One of the most striking features of the 80s hairstyle is undeniably the exaggeration for guys. Whether you see it in styling, length or improvisation, it is the deviation from the simple and understated is what sets it apart from the rest. In terms of retro styling, it is one that is hard to miss and will always make an impression.
Best 1980s Hairstyles for Guys
In case you are keen on sporting the 80s men’s hairstyles, here is a quick lowdown on some of the most striking options.
What sets these styles apart is the fact that despite the years, these have retained a certain timeless quality about them.
1. Bandana Style for Long Hair
Growing your hair long? Frame your 80s long hairstyle for men with bandana accessories to emulate this rocker style. You may remember it most famously thanks to Brett Michaels, who made the look iconic.
When caring for longer hair it’s a good idea to invest in a high quality conditioner and to deep condition hair weekly or biweekly. For curly hair, use curl cream on clean, wet hair.
2. Fresh High and Tight
Iconic thanks to Will on the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, the high and tight look is one of the freshest 80s hairstyle for Black guys. Today, the look still holds up.
To make it your own, ask your barber to adjust the fade at the sides of the head according to your face shape. A high undercut is perfect for a long or oval face shape. To stay true to the decade, round your line up.
Add a touch of beard to balance out your facial structure if you want to go for a more chiseled look.
3. Retro Feathered Shag
After the 70s, hair lengths got a bit shorter. Shags remained in style, they just got shorter too. If soft charm is your thing, then look no further than this men’s 80s feathered hair. It feels youthful and slightly artsy, so it’s not ideal for the clean-cut guy but rather the romantic.
Swooping side bangs fantastically frame light eyes. The round shape of a feathery shag softens a square jaw line. Ask your stylist to bring the hair down below the ears to help frame your jaw and your overall face shape.
Obviously this style works on any hair color, but it has a totally beach-y vibe on sandy blonde hair.
4. Curly Mullet
Looking for a style that is truly unique? Then you’ll love this 80s curly mullet for men. Mullets aren’t for everyone, but if business in the front, party in the back is your eternal mood, then it’s time you go this ‘do.
For fellas with a square face shape, a beard helps to balance and soften. If your hair tends to run dry, use a moisturizing mask once a week.
5. Short Curtain Style
Frame gorgeous eyes and strong eyebrows with an 80s curtain hairstyle for guys. Middle parts aren’t for everyone, but they work well on with oval face shapes.
Because high and tight styles are very on trend right now, the short sides of this hairstyle actually feels really relevant. Get your hands on your favorite pomade and work it into hair to create discreetly styled tousles.
6. Puffy Curls
A puffy curl should be an excellent choice for men seeking a touch of 80s style and personality. This look works best with medium to long hair, as the curls need enough length to hold their shape.
To achieve this look, start by using a curling iron to create tight ringlet curls throughout your hair.
7. Half Up Half Down
For this hairstyle for men, simply gather the top section of your hair and pull it back into a mini man bun or ponytail. Secure the hair with an elastic or hairband.
For a more polished look, you can also add a bit of pomade or wax to the hair before pulling it back. The remaining hair should be left to hang down freely.
8. 80s Curly Hair
This 1980s style was tremendously bold and trendy for African American men. It was usually achieved by using a lot of hairspray, mousse, and gel to shape the hair into tight curls.
The curls would then be teased and backcombed to create a lot of volume and fullness.
9. Mullet with Design
The mullet features a long wavy back and front, while the sides are short and faded for an eccentric appearance. Usually, this hairstyle is worn by men who want a unique and edgy look.
10. Layered Shaggy
A 1980s shaggy layered hairstyle is a great option for men looking for a low-maintenance hairstyle for their long hair.
This vintage style is achieved by cutting the hair into layers that gradually get longer as you move down the sides. The layers should be cut to frame the face while the lengths should be kept long enough to hang down the face’s sides.
11. 80s High Flat Top
To get this look, start by getting a proper haircut with short and even length on the top and tapered or faded sides and back. Next, use a strong-hold hair gel to hold the hair in place, then blow-dry your hair while brushing it up and back.
12. Undercut + Mullet
The undercut with mullet shape hairstyle for men is a classic 80s style that has been popular for decades. It involves an undercut on the sides with longer hair at the top that is gradually cut down into layers.
13. 80s Shag
To style a shag haircut, start by towel drying your hair and applying a small amount of mousse or wax. Work the product through your hair with your fingers, then use a blow dryer while combing from the top. Finally, use your fingers to tousle the hair into the desired shape.
14. Dyed Mullet
The mullet hair with shaved sides is a modern pick on a classic hairstyle. This hairstyle features a classic mullet cut on top, while the sides and back are shaved off for a more funky look. The front of the hair is colored in a red hue giving you a unique look.
15. Brush Back + Highlights
First of all, add highlights by using a highlighting kit or take help from a professional stylist. After that, start by washing your hair, then towel dries it and applies some hair cream.
Next, use a blow dryer to create volume by aiming the air upward and brushing the hair up and back.
16. Sweep Over
This look from the 1980s is characterized by longer layers on top that are swept to one side or the other.
The sides and back are usually kept short, and the bangs may be kept long or swept to the side. It is great for guys with thicker hair, as it will add volume and texture.
17. Medium Hair with Fringe
For a medium-length hairstyle with a fringe and angled combed back look, you will need to use a comb to part the hair down the side.
Next, use a blow dryer while combing the hair in an angled upward direction. Keep the fringe hanging down on the forehead.
18. Straight with Forward Sweep
This 80s hairstyle is excellent for men with thick hair, as it adds texture and extra movement to the hair. To achieve this look, comb and gather the hair down the center of the head, and then use a flat iron to straighten the hair.
Once the hair is straight, use a round brush to pull the hair forward and sweep it across the forehead.
19. Short Faux Hawk with Beard
Salt and pepper never looked so good! Short, clean styles like a faux hawk work best as an 80s men’s hairstyle with a beard. Buzz hair short near the temples and don’t be afraid to grow your mustache thick and long at the sides of the upper lip.
Hair doesn’t have to be gray to work this style, though a longer beard looks rather polished in an ashy gray color. The main theme of this look is polished and chic, so consider it if you prefer life on the sleeker side.
20. Epic Pompadour
Embrace maximalism with a larger than life 80s pompadour hairstyle for guys. Or, let it inspire a more tamed style. Not everyone is walking a couture runway show! For a subdued pompadour, focus on sleek locks gelled back to perfection.
You’ll need lots of hair gel and patience to create this suave, elevated style. It’s easier to mold naturally straight hair, as hair with too much texture can make this style more challenging than it’s worth.
21. Springy Curls
Not ready to commit to a full-blown style from another decade? Try a curly 80s weave hairstyle for men to see how it can work with your personal, day-to-day style.
Springy curls with a short fringe are perfect for a guy with a big personality. Not only do curly bangs frame the face but they hide a false hairline that often makes wearing a wig a dead giveaway.
22. Comb over
Greaser styles are slick, chic, and perfect on the bad boy. If you’re the type to wear a suit to work or perhaps you just prefer looking sharp, then try a comb over 80s greaser hairstyle for guys. Don’t worry about hair looking too perfect, either. A lock or two falling over your forehead has just the right amount of charm.
This option is ideal for guys with naturally straight hair. Square and oval face shapes really benefit from the softening aspect of a side part, too.
23. Sleek and Edgy
Emphasize your chiseled features with an 80s rock hairstyle for men. Think Elvis or even James Dean as your inspiration.
A sleek style is obviously easier to do on straight hair with texture, but a straightener or a relaxer can straighten curlier hair with ease. When styling you’ll want to leave a lock or two down to curl over the forehead for a sexy touch.
24. Long Hair with Beard
Long hair was rather common in the 80s. It was often a statement in itself. In this typical blast from the past makeover, the hair designed in beautiful layers and with appropriate blonde highlights for guys. This is what gives this styling a brand new contemporary touch.
In many ways, it is also the key factor that helps sustain its timeless quality across generations and styling sensibilities. It is cool, sophisticated and decidedly retro in every possible way.
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25. Flat Top Haircut
The 80s hairstyles for guys are incomplete without a reference to their musical inspiration. It was an era where music ruled fashion, and therefore, it is hard not to see the trademark Bobby Brown influence in 80s hairdos.
It is simple, suave, sophisticated but at the same time screams of absolute masculine charm that is hard to resist.
It is a style that works both in boardrooms and ballrooms and creates a definitive impression. Appreciation and admiration follow rather effortlessly for most sporting this style.
26. Mullet Style
From soccer stars to musical greats, the mullet style is so intensely 80s that it is hard to separate both.
This is one of those vintage hairstyles for men that has continued to exude the same type of esoteric charm as it had almost four decades ago. The sophisticated adaptation of this retro style gives it a rather contemporary touch in modern times.
27. Fringe Haircut
The fringes are another key concept that started taking shape in the 80s. Be it’s men’s hairstyle or women; the fringes work beautifully to introduce a certain degree of variation in the overall styling.
For the men with the clean-shaven look, these fringes also work towards introducing the subtle masculinity of their personality.
The idea is to create a stunning look that is known for its timelessness, and these fringes with short-cropped hair represent exactly that. In many ways, that makes it such a standout styling option.
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28. Punk Style Japanese Pompadour
This hairstyles seeks to bring in the lilting musical inspiration to the light. The hair is shaped like a pompadour. But instead of the traditional comb back, it is arranged in a spike-like punk fashion. That gives this style its current contemporary idiom and makes it stand out.
The timelessness and the definitive statement that this style makes wins it admiration galore. It is a type of style that will always manage to win eyeballs and help you gather praise. It is short with spikes. As a result, the maintenance of this style is also relatively easy.
29. George Michael Style – Textured Quiff
When we are talking of the 80s hair, how can we not mention George Michael? This textured quiff is one of those quintessentially 80s styles that continue to win admiration even today.
Practical and stylish, the textured hair makes the quiff stand out in a meaningful way. The best part is you do not have to spend hours fixing the spike.
The textured hair falls effortlessly and keeps the quaint quiff in place. This also goes on to add a subtle masculine assertiveness to the whole styling, and in many ways, that makes it a timeless alternative.
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30. Julius Ceaser Cut
It is practical, trendy and popular. In fact, this is one of the few hairstyles of the 1980s that have managed to transcend the time barrier both in terms of appeal and popularity of this style.
The effortless fall, easy maintenance, and the relatively simple styling make it one of the top favorites amongst men.
31. Short Hair with Wispy Fringe
Give off that schoolboy charm with an 80s short hairstyle for guys. Ferris Bueller is our dream 80s inspiration for this look! Add a beard for some definition and a touch of maturity.
This style is seen on straight hair types, but it works for naturally wavy and even curly textures alike. Longer bangs that dip lowest in the middle creates structure and balance on a round face shape.
32. Medium Layered Hair
What is better than gorgeous 80s layers? This decade was all about cropping hair to medium length while emphasizing beautiful, natural texture. Full faces look suddenly defined with lots of choppy layers that cut into the cheek and sharpen cheekbones.
If you have thick hair, then this style will be a dream for you. Again, round faces benefit from a side part. Sparse yet visible facial hair will ground the rest of your look.
33. Wispy Punk
Not every 80s style is for pretty boys! Punk looks started to emerge alongside rock music during this decade. Guys that want to show off their unique style can turn to this spidery style with bleach blonde highlights.
By dyeing the outer layer of hair blonde, you’re attracting light to your look while grounding your features with natural brunette underneath. Think this spiky style may be your next hairstyle? If your hair is on the thinner or finer side, then this style will create the volume that you have been searching for.
34. Bi-Level Style
Mullet, shag, bi-level- all of these words describe hair that is longer in the back and shorter in the front. This medium length style, called a bi-level in the 80s, was pretty iconic for the decade. Ideal for thick hair types with lots of texture, a bi-level controls volume while looking professional.
Thanks to sufficient hair worn down behind the ears, this style is especially great for guys with long or even oval face shapes. To tamper down puffiness at the top of the head, add a shallow part cut slightly off center.
35. Tall and Curly Fringe
This style is all about the bangs. Elsewhere, hair is worn cropped closely to the head to create a framing effect. It is ideal on curly hair types so as to emphasize lots of envious volume at the front of the head.
For a brooding attitude, let some locks fall down over the bridge of the nose. This look is perfect for younger guys searching for a touch of cool.
Frequently Asked Questions
There are several iconic men’s haircuts associated with the 1980s. One of the most recognizable styles is the mullet, a haircut that is short in the front and longer in the back.
Another popular 80s style is the flat top, a high-top fade that was prevalent among Black men during the era.
No. The mullet emerged as a style before the 1980s, but it became an extremely popular style during this decade. The mullet was originally a French hairstyle in the early 1970s that was popular in the alternative party scene (think David Bowie in his Ziggy Stardust era).
By the 1980s, various rockstars and pop culture icons had popularized the mullet hairstyle, and it had become relatively mainstream in Western society.
Certain 80s hairstyles have been making a comeback. Certain musicians and fashion influencers have worn variations of the mullet, and nostalgic shows like Stranger Things have introduced younger audiences to various retro hairstyles.
To style big 80s hair, you need to create lots of hair volume. You can do this by first using styling products such as mousse or hair cream. You can then increase the volume with techniques like teasing and blow drying.
The top 35 men’s hairstyles from the 80s are all about balancing the retro elements with modern trends. The timelessness of a style is what sets it apart from the rest. This is why this guide on the 80s hairstyles is all about combining the cool elements from the 80s in a modern perspective.
So, be it the mullet or the punk style, what you see is a modern interpretation of a rather retro fashion statement. In some ways, this is also a much-needed adaptation.
It is this versatility and flexibility of styling that helps retain the timeless aspect of these haircuts. It is this X factor that sets these styles apart and helps them keep their popularity intact even after decades.