1980's hairstyles for long hair

Take a step back in time and get inspired by these fabulous retro hairstyles - perfect for long hair! Let's rock the '80s with some vintage hairdo ideas that will make you look truly unique.

1980's hairstyles for long hair
1980s hair styles

The Ultimate Guide to 1980s Hairstyles for Long Hair

Welcome to the ultimate guide on achieving iconic 1980s hairstyles for long hair! Whether you're looking to rock a wild and voluminous look or channel your inner Madonna with sleek and sophisticated locks, we've got you covered. Get ready to turn heads and transport yourself back in time with these bold and timeless hairstyles.

Factors to Consider

Before we dive into the specific styles, let's talk about some important factors to consider when choosing your 80s hairstyle. First and foremost, hair texture is key.

1980s woman with big hair

The 80s were all about big volume, so if you have thin or fine hair, you may need to use some extra products and techniques to achieve the desired look. On the other hand, if you have thick and curly hair, you may want to embrace your natural texture for a more authentic 80s vibe.

Length is another important factor to keep in mind. While most of these hairstyles work best with long hair, some can also be adapted for shorter lengths. Lastly, consider your face shape when choosing a hairstyle. Certain styles may look better on round faces while others may be more flattering for square or oval shapes.

The Permed Look

Perms were all the rage in the 80s and they are still a popular choice for achieving that iconic curly look. To achieve a perm, your hair is wrapped around rods and then treated with chemicals to create permanent curls. This style works best on medium to long hair and can add volume and texture to any look.

Achieving the Perfect Perm

Now, let's get down to the nitty-gritty of obtaining that perfect 80's perm. For starters, you'll need a good hairdresser, a sense of adventure, and a whole lot of patience. Start by finding a seasoned professional who knows their way around a perm rod. You don't want to end up looking like a poodle that stuck its paw in an electrical outlet, do you?

man with rollers in his hair to create the permed look

Next, be prepared for a long haul - this isn't a wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am type of process. It involves wrapping your hair around rods, applying a chemical solution, waiting for it to take effect, and then neutralising it. All of this takes time, so bring a good book or get ready to deep-dive into your thoughts.

And lastly, brace yourself for the aftercare. A perm isn't a one-and-done deal. It requires a bit of TLC to keep the curls looking fresh and voluminous. Investing in a good quality, sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner is essential. Avoid heat styling as much as possible and let those curls air dry to prevent damage.

Using an Afro Comb for Your Perm

Alright, now that you've achieved your perm, the next question is, how do you maintain those luscious curls? The answer is as vintage as the hairstyle itself - an afro comb. Yes, you heard that right. That big, wide-toothed, metal-y beast that could probably double as a weapon in a pinch.

Black woman with afro comb in her hair

But why an afro comb, you ask? Well, these combs are excellent for detangling curly hair without breaking up the curl pattern. Plus, they're great at distributing the oils from your scalp down the hair strand. Not only does this keep your hair moisturised, but it also adds a beautiful sheen to your curls.

Now, here's the step-by-step process. Start by applying a leave-in conditioner to your damp hair. This will help to avoid frizz and add some extra moisture. Then, take your afro comb and gently start to detangle your hair, working from the ends up to the roots. Remember, be gentle! Your hair is most vulnerable when it's wet.

And voila! That's how you use an afro comb on your perm. Keep in mind, though, that every head of hair is unique, so you might need to tweak this method to suit your own mane. But, by and large, this should help you keep those curls looking as fabulous as the day they were born.

So, brace yourself, darling, achieving the perfect perm is a journey, not a destination. But the reward? Unmatched 80s volume, texture, and style that is sure to make heads turn!

Types of Perms

Collage of celebrities with perms in the 1980s

Hold onto your crimping irons, ladies! We're about to dive into the wavy world of perms. But before you start thinking that a perm is a one-size-fits-all type of deal, let me stop you right there. The 80s were a time of hair exploration and the perm was no exception. There are a number of different types of perms that you can rock, depending on your hair length, texture, and how brave you're feeling.

The Spiral Perm

 Barbra Streisand with Spiral perm in the 1980s

First, let's take a trip down spiral lane with the aptly named Spiral Perm. This perm is all about creating ringlet-style curls that wind their way down from root to tip. It's the perfect choice for those of you who want to let your inner Shirley Temple shine. And don't worry if your hair is lacking in the length department, the Spiral Perm is versatile and works well on medium to long hair.


The Body Wave Perm

Lady with Body Wave Perm

Next up, meet the Body Wave Perm, the less intense sister of the Spiral Perm. This perm gives you soft, loose waves rather than tight curls. Think Baywatch running scene but without the slow motion (or the swimsuit, unless that's your thing, no judgement here).


The Pin Curl Perm

Lady with a Pin Curl Perm

Then, we have the Pin Curl Perm. This one's for the ladies who aren't afraid of a little (or a lot of) volume. Your hair is set in pin curls, resulting in a full-bodied, textured look. It's the perfect way to add some oomph to your hair without the commitment of a full perm.

The Stack Perm

The Stack Perm

Finally, let's talk about the Stack Perm. This style involves perming the middle and lower parts of your hair, leaving the roots relatively straight. The result is a stacked effect, with loads of volume at the ends. It's particularly great for those with layered haircuts.

So, there you have it, the different types of perms that ruled the 80s. Now, remember, perms are a commitment and should be approached with care (and a very patient hairdresser). But with the right attitude, and a serious love for big hair, you'll be rocking your perm like it's 1989!

The Teased Look

Jackie Swanson 1980s with Teased look hair style

Ah, the Teased Look, also affectionately known as the "bigger is better" hair philosophy of the 80s. If you've ever wanted to know what it feels like to carry a small cloud on your head, this is the style for you. Let's shimmy down the rabbit hole and explore what you need to achieve this gravity-defying spectacle.

First off, you're going to need a sturdy comb - one that won't wimp out halfway through the job. A tail comb is perfect for this because it has closely spaced teeth that can tease the hair for maximum volume. It also comes with a pointed tail that helps in sectioning your hair, making it a two-in-one wonder.

But before we start teasing, remember to apply a bit of volumising spray or mousse to your clean, dry hair. This will give your hair some extra oomph and help the tease hold better. Now, start sectioning your hair and get to the teasing. Take a small section of hair, insert your comb about halfway down, and then backcomb towards the scalp. You're basically compressing the hair to create that voluminous, fluffy effect.

80s hair styles collage

Now, remember, teasing is not a race. It's an art, a lifestyle, a 'hair-titude' if you will. Be gentle to your strands and don't rush. Once you're done with all the teasing, spritz some hairspray to keep everything in place. Yes, hairspray - the unsung hero of the 80s hair world. It's like the fairy dust that seals in all your hard work and keeps your hair looking like it's perpetually caught in a glamorous wind tunnel.

And voila, you've got the Teased Look down! You might experience a slight decrease in head mobility due to the sheer volume of your hair but hey, that's a small price to pay for looking absolutely fabulous. Just remember to smile and nod, darling. With hair like that, you don't need to say a word. So, brace yourself, darling, achieving the perfect perm is a journey, not a destination. But the reward? Unmatched 80s volume, texture, and style that is sure to make heads turn!

The Fishtail Braid

The Fishtail Braid hairy style

Buckle up, beauties! We're making a pit stop at Braid Boulevard, and our first destination is Fishtail City. The Fishtail Braid, despite its marine-inspired name, was a firm favourite on dry land during the 80s, adding a touch of elegance to the otherwise wild hair trends of the decade. This intricate looking hairstyle is surprisingly easy to master. All you need is a comb, some hair elastics, and a sprinkle of patience. Simply divide your hair into two large sections, take a small piece from the outside of one section, cross it over to the inside of the other section, and repeat until you reach the end. Secure it with an elastic, and voila! You're rocking a fishtail.

The Side Ponytail

Girl with The Side Ponytail

Next up is the Side Ponytail, a style that screams "I'm fun, flirty, and don't take life too seriously." Remember to position your pony high on the side of your head, right by your ear, and secure it with a scrunchie — the brighter, the better. This hairstyle is all about being seen and making a statement. To add some 80s flair, crimp your ponytail or add a few teasing strokes. Don't forget to pair it with bold accessories and an even bolder attitude.

The High Top

Woman wearing The High Top hair style in the 1980s

Last but certainly not least, we have the High Top. This is not for the faint-hearted, my lovelies! We're talking hair as high as your dreams! This style is achieved by backcombing the crown of your hair to create a voluminous, sky-high look. It's the Teased Look's big sister and requires a sturdy comb, a lot of hairspray, and a "go big or go home" mantra. The result? A hairstyle that screams "I'm a force to be reckoned with." So, go ahead and unleash your inner 80s diva with this bold and daring style. You've got this! And remember, the higher the hair, the closer to heaven - or at least that's what we like to believe in the 80s.

The Mullet

Paul Young in the 1980s wearing The Mullet

Grab your time machines, folks, because we're heading back to the era when business met party — a hairstyle so iconic, it's synonymous with the era itself. I present to you, the Mullet. Now, I know what you're thinking, "A mullet, really?" But this isn't just any mullet, darling. This is the 80s Mullet. We're talking long, free-flowing locks at the back, counterbalanced by a neat, conservative style front. It's a hairdo that says, "I'm here to do business, but not without having a bit of a laugh first." So, how do you achieve this paradoxical masterpiece? Simple: keep the hair short on top and at the sides, and let the back do its own wild thing. Remember to keep it well-conditioned — we're aiming for a waterfall, not a haystack. And voila! You're rocking an 80s classic.

The Crimped Look

Woman wearing The Crimped Look hair style

Next on our style runway is the Crimped Look. If the Mullet was the king of 80s hairstyles, the Crimped Look was undoubtedly the queen. This style involves creating small, tight zig-zag waves in the hair, giving your mane a wild, textured appearance. You'll need a crimping iron for this, a magical device that looks like it's fallen out of a sci-fi movie. To get the best results, spray your hair with a heat protectant before you start. Then, simply clamp down on a section of hair with the iron, release, move down the hair shaft, and repeat. The key to a great crimped look? Patience. It's a bit more time-consuming than other styles, but the result is pure 80s magic.

The Feathered Look

Farrah Fawcett wearing The feathered look hair style

Last but not least, we introduce the Feathered Look. This hairstyle is the epitome of sophistication and was popular amongst those who preferred a softer, more refined look. The style is characterized by layers of hair swept back from the face, creating a 'feathered' effect. To achieve this look, you'll need a curling iron and some hairspray. Curl your hair away from your face, then comb through the curls with your fingers to give that feathered effect. Add a spritz of hairspray to keep everything in place, and there you have it — a hairstyle that’s not only classy, but also screams pure 80s elegance.

The Beachy Waves

Gwyneth Paltrow supporting the beachy waves hair style

Grab your surfboards because we are heading to the beach - well, not literally, but our hair sure is! The Beachy Waves look was the absolute embodiment of the casual, carefree vibe of the 80s. It’s like your hair just had a quick dip in the sea and decided, "Yeah, I'm good. I'll just dry off naturally and be fabulous." Here’s the inside scoop: Beachy Waves are all about creating loose, tousled curls for that naturally windblown look. To achieve this, you'll need a curling iron to give your hair some loose curls. Then, a texturising spray or sea salt spray (for that authentic beachy feel) applied generously to give your hair that extra 'oomph'. Scrunch your hair with your hands to break up the curls and give it a more natural look. The result? Hair that looks effortlessly glamorous, like you've just returned from a day at the beach. Don't forget the sun-kissed makeup to complement this look. So, ladies, it’s time to embrace the wave. The Beachy Wave, that is!

The Side Bangs

Alright, let's talk side bangs, or fringe as we Brits like to say. The side bang was the cherry on top, the final touch, the pièce de résistance of 80s hairstyles. And trust me, darling, it’s coming back with a vengeance. So, what's the tea on side bangs? They're playful, they're flirtatious, and oh boy, do they know how to frame a face! They add depth and mystery, and let's be honest, they're a godsend on those 'can't-deal-with-my-forehead' days. To achieve the perfect side bangs, you'll need a good pair of scissors, a fine-toothed comb, and a steady hand (or a really trustworthy friend). Start by sectioning off the hair from the top of your head to your eyebrow, cut at an angle, and remember, it's always better to cut longer and adjust accordingly. Don't forget to style them – a curling iron will add that perfect flip or wave. So put on your leg warmers, grab your neon scrunchie, and let those side bangs swing, because, darling, you're about to rock the world, 80s style!

The Straight Cut

jennifer aniston supporting the straight cut hair style late 1980s

Now, let's swerve into another lane, darlings — one where we appreciate the simplicity in an era of extravagance. The Straight Cut — it's as simple as it sounds, but don't you dare underestimate it. This was the go-to look for our long-haired lasses who weren't too keen on the crimping, curling, and backcombing of the 80s. It was like a sweet symphony amidst the rock concert, a breath of fresh air.

The Straight Cut is essentially hair that's cut to the same length all around, creating a curtain of sleek, uniform strands. And when I say 'straight', I mean, 'falling-off-the-edge-of-the-earth' straight, achieved with a good old flat iron (the 80s version of straighteners). A straight cut is incredibly flattering for longer faces, as it adds the illusion of width. Now, let's not forget our dear friend the hairspray — a little spritz goes a long way to keep those flyaways in check.

So, fetch your flat iron, dial down the volume, and let's get straight to it. The Straight Cut might not be as flamboyant as the rest, but it’s just as fabulous. After all, who said the 80s were all about being loud? Sometimes, less is more. And in the case of the Straight Cut, less is definitely more... more elegant, more timeless, and more 'I woke up like this'. Own it!

And there we have it, my darlings — a step back in time to the glorious 80s, an era that was all about big dreams, big tunes, and even bigger hair. These iconic hairstyles for long hair truly encapsulated the audacious spirit and individuality of the decade, each style a vibrant expression of self-confidence and flair. Whether you were a Mullet maven, a Crimped Look queen, a Feathered Look devotee, a Beachy Waves surfer babe, a Side Bangs diva or a Straight Cut sophisticate, there was a style for every face, every mood, and every wild night out. And while we've moved on from the neon leg warmers and disco lights, these hairstyles remain timeless in their appeal, sparking a sense of nostalgia every time we see them. So next time you're feeling a little adventurous, why not take a leaf from the 80s style book? Tease that hair, grab your hairspray, and let's bring back the 80s, one fabulous hairstyle at a time!