If everything old really is new again eventually, look for a return of 1980s hairstyles in the future. Two hairstyles dominated the ’80s: big hair and feathered hair. To return to the past with the feathered short-hair look, get out your round brush and get your hair cut in layers.

Things You'll Need

Visit your favorite hairstyling salon and explain the look you want. If your stylist is too young to remember the 1980s, bring an old family photo or a picture of the short, feathered look from an old magazine. Or look for a picture online. Feathering requires a layered cut, with different lengths at the sides. However, you can’t go ultra-short with the feathered look; you need enough hair left on the sides to feather it back.

Watch carefully when your stylist blow-dries your hair so you can copy it at home. Drying with heat is the only way to get the feathered look. If you let your hair air dry, it will hang too limp or flat. Feathering needs a little body to look good. To feather in an ’80s style, use a brush you can roll your hair around at least once, and preferably twice. As you dry the layers, roll your hair back, away from your face. Use a curling iron or hot rollers to get the same effect if you can’t hold the hair dryer and brush at the same time.

Invest in a good hairspray. The feathered look will stay in place much better with a little help. Spray as lightly as possible to keep your hair in place. Choose a hairspray that doesn’t contain ethanol, which dries out your hair.


  • Too much hairspray will give your hair a dull, rather than a shiny, look, so don’t go too heavy.

  • Invest in a pair of leg warmers to go with your feathered hair look.