The 1980s brought us many inventive hairstyles. From mullets to crimped looks, there was nothing boring about this decade. The ’80s was all about excess, which is exactly how we would describe the worst hairstyles of the time. How could anyone have known that pastel satin, watermelon-size aviator glasses, and long mullets would fall out of fashion? Don’t answer that. Instead, check out these four terrible ’80s hairstyles.
1. The mullet
A conversation about the 1980s would be incomplete without mention of the mullet. This hairdo was in its prime in the mid-1980s. Sported by so many celebrities, such as George Micheal, Billy Ray Cyrus, and John Stamos, the dry cut feather duster was definitely more neck hair than any man ever needs. This look was business in the front (because it was short) and party in the back (because it was unreasonably long), and there’s no denying that it fills men of a certain age with a nostalgia for the ’80s. In fact, the king of the mullets, Cyrus, missed his so much that in 2006 he released the song “I Want My Mullet Back.”
2. Jheri curls
Whether it’s referred to as Jheri, Jerry, or Jeri, this ‘do of curls was one of the worst trends in hair history. It’s best remembered as a sort of poodle-doo (see A.C. Slater in the photo above) and was loved by thousands of men in the early 1980s. The hairstyle, which was invented by Irish-American haircare entrepreneur Jheri Redding, was a two-step process that transformed straight hair into curly hair. Interestingly, it was entrepreneur Comer Cottrell who was credited with the trend’s explosion after designing an at-home product known as Pro-Line’s Curly Kit.
However, celebrity hairstylist Ursula Stephen told The Huffington Post the Jheri curl was one of the first styles that gave African-American hair manageability and versatility. In fact, the Jheri curl was seen on some of biggest musical icons of the decade, including Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie, and New Edition. They were also seen on characters in cult hits Coming to America and Pulp Fiction.
So as for the Jheri curl, we’ll take the bad with the good, but we just won’t ever wear it again.
3. The Don Johnson ‘do/Miami Vice era
Miami Vice ran on NBC from 1984 to 1990, and it showcased some of the worst ‘dos of the ’80s. It was Don Johnson, a.k.a. Sonny Crockett, whose hair style was most iconic. Not only did Don Johnson rock T-shirts and linen suits, he also set the bar high for the puffy blow-dried back hairstyle.
4. The “A Flock of Seagulls” look
This catchy ’80s band’s name became a catch-all term for pretty much every awful haircut. A Flock of Seagulls was a Liverpool synth-pop quartet, whose lead singer, Mike Score, sported a gravity-defying comb job that echoed — badly — through the subsequent decades. We will say one thing: Props for creativity.