Vintage hairstyles are a rite of passage. They symbolize a memory, an age and a decade when things were different. It’s fun to incorporate retro hair looks into funky outfits and Halloween costumes. Whether it’s a flipped out ’70s look, a teased up ’90s look or anything in between, hair trends of the past are totally iconic.
For those who didn’t happen to live through the most iconic hair decades of the past, there is hope. Some iconic hair trends, mostly from the ’80s and ’90s, are making a comeback in full swing right here in 2021. Though these trends remain true to their initial iconic elements, they can also be seen with a modern twist here and there. Hop on the throwback wagon and check out these six hairstyle trends that are making a comeback right now.
Starting things off strong with some ’80s edge, the shag has officially made its way back into the hairstyling world. Though the younger crowd on platforms like TikTok have renamed it the “wolf cut”, it’s essentially a shag cut for the modern age. The shag itself is an innovative cut because it frames the face messily and leaves room for bangs as well as texture and lots of movement. When paired with high-quality professional hair color, the shag/wolf cut is the ultimate cool-girl haircut that works on many different types of hair. It’s a great option for clients who want something different but don’t want to go too short.
Along with ’80s edginess comes big…everything. This decade was loud and proud, and that was true with hair height as well. A 1980s salon blowout wasn’t complete without lots and lots of volume. While traditional retro looks featured ample teasing and crunchy hairspray, a modern take on this look might include a softer blowout that still amps up the volume. Think about giving clients brushed through waves that turn out from the face to get that solid ’80s gold look. If a client wants even more volume, try teasing around the crown of the head, but skip the very first layer of hair so the look remains smooth and silky.
If it’s not already painfully apparent, the ’80s ruled the hair game of the 20th century. A hot take? Maybe, but just look at the versatility of styles within the era. The high ponytail was a token hairstyle of the decade that could take one from aerobics to prom and everything in between. Whether it was straight up on top of the head or pulled to the side for a playful look, the high pony deserves a spot on this list either way. Popular salon hair care brands such as Kenra Professional are making it easier than ever to get inspired by ’80s hairstyles like this one (and make them last all day) by recently throwing it back to their original 1980s packaging. Maximum hold hair styling products are a constant reminder that yes, big hair is always in style.
Did this one really ever leave? While ’80s asymmetrical haircuts are having their moment once again, the asymmetrical cut in general has evolved and stayed strong through the decades. As a stylist, it’s important to know which notoriously unmatching cuts are fresh off the red carpet and which ones have been around for a while. Either way, an asymmetrical cut is a chic and edgy way to try out a now-and-then hairstyle.
For the ’80s in particular, asymmetrical cuts featured dramatic length changes on each side of the face as well as undercuts and shaved sides. As the ’90s rolled in, the asymmetrical hair inspiration featured a more regulated style with jagged edges and the classic asymmetrical bob. Nowadays, many people interpret this trend by weaving in some of their own personal style through bright hair colors and various highlighting techniques. For stylists, the possibilities are truly endless with an asymmetrical cut.
The word “bangs” might trigger a period of crisis for some, but nevertheless, bangs have rocked their way through the decades. While late ’80s bangs kept things fluffy and voluminous, the ’90s and early 2000s brought with them a whole new trend, also known as side bangs. Thankfully, the internet has decided on a happy medium for the bangs trend of this decade in the form of curtain bangs. They’re all the best parts of retro bangs with a sleek modern twist, making them one of the biggest comeback hair trends since the new millennium.
Let it be known that not all retro hair trends require a chop. Stylists can help clients achieve an absolutely fabulous ’90s look by keeping the length and color of their hair the same. A recent red carpet spike in tendril sightings gives inspiration for a sleek face-framing look, no? Otherwise, there’s no harm done in donning a pair of pigtail braids, a set of butterfly clips or even a classic ’90s crimped ponytail look to get that retro hairstyle fix.
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