Ask The Experts: Emma Bleackley...what retro style makes you smile? March 28, 2019 14:10

Anything goes! So went the motto of the wild 1980s. For anyone looking for an adventure in colourful and expressive fashion, there is no better inspiration than this iconic decade. In the 80s, hair was big and the shoulder pads were bigger.

So we asked our new Director Hairdresser Emma Bleackley (and child of the 80's) how you can create your own daring 80's inspired hairstyles and fashion looks 


When we think of eighties hair and fashion, we typically think of big permed hair, leotards, leg warmers, and bright colors. While some of the more extreme ends of the decade’s fashion have since waned in popularity, many of the biggest style trends from the era persist today, such as high waisted “mom” jeans and slogan tees.

Likewise, many 80s hairstyles continue to be worn – although modern styling tools and products have helped calm some of the frizz we associate with the 80s!

The main ingredient for any successful 80s hairdo is volume, but a side flip, asymmetry and short fringes were also hugely popular.

In recent years, everyone from singer Annie Clark (St Vincent) to models for Stella McCartney have donned a crimped wave hairstyle. Whether worn super soft and sleek or backcombed into a just-out-of-bed style, crimped hair gives your look an eye-catching texture unlike any other. Using a crimping tool is a little different to a flat iron, and means you can choose how much of your hair to work on: work across the whole head for ultra high-impact volume or simply add some texture to the hair that frames your face.

From the mullet to the Mohawk, 80s punks were as inventive and abrasive with their hair as they were with their fashion and attitude. Using the help of vast amounts of hairspray, the most trusted eighties hair product, hair was teased and fixed high above the head, while other sections could be cut short or shorn off altogether. The mini-bangs trend of today is arguably a throwback to the mullet, worn on both men and women alike.

In the 1980s, the defining look was one that screamed height and volume, and the perm was the number one way to achieve it. From Cher’s enormous tousled waves to Sarah Jessica Parker’s famously big curls, no 1980s hairstyle was complete without an extra three inches of volume being added around your face. These days most of us like to tone the look down a little, with an extra emphasis upon curl health and shine rather than spray and fix. Lulu Guinness made a big impact on the runway with big 80s beehives at her AW18 show.

Although this trend started as a 70s hairstyle, the feathered look lingered on long into the 80s. Designed to give straight hair the kind of volume and height that other curly or permed styles achieved, the hair was given a distinct center parting and brushed back around the face in numerous layers. This distinctly feminine hairstyle contrasted vividly with the rigid business attire and power suits that the 1980s would come to be known for.