Masterplan’s 40th Anniversary Throwback: Top Five Hair Styles of 1981

June 30, 2021

In honor of Masterplan’s 40th anniversary, each Friday of July we will be highlighting our favorite memories from 1981. For the first week, we’re kicking it off with some of the most ‘radical’ beauty and fashion trends.


1. The Classic Perm

In the 80’s, the rule of thumb was ‘the bigger the better’. Curly, permed hair was all the rage and it was common for hair to be teased to the heavens. Dolly Parton was always rocking big hair and had one of the most iconic perms of them all.

Source: Rex Features


2. Jazzy Jheri Curls

Much like a perm, Jheri curls were invented in the 70’s by a man named Jheri Redding. They were later adapted to the black community by Comer Cottrell and became one of the most popular styles of its time. Below, we see Prince rocking this signature look.

Source: Getty Images


3. Crimped and Crazy

Another beloved 80’s fad was crimped hair. This style was created by making sharp creases in the hair with a hot tool and holding it in place with several cans of hair spray.

Singer, Taylor Dayne, frequently wore this look at the start of her career.

Source: Tim Roney/Getty Images


4. Iconic Mullet

Up next, men and women alike hopped on the mullet trend. Although this hairstyle isn’t quite as glamorous today, we still see the ‘business in the front, party in the back’ look in 2021. Back in the day, Rob Lowe knew how to work a mullet!

Source: Ron Galella/Getty Images


5. Extra Large Bangs

Last but certainly not least, bangs also followed the ‘bigger is better’ rule. Hair was styled and piled high to create these big, fluffy bangs of the 80’s. Janet Jackson was a prime example of someone who nailed this hairstyle.

Source: MediaPunch/Shuttershock


Which of these crazy 80’s hairstyles were you sporting or was your favorite? Next week, we’ll take a look at some of the unique fashion trends that came out of the 80’s including shoulder pads, acid wash, spandex, and gobs of neon!



Broadway, D. (2021, January 22). This Old-School Curly-Hair Styling Method Is Making a Comeback. Byrdie.

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