It’s so much more than just mullets! Inspired by Stranger Things, we’re making ‘80s hair modern with the help of these talented hairstylists.
If, like us, you’ve been obsessed with season four of Stranger Things (don’t worry, this is a spoiler-free zone!) then the fashion and beauty of the show won’t have bypassed you either. With a strong sense of analogue nostalgia running through pretty much every aspect of pop culture right now, it’s little wonder we’re eying up the hair looks of Hawkins with renewed interest.
“The ‘80s, more than perhaps any era, has had a real influence throughout the years on trends and styles,” muses Tracey Devine-Smith, ASP global ambassador and founder of French & Ivi in Belper. “It was a chance to express, create and embrace oneself in your own statement way. Fast forward to 2022 and we are noticing trends making a comeback in a much more statement and evolved way.”
So, what are the best ways to update these classic ‘80s hair looks and bring them bang up-to-date? We asked some of the UK’s top stylists how they would approach some iconic styles in 2022.
Lynette Murray owns super cool Studio A114 in Belfast, and she’s been taking direct inspiration from Stranger Things for her clients’ looks. “This is Rachel, and in true ‘80s style we wanted to enhance her natural curls and embrace THAT fringe,” she explains. Softening the ‘80s hairstyles for modern looks is all about the cut and the way it is styled and finished for Lynette.
“Cutting a long, disconnected layer into Rachel’s hair stops the triangle effect happening within the curls, and by slicing weight out of the hair you can visually watch the style come together.” She’s familiar with how Rachel’s hair naturally falls and lets that guide her – “taking a step back to watch the natural movement, and letting the hair tell you which way to cut it, really helps with cutting and controlling curly hair. I cut the fringe in small sections and keep it longer than usual to allow for that curl bounce back.”
Texture is key here. Lynette framed Rachel’s face using a razor to create a beautiful, soft shape to finish off. “Now let’s talk about the crunch! Updating the ‘80s means softening those curls and letting them be free and soft, not hard and crunchy,” she explains. “I love Davines This is an Oil Non Oil and the sea salt spray mixed together, then with my curl comb and Dyson diffuser I let the soft heat and comb work to dry the hair. Use them like an extension of your hands.”
Lynette’s top tip is to let the tools do their thing, while you softly push the curls in the direction you want them to go. “It’s time to enhance that natural curl and embrace your inner ‘80s goddess,” she insists.
Debbie Harry is the ‘80s hair icon that Aaron Firmston, Bumble and bumble UK national trainer, is referencing this season. “There are many iconic blondes, but nobody screams ‘80s cool-girl chic than Debbie Harry,” he insists. Her iconic platinum strands and deconstructed style scream liberation from the status quo, and a devil-may-care attitude that we’re definitely feeling.
To bring the style up to date the hair it’s all about taking advantage of the updated tools and techniques that hairdressers can rely on. “The hair needs to stay as healthy as possible to allow natural movement to take shape throughout the hair. The Bumble and bumble Bond Building range will keep the hair strong and glowing with health,” he explains.
Aaron would suggest requesting a razor cut for the shape to ensure a soft silhouette and seamless movement. “Then, working with a diffuser and movement enhancing products such as Bb. Texture, it will really give you a modern spin on Debbie’s iconic, cooler-than-cool vibes.”
Crimply The Best
Is your TikTok feed full of mermaid waves? You’re not alone – Andrew Smith, owner of Andrew Smith Salons and global ambassador of z.one concepts has been watching this trend brew. “One ‘80s style we have seen a lot of recently, and that we will continue to see a lot more of as we head into summer, is crimped hair,” he explains. “With a more modern approach for 2022 we are seeing this hairstyle revised into more wet-look mermaid waves, polished with a high shine.”
These mermaid looks are definitely more high fashion than Splash vibes, and it’s all about having the right products to hand. Using a wave-producing tong such as the BaByliss Pro Titanium Expression Deep Waver gives you the waved look in seconds. “I like to create this look in the salon by using hair wavers, and then distributing through some Biolage Exquisite Oil to lightly brush over the waves and give them a gorgeous shine. It’s important not to brush through the waves as this will disrupt the perfect S-shaped waves and can result in the hair looking frizzy.” Finish the look by lightly misting over some salt spray like Matrix StyleLink Rough Me Up Salt Spray for that final touch of texture and a light hold.
“I love that Stranger Things has been inspiring clients to have more fun with styling. The era really championed more personal individuality and allows us the freedom to change styles with products and tools,” says bridal stylist and educator Heather Robertson.
Normally spending her days creating romantic updos, Heather took inspiration from another style of romantics for a modern take on an androgynous quiff. “With the advancement of innovation in tools and products we can now create a new ‘New Romantics’ with movement and effortless appeal, compared to the more solid and blocky shapes of the originals.”
But before we talk styling, Heather points out that modern colour techniques (created with Wella Professionals’ Shinefinity glaze) and colour placements help to keep a look feeling contemporary, while the high shine of this brand-spanking new colour “creates a more couture, 2022 version of the look while removing the dryness of a lot of the ‘80s original styles.”
Starting with a textured bixie, that ‘80s hair classic – mousse, what else – was key here. “I used EIMI Extra Volume Mousse from Wella Professionals throughout, to create volume on top, but also for the hold of the sleek back and sides,” she explains. Once that has worked in, take a V-shape section from temple to temple and to just underneath the crown. Tame the hair underneath the V-section using a flat brush and hairdryer with a nozzle until smooth. “Once dry, I re-applied the mousse for added sleekness and hold, then held in place using silver clips to preserve the head-hugging style while cooling.”
Back on the top section, Heather blowdried to create plenty of volume using the ghd Ceramic Brush (size one), before strengthening the shape with ghd Classic Curl Tong. “Finally I removed the nozzle from the dryer to rework over the waves for a more effortless, natural finish,” she added. “EIMI Dry Me is great for extra texture and root volume, then I lightly backcombed the hair while finishing with EIMI Just Brilliant through the top to create shine, definition and enhance the texture.”