl Cut

80s hairstyles bowlcut
Air-dried perfection! Photo credit: Indigitalimages.com

The charming, tousled bowl cut was one of the hallmarks of the decade that seemed to cross gender lines. Even back in the day… this hairstyle was unwittingly ahead of its time. That, and the fact that it’s one of the hottest looks on and off the runways nowadays, makes a strong case for this look.

19. Tapered Afro

tapered afro 80s hairstyles
Use a hair pick for more precise styling.

A lot of curly-haired beauties used to style their hair in a tapered look during the 1980s. To emulate, pin back the sides of your afro or simply ask for a slightly tapered haircut that thinned down towards the nape.

20. ’80s Hair Scrunchies

80s hairstyles scrunchies
I’ll never let go: The humble scrunchie is going haute this year via new fabrics.

I’m not going to lie: We had these in every color for every day of the week. These bad boys were the main hair accessories of the 1980s. No other hair tie was as comfy or efficiently held our high ponies in place. We will never know whether it was the extra traction from the curly fabric cover—or simply tons of hairspray. For now, it’s safe to say our top knots have found their most hardworking reinforcements in more sophisticated renditions, such as leather and metallic elastic.

21. Shaved Sides

80s hairstyles shaved sides
Upgrade your side undercut.

Mohawks and side-shaven undercuts were an underground staple, particularly with the punk movement. Pairing these edgy looks with alternative hair colors, such as bright blues and greens, was also the norm. These days, this 80s hairstyle has resurfaced in all its subversive glory, with a gamut of patterns and colors to boot.

A firm-hold hairspray, such as Bed Head by TIGI Hard Head, helps you wear your look loud and proud.

22. Bubble Ponytail

Woman with colorful hair in two bubble braids
Photo credit: Shutterstock

Looking back, we sometimes think the unofficial goal of the 1980s was just to find funky, irregular ways of doing anything. This includes this offbeat way of revving up your standard ponytail. Simply segmenting the tail with hair elastics throughout the length creates a whole new look. Easy, unique, and quite ingenious, it’s another quirky ’80s look that’s been on current rotation this year.

23. Short Permed Hair

perm hairstyles short hair
Short, natural-looking perms evoke a youthful vibe. Photo credit: Dvora

The short perm features loose, somewhat lazier curls on a relaxed bob. More ingénue than incredulous, it’s a less uptight version of the original ’80s short perm, which is a more flattering look. Best achieved on straight-to-wavy hair textures, first ask your stylist for a chin-length bob—it’ll shrink once it’s permed or curled.

24. Long Hair Perm

perm hairstyles long hair ombre
Long-haired perms are tighter than waves but still retain a manageable feel. Photo credit: Dvora

A long-haired perm can veer away from traditionally tight ringlets. The look is more island-girl than cherubic and, as such, can be styled in a myriad of ways.

Our favorite, though, is letting it cascade long over our shoulders and just reinforced with a dime-sized amount of curl-defining creams, such as Suave Luscious Curls Curl Defining Cream, so the structure remains.

’80s Hairstyles for Men

Even in men, we’ve seen waves of ’80s hairstyles come back. Check out more of these looks below!

25. Mullet

guy with short 80s mullet
Hop on the mullet trend.

Mullets are having a major moment right now, so why not join in on the trend? You can opt for a shorter, less exaggerated version of the mullet if you aren’t ready to fully embrace this ’80s hairstyle for men.

26. Slicked Back ’80s Hairstyles for Men

guy slicked-back hair
Opt for a more professional look.

This look can be achieved very easily with gel. We love Dove Men + Care Well Defined Taming Gel because it will keep your hair in place all day while adding a high shine to the look. While this slicked-back style is ’80s inspired, it works for just about any occasion, especially fancier events.

27. Spiky ’80s Hairstyles for Men

guy with spiky hairstyle
Add texture by adding spikes to your look.

Want extra texture in your look? Try out a spikey style like this! This distinct look can easily be achieved with Suave Styling Paste. This paste works on all hair types and won’t leave your hair feeling stiff. Work the paste into your hair hands, then run it through the top section of your hair, molding the pieces how you’d like them to stick up.

28. Mohawk Hairstyle

guy with natural hair mohawk
Be daring with a mohawk!

Mohawks make such a statement, and we mean that in the best way possible. This ’80s hairstyle for men has become iconic over the years. If you’re brave enough to try out this style, it will need a little more upkeep than your average look, but overall, it’s pretty easy to do. Plus, this look can be done on any hair type!

29. Bold Hair Colors

guy with hot pink natural hair
Try out the bright-colored ’80s trend by sporting a hot pink color.

Bold, vivid hues were huge in the ’80s, and we’ve seen this trend creep back into style through e-boy and e-girl looks. If you’re looking for a major change or just want to try something new and exciting, go for a bold color like this hot pink!

It’s important to use a shampoo and conditioner meant for colored hair to keep your color fresh for as long as possible. We love Nexxus Color Assure Shampoo and Conditioner because it keeps your hair vibrant for up to 40 washes.

Thinking about trying an ’80s-inspired style? Snap a picture and tag us @AllThingsHairUS!

Sign up to our newsletter and get exclusive hair care tips and tricks from the experts at All Things Hair.


All Things Hair on Instagram