Lion of the Blogosphere

What 80s hair really looked like

80s_hair

A page from the University of Maryland class of 1982 college yearbook.

Do any of the women in the show The Americans have hair looking remotely like that? The answer is no.

Susanna-Hoffs-with-The-Bangles

We also learn from viewing this yearbook page that the typical young woman in 1982 was not as beautiful as Susanna Hoffs from The Bangles.

* * *

1986_hair

“maj” writes in a comment:

Susannah Hoffs’ hair is from 86 or 87 I believe, which was a much flashier era of fashion than the early 80s. What we think of as classic 80s hair, the hair band and mall hair era, did not really occur until the late 80s. Early 80s hairstyles, as exemplified by your 1982 pic, were much more bland and 70s-like. I bet if you posted yearbook photos from the late 80s the differences would be stark.

I captured a page from the 1986 yearbook above, and I think that the size of the hair increased since 1982, but none of it looks as good as Susanna Hoffs’ hair.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

January 5, 2016 at 4:06 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

21 Responses

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  1. Good point. 80s hair is way more luscious in the collective conscious than it was in real life. But it does look like a strong majority of those ladies used curling irons.

    Dan

    January 5, 2016 at 4:21 pm

  2. Susannah Hoffs’ hair is from 86 or 87 I believe, which was a much flashier era of fashion than the early 80s. What we think of as classic 80s hair, the hair band and mall hair era, did not really occur until the late 80s. Early 80s hairstyles, as exemplified by your 1982 pic, were much more bland and 70s-like. I bet if you posted yearbook photos from the late 80s the differences would be stark.

    maj

    January 5, 2016 at 4:22 pm

    • Yes. My junior high yearbook from 91 was chock full o’ girls with bangs a mile high. They hadn’t quite left the 80s yet.

      In the pic above, these appear to be staff photos, which might not be the best representative of what was “in” then, but still, it’s not like they’re elderly, so it’s no biggie. I’d say Suzanne Simpson’s hair has aged the best. Simple, classic.

      Dain

      January 5, 2016 at 4:33 pm

      • Agreed. The lovely Ms. Simpson’s photo would have fit comfortably into almost any subsequent yearbook up to the present.

        maj

        January 5, 2016 at 5:10 pm

  3. 1) Bad mustaches were still in vogue back then.

    2) If Peter is reading this, hopefully he will comment about other hairstyles from 1982…

    ScarletNumber

    January 5, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    • Rumor has it that many women today are.returning to a more natural look. I’ve not seen any evidence for that in my research.

      Peter

      ironrailsironweights

      January 6, 2016 at 7:46 pm

  4. Nice update with the ’86 pic, Lion! But I think you have to go still further in the decade – ’80s fashion got bigger and flashier as the decade wore on, and changes in fashion occurred much more dramatically and quickly in that decade than at any time since. If I had to guess I’d say peak hair occurred approximately 1988. Things started to calm down at the very end of the decade as the zeitgeist began its slow downshift into grunge era despair-chic.

    maj

    January 5, 2016 at 5:07 pm

  5. The era we commonly understand as “the 80s” probably stretched from the time MTV went on the air in August 1981 until the election of Bill Clinton late in 1992, at least insofar as pop culture, entertainment, fashion, and politics would be concerned.

    Sgt. Joe Friday

    January 5, 2016 at 5:14 pm

    • It’s analogous to the way “The Sixties” in the popular imagination lasted from JFK’
      s assassination (11-22-63) to Nixon’s resignation (8-9-74).

      Oswald Spengler

      January 5, 2016 at 6:48 pm

      • Agreed, but I would date the beginning of the 80s in Nov 1980 when Ronald Reagan was elected.

        sestamibi

        January 6, 2016 at 8:56 pm

  6. Colleges have yearbooks? Bizarre.

    Brendan

    January 5, 2016 at 5:18 pm

  7. “the typical young woman in 1982 was not as beautiful…”

    It does seem that women are getting more beautiful with each generation. Looking through the year book at my daughter’s high school, most of the girls are gorgeous. But when I look at pictures 30+ years old the women tend to look homely.

    I think the theory is that beauty benefits women as a biological imperative, and beautiful women have more children, thus the beauty genes are growing more potent with each generation.

    Any thoughts on the mass sex attacks in germany which, shockingly, was reported by the nytimes?

    slithy toves

    January 5, 2016 at 5:30 pm

    • Donald Trump did say that there were rapists among the immigrants.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      January 5, 2016 at 5:32 pm

    • The college bound women in our current Meriprolestan do not look at all more beautiful than let’s say Laurie Carr, the 80s playmate who married a band member from the band Ratt.

      JS

      January 5, 2016 at 6:49 pm

  8. Beautiful hair on a photograph: nature or nurture? Obviously, nurture. By the way, ask Google what 80s hair looked like. The first picture on the left: https://www.google.com/search?q=80s+hair&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8 That is a horrible hair!

    MyTwoCents

    January 5, 2016 at 5:40 pm

  9. Big hair came in in spring of 1985. It was called “hot rats” and i remember seeing it on campus in spring of ’85 when I graduated. I remember liking the style at the time. I moved to SoCal that summer and big hair definitely was big. It stayed that way into ’90 and ’91, when I left the country.

    Early 80’s styles were not much different from the late 70’s except that the Farrah look was declining.

    Abelard Lindsey

    January 5, 2016 at 5:57 pm

  10. Jane Badler, who played the Lizardette Commandeer, disguised as Diana covering her repulsive reptilian appearance in V, had the normal 80s hair throughout the series, reminiscent of the women in the yearbook photos. The series began in the early 80s, when Khan in Star Trek II had his lion’s mane in the movie, and lasted till the mid 80s of the Susanna Hoffs era.

    JS

    January 5, 2016 at 6:37 pm

  11. Yes, 1988 was the peak year. I had a pretty spectacular mullet back then, but looking at my ’88 HS yearbook, I was far from the worst offender in my senior class.

    I think class had a lot to do with hairstyles back then, however. The town where I graduated HS was mostly prole/middle-class, in the part of the northeastern SF Bay Area that would be to San Francisco as New Jersey is to Manhattan. Lowered mini-trucks were extremely popular there, and a lot of guys wore gold chains outside turtleneck sweaters. Kind of West Coast guidos, though there wasn’t a particularly large Italian-American population. High schools in that kind of town were full of both guys and girls with towering mounds of Aqua-Net on their heads (and many of the black kids sported shiny cascading rings of Jheri-Curl).

    The hair was mostly way more subdued in the college town 20 minutes up the freeway where I’d gone to 9th & 10th grades, even in ’88 — that was a middle-class town with upper-middle-class pretensions; SWPL before anyone coined the term. Likewise, college kids like the ones in the yearbook pages you posted wouldn’t have followed the fashion trend of hair teased up like in a Poison video; their fashioni sense was more like REM (or The Cure, for the way-out ones).

    Alex

    January 5, 2016 at 7:26 pm

  12. “but none of it looks as good as Susanna Hoffs’ hair.” And Susanna Hoffs still looks better than most, even today.

    Graf von Jung

    January 5, 2016 at 9:06 pm

  13. Here’s a collection of photos from American shopping malls in 1989:
    http://mashable.com/2014/12/02/80s-shopping-malls/#xTzWd6JBukqp

    Severely Jetlagged

    January 6, 2016 at 2:02 am

  14. “but none of it looks as good as Susanna Hoffs’ hair.”

    Susanna Hoff is one of the most gorgeous women I’ve ever seen. She’s still beautiful present day. You can’t compare her to regular girls.

    DdR

    January 6, 2016 at 10:04 am


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