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Throwback Thursday: Favorite Looks from the 80’s

In the 80’s, we rocked a “Relax” tee with acid-wash jeans, slouchy socks and about a hundred bangle bracelets on our arms. Makeup was bright, earrings were big and the hair was even bigger. Whether it was mane of cascading curls a la Julia Roberts from “Mystic Pizza” or a buzzed side (undercut) worn by Alannah  Currie of the Thompson Twins, looks from the 80’s were big, bold and often outrageous.

It’s said that everything old is new again. Several celebrities including Jada Pinkett Smith, Kelly Osbourne and Rihanna have be seen with stylish undercuts that are reminiscent of the 80s but with a sleek modern spin, proving you can pull off an updated version of classic 1980’s fashion trends today.

Check out easy ways to update popular looks from the 80’s for a retro-inspired look that’s fun and perfect for today’s modern woman.

Shaved/Buzzed Side

Today, we call it an undercut and it looks chic, especially when worn with soft tumbling curls or a cute bob with bangs that flirtatiously fall just over the corner of one eye. In the 80’s, performer’s like Cyndi Lauper and Aimee Mann buzzed the sides of their hair and wore the rest teased out and colored platinum or bright shades or orange, red and yellow. A modern undercut is a great look for any woman who’s looking for something a little edgy without going over-the-top.


In the 1980’s, the “scrunched” look created massively textured hair. With permed hair, the scrunching allowed you to create huge hair that often looked as if it was defying gravity. Scrunching was easy; put some gel in your palm, grab a handful of hair and “scrunch” the hair in hand while applying heat from your hair dryer.

Today, the tousled beach wave look is a modern version of 80’s scrunching. Ditch the 80’s gel and rely on products like Ion Styling Solution Texture Spray Wax to get beach waves or a sexy, tousled look ideal for date night or a casual afternoon out.

High-Side Pony

Tweens, teens and twenty-somethings all wore the high-side pony at least once or twice during the 1980’s. From Punky Brewster to Demi Moore, the teased-out, high-side ponytail was very popular and worn by cheerleaders, aerobics class members and celebrities of all ages.

Fast forward 30 years and ponytails are still popular, but their look has evolved. The scrunchies have (thank goodness!) been tossed and today’s pony is sleek and more high-fashion. Update the side pony by wearing it low, at the nape of the neck and incorporate a braid that trails from one side into the pony. Need more ponytail ideas? Check out our 6 Unexpected Ponytail Styles.

Rainbow Color

The 80’s was a kaleidoscope of colors. Embrace your inner 80’s child and indulge in the Cyndi Lauper-inspired hair you’ve always wanted. The modern columbré style is the perfect way to update the colorful hairstyles worn by Lauper and others during the decade of bold and beautiful. Consider colorful shades like magenta, mint, lavender and cyan.

Spiral Perm

Look through any yearbook circa 1983 through 1989 and you’ll find pages of teenage girls with long tresses, permed into poodle-style curls teased and hair sprayed to create some of the most massively huge hairstyles of the decade — totally!

Curls are still in, but modern curly styles are more relaxed and effortlessly combine playfulness with sophistication. Treat your curls right with curl solution products like Ion Curl Spray Gel and check out tips on how to style curly hair and keep your look modern and beautiful.

Retro looks from the 80’s can be fun when updated to bring the look into this century, so crank up some Madonna and Bon Jovi and have fun with an “old” new look.

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