The fashion of the 1980s is memorable and iconic. Parachute pants, suspenders, slap bracelets and jelly shoes were worn by children throughout the decade. The hairstyles worn by children in the 80’s were as creative and unforgettable as the clothing. Boys and girls both wore hairstyles that we now label as being undeniably “’80s.”

Side Ponytail

The side ponytail was a staple hairstyle for girls in the ’80s. Hair was combed completely to one side and was piled high on the head. Hair was often tied with brightly colored scrunchies or an elastic bobble band. Made famous by teen pop stars such as Debbie Gibson, Tiffany and Madonna, the side ponytail is a classic ’80s look.


When boys turned their heads in the ’80s, a strip of hair that resembled a tail was often found growing out the back. These tails were commonly referred to as duck tails or rat tails. The website “In The 80s” defines a rat tail as “a single little strip of hair dead center in the back of a guy’s head, fashioned to look like a little tail.”


Pigtails have been worn by little girls for decades, but ’80s icons like Punky Brewster made the hairstyle hip and fun. Splitting their hair down the middle and gathering it into a ponytail on each side of their head, girls in the ’80s would often crimp or tease the loose hair to give it a little more pizazz.


Mohawks were created by shaving the sides of your head and leaving the hair in the middle long. Mohawks were typically worn by boys in the ’80s, although some girls wore the hairstyle as well. Mohawk wearers would either leave their remaining hair natural or use hair gel and hair spray to spike the hair out for a more punk-rock look. Some teens would even dye their hair bright colors such as hot pink or purple.