Big Hair, Don’t Care

80s hairstyles: what’s the big idea? More to the point, what’s with the bigness in general? Like, where did that come from? I get that voluminous hairstyles have been a thing from the 50s through the 60s and into the 70s… but in a different way. It’s as though, somewhere around 1982, people collectively stuck a fork in an electrical socket.

Is the perm to blame? That came in around then, didn’t it? Maybe it was a sort of reaction to the more au naturale style of the 70s. Still, that doesn’t seem to adequately explain the obsession with volume, bordering on the completely bonkers, that typifies popular hairstyles of the decade. 

You don’t see too many perms these days, do you? I mean, tally up the number of hairdressers within Melbourne CBD who would agree to do one, or even know how. I bet you could count them on one hand, the reason being that fashionistas don’t get perms anymore. Or do they? Maybe they do have them, but they just less apparent to the untrained eye. 

When it comes to hairdressing, Melbourne isn’t averse to taking risks, and I’m sure the retro perm is due for a comeback any day now. Before that can happen, we’re probably going to have to rehash the 2000s in all their glory, and that could well take us through to 2025. Around then, though, we’ll be long overdue for some heavy duty 80s references. As a matter of fact, I clearly recall the 80s having a comeback in the early 2000s (I had the Madonna gloves and neon plastic bangles to show for it), so that’d be a perfect segue. 

Of course, I wasn’t around for most of the decade, so it’s possible that I’m getting an unrealistic image of the way things were. Like, maybe those massive bouffants weren’t the norm at all, but were the most photographed, and thus I’ve formed the idea that they were more prevalent that they actually were. That’s possible.