Acceptable in the 80s: Bold retro styles that are making a comeback


Acceptable in the 80s: Bold retro styles that are making a comeback

30 Nov 2016

There has been a huge comeback in 80s hair, makeup and fashion this season. 80s hair was seen all over the AW16 catwalks - from crimping at Gucci, to voluminous, perm-like curls at Louis Vuitton. It's likely that you'll be reluctant to go back to 80s styles due to some less than favourable retro memories, however, there are lots of stunning, eye-catching 80s hairstyles that work well in 2016 and they are more achievable than you might think.

The Perm

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80s hair is all about texture, curls and volume: and nothing sums all three of these up better than the perm. Everyone from Kylie Minogue's Charlene Robinson in Neighbours to Kelly McGillis in Top Gun and Jennifer Beals in Flashdance, all rocked different variations of the full-bodied, curled look. Then, this year, Louis Vuitton, Isabel Marant, Diane von Furstenberg and Giorgio Armani all brought it back in their AW16 fashion shows.

Traditional 80s perms were achieved with a lot of chemicals, but now there are more natural ways to achieve the look, such as with chopstick curling irons. Talk to your stylist to choose a method that suits both the condition of your hair and your lifestyle. If you do opt for a traditional perm, care for it afterwards using products that are designed specifically for curly hair. Perms change the structure of your hair strands, so you should treat your hair afterwards as if it is naturally curly.

Those with a busy lifestyle, and those who want the permed look for more than just a one-off special occasion might want to think about a traditional perm if you don't have time for a lengthy daily styling routine. If you do have time for the daily curling of your hair, your stylist can show you how to achieve curls that last the day, such as by spraying each new curl with hairspray as you go, then tipping your head upside down and applying a volumising texture spray at the roots to get that added 80s volume.

This look can be both sophisticated and carefree, so it would suit you no matter what job you do. Avoid teasing out your perm or curls to make them more wearable and team your new hairstyle with the current on-trend 80s fashion of a female power suit to harden the soft look of your curls, a slim-line skirt with exaggerated ruffles or a cocktail dress with an asymmetric neckline.

All hair types can adopt this hairstyle trend in some way, if you have hair that's at least a long bob in length. If your hair is naturally curly, utilise what you already have - use some curl defining mousse before drying and scrunch your curls with hairspray when styling.


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Crimps, aka zig-zag indentations in your hair that add incredible texture and increase the volume of your hair tenfold, are back - thanks to the AW16 catwalk presentations from Gucci and Vanessa Seward.

Crimping is the perfect way for those with thin, limp, straight hair to achieve some serious 80s lift and volume. You'll just need a good old-fashioned crimping iron and some hairspray to set the crimps with. Crimping wouldn't be suitable for someone with already very thick hair, due to the extreme volume that crimping adds. Similarly, it would be very difficult to achieve crimps that last if you have naturally curly hair, as you would need to straighten it first and then keep your hair away from nature's elements throughout the day. You can crimp both short and long hair, but the shorter your hair, the more it will stick out after crimping.

Always remember that when you use heat tools on your hair, you need to do it in conjunction with a heat protectant spray or styling cream to avoid damage.

Crimped hair has wild, carefree and 'night out' connotations to it still, so choose one of the edgier current 80s fashions trends to wear it with - such as a sequin number, or a wide, square-buckled waist belt. You might want to think twice about adopting this hairstyle trend for work, however, if you have a more formal profession.

Is an 80's look for you?

Adopting one of the key 80s hairstyles doesn't have to be scary. Both of these looks can be altered to fit in with your needs, be that with looser curls or by only crimping sections of your hair. Talk to your stylist about what look you would like to achieve, and they can advise you how to best go about it. Or for more style inspiration take a look around our blog.