Forgotten 80s Men’s Hairstyles: Short Hair Had Its Day, Too!

In the 1980s, long hair on men was more or less considered a staple. But when it comes to 80s men’s hairstyles, short hair had its day in the sun as well. Do you remember these closer-cut trends among fellas’ follicles?

Buzz Cut

The buzz cut is one of the simplest hairstyles ever invented; it’s basically just cutting all your hair off with a razor blade and then putting gel or wax into what little remains. This style became popular during and after WWII because soldiers were such a prominent feature in American culture. It returned in popularity in the 80s as some boys sought clean-cut alternatives to the long hair that had dominated in the 1970s.


One of Elvis Presley’s signature looks, this hairstyle is a high-powered hybrid of pompadour and quiff. The hair on the top of your head gets combed over to one side, while some volume at the front (in other words, bangs) adds 80s flair to it all.

Pompadours first became popular in France when they were worn by Louis XIII and Louis XV. They were also popular with the British aristocracy, like Lord Byron for example.

Pompadour hairstyles became trendy again in 80s when David Bowie wore it during his “Let’s Dance” era videos.

The pompadours of both eras have a touch of vanity – combing your hair back requires time and effort.


The mohawk hairstyle is a haircut that consists of shaving or cutting off most of the hair on the front half of the head, leaving only a strip of long hair running from the middle of the forehead along the scalp to near or at the back bone.

The style originally took its name and form from the Mohawk Native Americans along the Canada-US border, but it was popularized by 80s punk rockers who may have used it to avoid interference with their bandannas and headbands during concerts so they could play the drums without having hair in their face.

Faux Hawk

A hairstyle that consists of a long, erect hair in the middle of your head with short sides and back, similar to an ’80s punk rocker’s mohawk without the shaved line down the center.

This style gave you the advantages of the Mohawk — some of the look and allowing you to keep some long hair while keeping it out of your face — but without the commitment of shaving the sides of your head.

Bowl Cut

This is a hairstyle that has been around for centuries and was popular with many 80s men. It consists of cutting or shaving all hair down to about one inch long on top of head in back and sides, and then cutting or shaving front hair down to about three inches long.

The style is named after its resemblance to a bowl.

Flat Top

This style was popular in the 1950s, and had a resurgence of popularity in the 1980s. It is basically an exaggerated flat-top haircut that should be styled with hair gel to achieve its full potential.

The hairstyle consists of cutting or shaving all hair down to about one inch on top so you can see your scalp through it; then cutting or shaving all hair down to about one inch on sides and back.

The style is named after its resemblance to a flat-top surface, usually a table.

Mushroom Cut

This hairstyle was popularized by the 80s pop sensation Duran Duran, which means it’s officially retro now! It consists of cutting the hair short, and then rounding it out on top.

The style is named after its resemblance to a mushroom cap. It was popularized by 80s pop sensation Duran Duran, which means that now we all get to wear our hair like they did in 1985!

(Like Forgotten 80s Men’s Hairstyles? Then you might like our article on Mullets in the 80s, click here.)

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