How did people achieve their iconic 80s fluffy hair? A look into the secrets of big hairstyles.


The 1980s was a decade known for its bold fashion choices and iconic hairstyles. One of the most memorable trends of that era was the fluffy, voluminous hair that many people sported. But how did they achieve such gravity-defying heights? In this article, we will delve into the secrets behind those big hairstyles and explore the techniques and products that were popular during that time. From teasing and hairspray to iconic celebrities who influenced the trend, we’ll uncover the mysteries of 80s fluffy hair.


The Power of Teasing: How to Get Volume

Achieving the iconic fluffy hair of the 80s often involved a technique called teasing. Teasing, also known as backcombing or ratting, was used to create volume at the roots of the hair. Here’s how you could achieve that gravity-defying height:

  1. Step 1: Section the Hair – Divide your hair into small sections, starting from the crown of your head.
  2. Step 2: Backcomb the Hair – Take a section of hair and hold it straight up. Using a fine-toothed comb, gently comb downwards towards the scalp, starting about halfway up the hair shaft. Repeat this process a few times to create a tangled, voluminous base.
  3. Step 3: Repeat the Process – Move to the next section of hair and repeat the backcombing technique. Continue this process until all sections of your hair have been teased.
  4. Step 4: Smooth the Hair – Once you’ve achieved the desired volume, use the comb or your fingers to lightly smooth the top layer of hair. This will give your style a polished look while keeping the volume intact.

Remember to use caution when teasing your hair, as excessive teasing can cause damage and breakage. Be gentle and take your time to create the perfect amount of volume.


Hairspray: The Ultimate Hold

Teasing alone wasn’t enough to maintain the lofty heights of 80s fluffy hair. Hairspray played a crucial role in keeping the style in place. The stronger the hold, the better. Hairsprays with high levels of hold and shine were popular choices during that time. They provided the necessary stiffness to lock the hair in its teased state. Some popular brands and products from the 80s include:

  • Aqua Net – Known for its iconic pink can, Aqua Net was a staple hairspray of the 80s. It offered a firm hold and long-lasting results.
  • Rave – Rave hairspray gained popularity for its extreme hold and resistance to humidity. It ensured that your fluffy hair stayed intact, no matter the weather conditions.
  • TRESemmé – TRESemmé was another well-known brand that offered a range of hairsprays suitable for achieving and maintaining big hairstyles. Their extra hold and freeze hold sprays were favored by many.

To achieve the full effect of 80s fluffy hair, hairspray was generously applied to the teased sections, with a focus on the roots. The more hairspray you used, the longer your style would hold throughout the day.


Celebrities and Icons: Influences on 80s Fluffy Hair

Celebrity culture played a significant role in popularizing the fluffy hair trend of the 80s. Many iconic figures of that era embraced big hairstyles, inspiring countless individuals to follow suit. Here are some influential celebrities and icons who left their mark on the world of fluffy hair:

  1. Madonna – Known for her ever-changing style, Madonna was a trendsetter in the 80s. Her voluminous, tousled hair became synonymous with the era.
  2. Princess Diana – The late Princess Diana captivated the world with her grace and elegance. Her signature short, fluffy hairdo became a sought-after style for many.
  3. Dolly Parton – Country music superstar Dolly Parton was known for her larger-than-life personality and, of course, her big hair. Her teased and voluminous style became an iconic representation of 80s glamor.
  4. Debbie Harry – As the lead singer of the band Blondie, Debbie Harry showcased a unique blend of punk and new wave fashion. Her bleached blonde, teased hair added an edgy touch to the fluffy hair trend.
  5. Cyndi Lauper – Cyndi Lauper’s vibrant personality and eclectic style made her a true icon of the 80s. Her colorful, voluminous hair perfectly complemented her daring fashion choices.

These celebrities, along with many others, served as inspirations for those seeking to achieve the quintessential 80s fluffy hair look.


Crimping and Perming: Adding Texture

Teasing and hairspray were the foundation of 80s fluffy hair, but some individuals took it a step further by incorporating additional texture. Two popular techniques for adding texture were crimping and perming.

  1. Crimping – Crimping involved using a crimping iron or crimping plates to create small, zigzag-like ridges in the hair. This added texture and dimension to the overall style, making the hair appear even fuller.
  2. Perming – Perms were a common choice for those who desired long-lasting volume and waves. The process involved using chemicals to alter the hair’s structure, creating curls or waves that added to the fluffiness.

By combining teasing, hairspray, crimping, or perming techniques, individuals could achieve a more intricate and textured version of the fluffy hair trend.


Headbands and Scrunchies: Accessorizing the Look

To further enhance the 80s fluffy hair look, accessories played a vital role. Headbands and scrunchies were popular choices that added an extra touch of style and flair. Here’s how these accessories could be incorporated:

  1. Headbands – Wide, fabric headbands were often worn to push the hair back and keep it out of the face. They could be matched to the outfit or chosen in contrasting colors to make a statement.
  2. Scrunchies – Scrunchies, those fabric-covered hair elastics, were not only functional but also fashionable. They came in various colors and patterns, allowing individuals to coordinate them with their outfits.

The addition of headbands or scrunchies not only helped to keep the hair in place but also added a fun and playful element to the overall style.


Balancing the Fluff: Bangs and Layers

Achieving the perfect balance in 80s fluffy hair often involved incorporating bangs and layers. These elements helped to frame the face and add structure to the overall style. Here’s how bangs and layers were commonly styled:

  1. Bangs – Bangs were often teased along with the rest of the hair to maintain consistency in volume. They were styled to frame the forehead and could be worn straight or swept to the side.
  2. Layers – Layered haircuts added movement and shape to the fluffiness. By having different lengths throughout the hair, individuals could create a more dynamic and textured look.

Bangs and layers played an important role in ensuring that the fluffy hair had structure and didn’t overpower the face.


Color and Highlights: Enhancing the Volume

Adding color and highlights was another technique used to enhance the volume and dimension of 80s fluffy hair. By incorporating contrasting shades, individuals could create the illusion of even more volume and depth. Some popular coloring techniques of the 80s included:

  1. Frosted Tips – Frosted tips involved bleaching or lightening the ends of the hair to create a frosted or highlighted effect. This technique added a touch of brightness and dimension to the overall style.
  2. Two-Tone Hair – Two-tone hair involved coloring different sections of the hair in contrasting shades. This created a striking visual impact and made the hair appear fuller and more voluminous.

Coloring and highlighting techniques were often combined with teasing and styling to achieve a multi-dimensional and eye-catching fluffy hair look.


Maintenance and Upkeep: Keeping the Fluff Alive

Maintaining the iconic 80s fluffy hair required some effort and upkeep. Here are some tips to keep the fluff alive:

  1. Regular Teasing – Touch up the teased sections of your hair regularly to maintain the volume. Use a fine-toothed comb to gently backcomb any flattened areas.
  2. Frequent Hairspray Application – Apply hairspray generously to the roots and throughout the hair to ensure it stays in place. Carry a travel-sized hairspray with you for quick touch-ups throughout the day.
  3. Protective Styling at Night – To preserve the fluffiness overnight, consider protective hairstyles like loosely braiding or twisting the hair. This can help minimize tangling and flattening.
  4. Avoid Overwashing – Washing the hair too frequently can strip away natural oils and reduce volume. Instead, opt for dry shampoo between washes to refresh the hair and add texture.

By following these maintenance tips, you can keep your fluffy hair looking its best and maintain the iconic 80s style.



Q1: How long did it take to achieve the iconic 80s fluffy hair?

Achieving the iconic 80s fluffy hair could take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour or more, depending on the individual’s hair type and skill level. The teasing, hairspray application, and styling involved required time and precision.

Q2: What hairstyles were popular alongside the fluffy hair trend?

Alongside the fluffy hair trend, other popular hairstyles of the 80s included mullets, feathered hair, and the iconic big perm. Each style had its own unique characteristics but shared the common theme of volume and boldness.

Q3: Were there any health concerns associated with the techniques used to achieve fluffy hair?

While the techniques used to achieve fluffy hair didn’t pose immediate health risks, excessive teasing and the use of hairspray could lead to hair damage, breakage, and dryness over time. It was important to balance styling with proper hair care and regular maintenance.

Q4: Did men also sport fluffy hairstyles in the 80s?

Yes, men also embraced the fluffy hair trend in the 80s. Popular styles for men included the “mullet” and the “feathered” look, which featured voluminous hair at the crown and longer hair at the back.

Q5: How did people sleep with such voluminous hair?

Sleeping with voluminous hair required some adjustments. Many people used satin or silk pillowcases to minimize friction and prevent flattening of the hair. Some also opted for protective hairstyles or loosely braided their hair before bed.

Q6: Did fluffy hair require daily styling or could it last for several days?

Fluffy hair often required daily styling to maintain its volume and shape. However, individuals could extend the style by using dry shampoo, refreshing the teased sections, and applying extra hairspray for touch-ups.

Q7: Were there any famous hairstylists associated with the fluffy hair trend?

While specific hairstylists may not be widely known for the fluffy hair trend, the influence of celebrity hairstylists such as Oribe and Frédéric Fekkai was significant during that era. Their expertise and creativity contributed to the overall hair trends of the 80s.

Q8: Did the fluffy hair trend extend beyond the 80s?

The fluffy hair trend gradually faded away in the late 80s and early 90s as new hairstyles emerged. However, elements of volume and texture have continued to influence hairstyles throughout the years, showcasing the lasting impact of the fluffy hair trend.

Q9: Were there any cultural or societal influences behind the popularity of fluffy hair?

The popularity of fluffy hair in the 80s was influenced by various cultural and societal factors. The desire for bold self-expression and a departure from the more controlled hairstyles of previous decades contributed to the rise of big, voluminous hair as a symbol of freedom and individuality.

Q10: What other beauty trends were popular in the 80s?

The 80s was a decade of vibrant and daring beauty trends. Alongside fluffy hair, trends such as bright neon makeup, heavy blush, bold eyeshadow, and glossy lips were popular choices for those seeking to make a statement with their appearance.

Q11: How did the 80s fluffy hair trend influence future hairstyles?

The 80s fluffy hair trend left a lasting impact on future hairstyles. Its emphasis on volume, texture, and boldness can be seen in subsequent trends such as the big hair of the 90s, the glamorous waves of the 2000s, and the current revival of textured, voluminous styles.


The fluffy hair trend of the 80s was an iconic and unforgettable era in hairstyling history. From teasing and hairspray to the influences of celebrities and the incorporation of accessories, achieving the voluminous look required time, effort, and creativity. The techniques and products used during that time continue to inspire and influence hairstyles to this day. So, if you’re feeling nostalgic or looking for a bold and dramatic style, why not give the 80s fluffy hair a try? Embrace the volume, embrace the fluff, and make a statement with your hair!


Author Bio

Our author, an experienced hairstylist and beauty enthusiast, has a deep understanding of the 80s fluffy hair trend. With a passion for exploring the history and techniques behind iconic hairstyles, they have dedicated their career to helping individuals achieve their desired looks while maintaining healthy hair. Their expertise and knowledge of the fluffy hair trend make them the perfect guide to uncovering the secrets of big hairstyles.


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Answer ( 1 )


    I’m serious. What kind of sorcery is this? I’ve been trying to figure out how people in the 1980s got their hair so big, but I can’t seem to replicate it. My hair just sort of… lies there on my head. There’s no volume and no body, and that’s not what I want! So today, we’re going to look at a method that will give you the fluffy ‘do of your dreams—one that was once used by such celebrities as Madonna herself:

    First, you need a hair dryer.

    First, you need a hair dryer. The one I use is a Babyliss Pro 1 inch Tourmaline Ceramic Hair Dryer, but you can get one that’s right for your budget and needs.

    Once you have chosen your dryer and turned it on, make sure it’s on a low setting–you don’t want to overheat or damage your hair! Next, flip over so that your head is upside down and start drying from the ends inwards until all of it has been dried off. Don’t use any brushes or combs because these can break off strands of hair which will make them look bigger than they really are (and we don’t want that).

    Then, you’ll want to pin your hair up while it’s wet.

    • First, you’ll want to pin your hair up while it’s wet. The best way to do this is by using bobby pins.
    • Next, start at the crown of your head and work down the sides in sections–you should use a lot of bobby pins!

    If you’re not sure what kind of style will work best for you, try out different things until something clicks!

    Once your hair is dry, you should tease it.

    Once your hair is dry, you should tease it. Teasing is a way to add volume to your hair by separating the top layer and teasing it out with a comb. It’s optional, but recommended. You can do this on dry or wet hair–the choice is yours!

    You should start at the crown of your head, separating the top layer of hair and teasing it out with a comb.

    The first step to achieving that big 80s hairstyle is to separate the top layer of hair. You should start at the crown of your head, separating the top layer of hair and teasing it out with a comb.

    If you have thin or fine hair, try using small sections instead of one large chunk if you want more volume. Tame flyaways with hairspray before moving on to step two!

    Then move on down to your layers, teasing out each piece one-by-one as you go.

    Once you’ve teased the top and sides of your hair, it’s time to move on down to your layers. Start by teasing out each piece one-by-one as you go. Don’t overdo it, though! You don’t want this look to be too much for anyone who sees it–you want it to be big but still natural looking. Use just enough hairspray so that each strand is stiff enough not fall out of place during the night, but not so much that it feels crunchy or sticky against your skin.

    This official method also involves hairspray, which is optional but recommended!

    • Spray hairspray onto your teased hair. This step is optional, but recommended if you want to keep that big fluffy look all day long!
    • Use a good quality hairspray. Cheap ones can leave your hair feeling greasy and weighed down.
    • Don’t use too much–a couple of spritzes here and there should be enough to keep the volume in place without making it look like you’re wearing a helmet made out of cotton candy (which would be cool).
    • Wait until all the product has dried before going outside or doing anything else that requires interaction with other human beings who might judge you for having 80s-style hair.

    We hope you’ve learned a lot about how to get fluffy 80s hair! After reading this article, we’re sure that you’ll be ready to try out some of these methods for yourself. Remember: it’s all about having fun with your style and making sure that your look reflects who you are as an individual.

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