The 80s was the most fun decade of the century and hairstyles were a way to express peoples' enjoyment of life. Let's have a look at some of the most iconic hairstyles that the decade produced.
The Bird Nest
This is a great one for you nature lovers out there. It's the classic reverse mullet - long on the top and short at the back and sides, but the extra twist added here makes it stand out from the crowd.
Rearranging the usual straight-up mowed lawn look into an inviting home for our avian friends is a decisive deviation from the norm, showing strength of character and individuality. And we particularly love the teased down bits making bangs - of a sort!
The Electric Charge
There's an easy way to achieve this hairstyle - stick your fingers in an electric socket! However, we don't recommend this method, so you're just going to have to use at least one can of hairspray.
This is a mullet in disguise. The amazing volume that this lovely girl has teased into the hair plays down on the fact that the top half is shorter, but she'd never get the same effect without the radical layers. We do wonder if her head has ever actually touched her pillow, though...
The Frontal Bloom
This is impressive. One hopes that on a girl so young, there isn't too much hairspray involved, so we reckon that that's some super-thick hair that she's sporting. A big round brush and a half-hour of hair-drying have doubled the size of this poor child's head!
We love the brushed back effect that has been created at the front, with all the hair radiating back from a central point rather like a flower's bloom. We bet that it's windproof, too.
Yin and Yang
What a captivating couple! We particularly love the way that they have opposite hairdos. Obviously, it makes sense - they'd never be able to get near each other if they both had access to hairspray. He's sporting a classic mullet, and wearing it well, we think.
She, on the other hand, has a variation of the Electric Charge going on. That's not a mullet under there, however, so if we could just get her under a shower, we think that she might have a whole new look going for her. Although, only if she does something about that top...
The Red Sea Look
Everything about this poor girl is divided. Whoever let her put those glasses on, we don't know, but they should be charged with a criminal offense. Her eyes barely fit in there! And then, there's the hair.
We've got nothing against a mullet, as long as it's in a photo from the past and not on someone's head today, but a mullet with a center parting should never have been allowed. It defeats the object of the volume creating hairstyle, and it gives her wiiiiings!
Is this a picture from the eighties, or a touched up, colored in shot from the late 1800s? We are finding it hard to deal with the two frilly monsters stuck on the side of this unfortunate child's head.
Pigtails on a small girl's head are nothing new, and it doesn't date, either. But. This? Loopy plaits are all well and good, although we feel that coiled buns would go better with that puffy top to create a vintage do. It's those hair accessories that make us worry. What if they're aliens sucking her soul out of her ears?
The Palm Tree
We don't know if that's a mullet under there or not, and we strongly suspect that someone is having us on with this one, but let's give it the consideration that such effort deserves. This is the way to add extra height to your stature.
Firstly, do you reckon that there's a pencil shoved in the stalk? It looks like she's used about a thousand hair ties to get that height, and we can't work out how it hasn't keeled over with the weight. We applaud her tenacity, although, we'll be honest, we'll avoid her if we see her in the street!
What it's supposed to be stating, we can't guess, but it's definitely garnering attention, whatever it is. Amazingly, this young person looks pretty pleased with themself - maybe nobody has explained how a mirror works to them?
We love black and red hair. We've sported it a few times. However, on us, it's never been separated by a highway of shaved head running through the middle. Having seen the effect, we're pretty sure that we're never going to do it in the future, either. What do you reckon the back looks like?!
The Puppy Dog
We'll be honest, we love this. Anyone smiling like that, through that hairdo and those braces, is someone we want to meet. We can't tell if it's a boy or a girl, and we can't tell what's been done to this hair to make it do that! Doesn't it look like floppy puppy ears?
Wait, we've worked it out. It's those braces. They're on a headband of some sort, and that's what's messing up the hair. That's really quite unfortunate. Unless this kid has just awaked from an awkward napping position, we think that their parent could have made a bit more effort at sorting that out!
Keeping It in the Family
Is it us, or is Mom trying to work out where she went wrong here? Both the girls (we think - the jury's out on the one at the front) look pretty relaxed, but Mom looks just a bit uncomfortable.
Shaved sides, spiky hair. This is a classic look, still sported today, albeit usually in a bit of a softer style. We love the sweeping bangs. We are seriously concerned about the sideburns that the one at the back seems to be sporting, though...
The Best of Both Worlds
When you were a kid, did you always want the opposite sort of hair to what you naturally have? Ours was dead straight, and we yearned for bouncy curls. Our best friend ironed her waves into straight submission.
Of course, what we should have done was this. This is an example of a mullet at its best. There is no other hairdo out there with which you could possibly have it both ways like this. That's one chuffed little girl.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is not a hairdo. It doesn't even rate as a hair-don't. This poor child had beautiful long hair, and it was getting in her eyes, so she took some scissors and just cut along the front from ear to ear.
That's the only explanation that we can think of for this travesty, and her expression of joy backs it up. It's just a shame that someone took the scissors away before she could rid herself of the collar as well!
The Classic Mullet
This is as good as it gets, boys and girls. The mullet in its original, classic form. The hair on the back of the head has been put in a ponytail. Then, the child has been hung upside down. All the falling hair has been sheared off, possibly by a chainsaw.
Once he's up the right way again, it's just a matter of waxing that lawn and running a strimmer over it occasionally. The back is left in all its long grandeur. This one, we see, had had a low rising shaved spot over each ear to add a dash of individuality. Awesome.
Designed For Spectacles
This cut reaches new levels of outrageousness. That's one outstanding soul to rock that look, we can tell you. However, if you look carefully, you'll realize that this is all in the name of comfort and style.
This hairstyle is the obvious answer to an age-old problem. If you have luscious wavy locks that need showing off, you set them like this, but how do you solve the problem of unsightly wings over the arms of the spectacles? Grow the side bits extra-long and tuck them under said arms!
The Braided Mullet
This is the point at which the humble mullet elevates itself into a do of pure class and, dare we say it, coolness. What do you do when everyone around you has the same style? Rework said style!
Adding lots of slender braids to the long part is a great idea, but we do have to wonder how she keeps it clean. Braided hair is usually treated quite differently to natural hair - and how on earth does she get a comb through it without getting caught up?
Of course, this style has a name that's younger than it is. This photo was taken back in a time when this kind of thing was not considered child abuse, and the famous scene from the film There's Something About Mary had yet to be shot.
Still, though, what were they thinking? This is a do that can't decide - sleek and shiny or full-on volume control? We have advice for this girl: make that choice. Anything is better than looking like you have a plant sprouting from your forehead.
The Extreme Mullet
Well, if you're going to do something, you may as well go and do it to the max. Long flowing locks cascading down your back; check. Short, stylish bangs to frame your face; check. Cheeky go faster stripes hovering over your ears; check.
And, to literally top it off, everything in between should be shaved. No traditional lawn effect, no showy curls. Just the smooth shape of your scalp. It's contrast at its most fashionable. Can't you tell by how happy this kid looks?
The Side Sweep
Now, this is one look that's quite difficult to achieve with a mullet, and a good reason for resisting the temptation to slice those long locks. The asymmetrical look was massive, figuratively and literally, in the 80s.
A good third of the hairspray can go on the sleek side, subduing every last strand and pulling it tight for a smooth look. Then the rest of it goes on the wild side, where volume is king. Some go for a proper ponytail bouncing above the ear, but we like this free-flowing style. It's a portable pillow for whenever she wants to take a nap!
The Fringe Is King Look
This could have been taken from any decade. There are always people out there that simply don't know when to stop. In this case, it should have been a good inch or two ago, both vertically and horizontally! We love bangs, guys, but c'mon, there are limits...
Still, you can't say that this person isn't getting what they asked for. They look pretty content. What we'd like to know, however, is when the hairdresser is planning to stop cutting - this is still a work in progress!
The DIY Look
Oh, dear. Will you look at those uneven bangs? This is a fairly unremarkable do as far as mullets go - until you get to the front. We hope for the kid's sake that it wasn't a professional stylist that did that!
This kid doesn't look happy, right? No wonder, with that hair. The question is, did Mom do that, or was it achieved alone? Kids can be impetuous like that, you know. We don't think the kid will do it again, though!
The Full Frontal
This is a truly gravity-defying hairstyle. The way that the layered part on top has been kept slightly longer than usual, so that it can be teased upward, but more importantly, forward, is nothing less than genius.
The bangs are still there, classily understated, but they just form a base from which rises this magnificent dome. Do we wonder if it's an attempt at looking more intelligent, in a mad scientist, domed head full of brains kind of way? It's almost like a '50s quiff taken to a new level!
Well, we can't think of a good moniker for this one. We'll be honest, all we see when we look at it is some sort of animal snuggled up on her head. There's his tail, curled over her right ear, and that's maybe an arm hanging down the other side.
Short hair is great, but this is just very random. Nothing matches anything else, as if someone just closed their eyes and went with the flow. Nevertheless, having hair that you can give a name to is pretty cool. Do you think it purrs if you pet it?
Girl! Watch out! There's an animal crouched on your head! Some sort of ravaging beast is headed for your face to give you the ultimate nose job. Maybe it's just the angle of the shot, but it also looks like it might fall off sideways if you give your head a shake...
We can't think of anything complimentary to say about this one. It's got us beat. She looks pretty happy with her do though, so who are we to judge?
This is another one that will endure as long as they let moms buy scissors. This one is an especially good example due to the thickness of this child's hair giving a 3D effect, not unlike the straw roofs of the round wooden huts found in primitive villages and jungle-themed theme parks.
We also very much like the way that the hair goes out the same distance as his ears. It gives the impression that the top of his head is being lifted off!
The Boring One
Yes, there is definitely some sexism going on in this family. Look at the bold, creative statements that the two boys are making with their hair. Their poor sister just has straight, product-free, long hair with bangs. She must feel so left out!
Having said that, she looks pretty happy with her lot in life. It's the youngest that's beginning to realize that bad decisions may have been made on his behalf. How's that for a perfectly straight, yet not horizontally level, set of bangs?
The Aged Look
Ladies and gentlemen, the mullet does not get any more extreme than this. Frankly, we cannot imagine what possessed this guy to do this to himself. Shaved heads with beards are cool, but straggly long hair with a bald patch is most definitely not.
Why would you intentionally imitate an aged version of yourself? This guy's not a kid anymore, but he's a long way from a natural bald patch that big. You can see his stubble. This is just terrifying.
The Utilitarian Look
Here you have it. This is for the ladies that can't be doing with it all, and they seem to keep it for their entire lives. We guess that it's a short hairdo that looks like a longer hairdo but without all the maintenance.
It's an uneasy mix between a very short bob and a bowl. This little girl is rocking it, though. You can see that bossy confidence that says, "I want to look presentable, but I don't have time for curling tongs". She'll go far, mark our words.
The Laid-Back Mullet
Now, this is a classic. It's the same style as the harsher mowed lawn look, but with less emphasis on the angles and straight edges. It's short enough on top to give it body without product, and the waves fall naturally down the back.
Look at those heavy-lidded eyes, and that relaxed grin. This is a boy that knows what it's about, and it's not about faffing around in front of a mirror. Hey, man, relax! There's loads of awesome stuff that you could be doing, dude. Chill out!
The Sleek Mullet
Ahhh, now this is more like it. It's a radical swing away from the wild, teased, hair we've been seeing, although you'll notice that there's still a good amount of volume going on here.
This is a guy that takes care of his appearance. He's as sleek as they come with all that gel in keeping those locks silky smooth, without a hair out of place. Just a bit of a curl at the end gives a hint to the playful, sensitive guy that he is underneath.
Why? Just, why? Ok, we'll admit, it's pretty clever, especially if those rotor blades are hair, too, but you do have to wonder where you'd wear a do like this... and... she's got a wire trailing down from it. What if it's not attached to earbuds?
If this girl has got her rotor blades hooked up to a power source, then, well, that's pretty amazing. In that case, we'll let her off if the blades aren't made of hair, but we want to see it in action before we pass judgment...
The Kidnap Victim
We like a side-swept style, but there are limits. This do crosses them. All of them. It looks like nothing more than someone has just tried to pull her away by her hair. It's not pretty!
And then, you have to think about practicality. This young woman has to turn sideways to get through doors. What if it rains? Unless she's got a giant umbrella, her right shoulder is going to get wet, that's what. It's a good job she's just done one side, or she'd need two!
The Cultural Appropriation
This is fantastic. If you have hair that can do this, we say go ahead and do it right now. He looks a trifle smug, and we can see why. The only way that this could be cooler would be if it was ice blue.
We bet that it's high maintenance. Do you think that it's naturally that curly and full, or is there product involved? If it's stiff with hairspray, how does he get that t-shirt on? Surely he doesn't have to rebuild his afro every day?
The Triple Mohican
If you love the idea behind the Mohican but aren't quite brave enough to shave that high up your head, this could be the compromise that you're looking for. Three of them, at complementary angles!
This looks rather like a crown, and his expression says he thinks that he's the king of cool with that hairstyle. It's versatile, too - note how it trails down at the back into the beginnings of a mullet; an unusual twist to this kind of look.
We're trying very hard to concentrate on the hairdo here, and it's certainly noteworthy, but our eyes keep getting dragged back to that smile... This is a smart young man, and he's super pleased with his statement hair.
This is a divided mullet. There's little cohesion between the smooth, long locks at the bottom, and the pom-pom affair at the top. In fact, it looks rather like a mushroom - and not the edible kind. No, we're thinking more along the lines of the mushroom cloud of a nuclear explosion.
Wow, lady, we bet that your daughter did not thank you for this when she was growing up. We've heard of trying to relive your life through your kids, and it's a scary concept, especially when taken to extremes...
We do take consolation in the fact that the traditional '80s puffball perm looks a lot better on the kid. Probably because it's natural. There's no way that mom is obsessed enough to get a child that small's hair permed, right?
Gosh, this is a young man that's not quite sure what he wants. The black nail varnish, the piercings, and the neon yellow tell us that he's a punk rocker at heart, but the combover disagrees strongly.
Wait, we know. He is a punk, but he's out at a family event. Mom has told him in no uncertain terms that he's not going to his cousin's wedding unless he does something with his hair. We can see the shaved bits. That's normally a Mohican. Poor guy.
The Mowed Lawn
This is where mullet meets Mohican. Gone are the traditional flowing locks at the back, but the geometric mowed lawn is still thriving on top. The back and sides are short, a la Mohican style, but the standing strip is conspicuously absent.
We bet that he can keep that looking tidy for days. It won't mess up in sleep, perched on top like that. It adds extra height, too. It's perfect for a fashionable young lad with a busy life!
The Lost Patience Look
Oh, dear. Most of us have been through a variation of this at some point in our life. We have a daughter that did it to herself aged 13, during a lockdown maybe. That's some look of resignation on that child's face...
Presumably, as she's having a photo taken in that state, this time it was a parent that couldn't take it anymore. Otherwise, someone would have tidied that up, we think. We know that those are painfully short bangs, but they could at least have been trimmed into evenness!
The Growth Cycle of a Mullet
The family that grows together... Look at this; the four stages of mullet development! The little kid is working on the volume on top, but has yet to cultivate the long part at the back.
Long at the back, short at the top on the right gives way to the floppier, more relaxed style of the boy at the back. He could end up with a Laid-Back mullet, or he could take it all the way, like his father, to the guitarist-in-a-rock-band, full-on, frizzed-up Rock'n'roll style.
This is a look that actually needs more mulletation. She's short on the top, long at the sides, and with curly hair, that's how you get the triangle effect. If she had more layering in between the extremes, she'd have, well, a puffball, at that length, but it would grow into a respectable Electric Charge.
Or maybe she likes the triangle. We mean, there are all sorts out there. Whatever floats her boat. She definitely looks happy enough with her appearance!
Now, here is a girly who is pleased with her look. It is the classic graduated mullet, the softer version of the mowed lawn. No startling changes in length here, just a smooth transition from short to long.
It was about as near to properly short hair that a girl could get and still be a fashion queen. No frilly slides or sparkly pins for this young lady. That is hair that stays put on its own and is no bother to its wearer.
The Wishful Thinker
We don't think that this is a proper mullet. This is simply long hair with bangs. This young lady obviously yearns to be a la mode, but we're guessing that mom won't let her get it cut.
So, she's made do. The bangs have been coaxed into a semblance of a mullet's crowning glory, and the roots of the long bits are trying to make up the difference. We'll be honest, it hasn't really worked. She'd have done better trying for a side-swept look.
The Why Me Look
This is the Utilitarian gone very wrong. The point of the Utilitarian look is that it's unobtrusive. It's simply there to frame a face. This, however, has personality. And we don't think it gets on with its wearer.
If the child was happier, we'd say that this was sweet. The child looks rather like a toadstool with fairies dancing around it! As it is, we think that those fairies should keep their distance if they don't want to get swatted away!
The Full-Bodied Look
Mullets with class. That's what we've got here. No extreme frizziness, tight perms, or wild colors. We're guessing that this girly has very thick, heavy hair with a natural wave.
This has let her have that impressive volume on top, and the longer hair is pulled straight by its weight. It is bordering on a mushroom, but it's saved by its natural feeling. Altogether, not a bad look for its time. We're not getting one any time soon, though!
The Beaded Curtain
We're not sure if this actually classes as a look, as it's reasonably unique, but as it forcibly reminds us of the strips of material hanging outside the kitchen door to keep the flies out, that's what we're calling it.
We do love the way that he's coordinated it with his outfit. Do you reckon that he does that every day, or did he make a special effort for the photo, so his mom would be proud? Yes, we're sure she cries when she looks at it. With pride.
This isn't a hairdo. It's actual physical evidence of the largest tarantula to have ever lived. This guy was his owner, and they enjoyed a close relationship until the arachnid's death, well into its twenties.
It was a sight often beheld in the small town where they lived, and the locals all loved their furry friend. Sometimes, it would take itself down to the store on its own to get pork rinds to snack on. The lad had a tab running there. It is sorely missed.
Well, at least they're smiling. That's the spirit, girls, don't let your haircuts get you down. They can suffer together in sisterhood, and that makes a difference. Misery loves company.
A mullet must be great for swimming. Those girls can play around in the water, and they'll never have that wet hair in their eyes problem. Plus, that's got to be a dried naturally look. No-one bothered to blow dry anything into that style, right?? From the pool to the photo studio, no brushes needed...
The Basset Hound Ears
When a mullet's lines are drawn in the wrong place, this is the kind of effect that you get. At least his top bit is fairly neat - if it was a bit longer and curlier, they would be poodle ears!
The long part needs to start behind the ears unless you've got a more laid back, rocker-style mullet. We don't care if the sides are shaved or cropped to match the top, as long as they're not hanging down like this. We are having trouble resisting the urge to pet this poor boy!
Words are beginning to fail us. We've looked at a lot of hairdos by this point, and we can't fathom this one at all. This poor child is probably around 6, but with this hair, she looks like a weird little old lady.
Why would any parent want to do that to their child? Wait, we get it. There's got to be a ton of hairspray in that hair - it's as solid as a helmet. It's actually an overprotective mother's idea of a safety feature.... right?
The We Wanted A Boy
It's a mullet, all right, and the height of 80s fashion. But, this particular incarnation of the do of the decade was usually found on boys. Wait - are we sticking our foot in our mouth? Maybe it is a boy. He's got great eyelashes, if so.
The hair itself is pretty nondescript for this list. We have noted the uneven fringe, but we can't decide if that was on purpose or not. You'd think that professional photographers would be able to position their subjects so the lights aren't reflected in their glasses, though...
The Skater Boi
Well, this is the coolest dude to come out of the 80s. That is one impressive mullet for an impressive young lad. Those tresses are nearly down to his waist! They must have never been cut to have got that long on one so young.
It's a pretty utilitarian approach to the top part, however. Just run a razor over it, give it a light buzzcut, leave the back long. I haven't got time to primp, I've gotta go master the triple flip whilst eating ice cream. It's not easy, being a future champion!
This guy is super happy, presumably with how much he's managed to make his hair look like that of his idol. At least wearing the t-shirt gives context to the hairdo. Otherwise, we'd think that he was trying (badly) to start off a dreadlock collection.
It's quite an ingenious take on the traditional spikes of punkdom. Giving them a light twist and letting them flop a little takes the edge off, adds an element of fun. It also makes you look like a lemon meringue pie, but who are we to judge?
The Little Darling
Now, this is an astonishing implementation of the mullet. Letting the top grow just that bit extra to show off those beautiful tumbling curls at their best, that's masterful. With those ringlets framing that innocent little face, I bet she gets away with anything.
This do combines cheeky innocence with the classic long brushed tresses to create a look that few could resist. And we're betting it will work as she gets older, too. Lucky little thing!
The Field Of Wheat
This is a prime example of the mowed lawn look. We couldn't resist adding it to our list because it's on such a grand scale! That is some serious height that this kid has achieved on top.
The longer hair hanging down the back is all well and good, but it just seems to serve to add extra oomph to the top part of the do. This kid is a hair wizard. We wonder what his answer to the 90s was.
The Everything, All At Once
Wow. Just, wow. This has to be the crowning glory of the 80s trend. Here we have a mix of the Mary, the Electric Shock, hints of the Wishful Thinker, and maybe even a little of the Kidnap Victim!
You have to have the hair to pull this one off. This young lady has so much of her thick, wavy hair that we're actually amazed that she can hold her head up - especially when you consider how much hair product must be in there!