Wild '80s Hair Is Making A Comeback - Here's What To Know About The Updo Revival

Like clothing, hair fashion is cyclical. In 2022, the most iconic hairstyles from the '90s — such as shaggy mullets, cornrows, and space buns — were back in trend. For this year, we're noticing a move towards the maximalist aesthetic of the '80s — the era of voluminous hair, power dressing, and New Wave. And the hair renaissance from the wild '80s that you'll be seeing everywhere this year is updos. 


Whether you're looking for a formal look or a casual day-to-day style, '80s updos are great hairstyles to sport in any occasion and time of the year, regardless of your hair type and texture. Cue eccentric bun mohawk, Madonna-inspired hair wrap, and messy side bun. They are grungy. They lend height to your overall look. And they make a great dirty hair day staple. If you're currently in a hair rut, gather inspiration from this stylish mix of updos from the '80s to jazz up your hair and give it a retro twist.

A top knot bun

Another way to style your cut in an updo à la the '80s is to create a topknot with a solidly wrapped bun on top of your head. This no-face-framing, minimal-volume hairstyle adds edge and height to the look and is perfect to beat the heat. To tame flyaway hair and keep your hair base sleek, run a tiny amount of lightweight serum or hair oil around your hairline before tying your hair into a ponytail. After wrapping the tail into a bun, secure it with an elastic band and some bobby pins. This hairstyle is perfect for any outfit and occasion: formal, casual, and everything in between. 


A wrap-up with a headscarf

Nobody channels the '80s energy like Madonna. And one of the singer's most iconic hairstyles in this decade is her fluffy tousled updo wrapped in a colorful bandana (as seen in "Borderline" music video). All you need to pull off this look is a satin scarf or shawl with African prints. 


For those with coily and short hair, this hairstyle is super easy to pull off. First, tie your hair up into a pineapple with an elastic band. Then, place a scarf behind your head, take the two ends to the front, tie them together into a knot, and tuck the loose ends inside the scarf. If you don't have time to wrap a scarf, a sweatband will do. Nothing calls to mind the fitness craze and workout fashion of the '80s like colorful sweatbands. 

Braided updo

Edgy, punky, and bouncy, braids were among the defining looks of the '80. You can wear your braids in a high bun, low bun, side bun, or half-up half-down, and they'll still ooze oomph and youthfulness. 


If your hair is short or you want to put a casual spin on the braided style, you can wear your braids into playful space buns or half-up space buns, which is actually a signature hair look of the '90s. Combining the '80s and the '90s is a great way to put a modern take on this nostalgic hairstyle.

Side braid

Playfulness was the emphasis of the '80s hairstyles, which is why high side braids were all the rage in this decade. Featuring a messy side swept braid updo with curls permed and teased to perfection, this hairstyle exudes major punk-bohemian vibe. 


To keep your hair in place and play up the '80s nostalgia, add some decade-appropriate chunky barrettes to the slicked back side. For details on how to create a '80s-inspired side braid, check out SweetHearts Hair's tutorial video.

Bun mohawk

Mohawks were all the rage among men and women in the '80s. This punk rock hair look is a great hair style for those who couldn't get enough of the elevated hair strands. There are many ways to style a mohawk, but if you want more frizz control while still looking eccentric, try a bun mohawk. 


To achieve this look, separate your hair into three segments, make three ponytails going down the center of your head, tease them, and twist each into a bun, according to TheChicNatural's tutorial video.

Pamela Anderson-inspired undone updo

Pamela Anderson made her debut on Playboy's cover in 1989 (per US Magazine) and quickly joined the ranks of celebrities with the greatest hair moments of the '80s and '90s. And one of the Canadian-American model's most copied looks — even until today — is her loosely done updo. Featuring wispy bangs and tendrils haphazardly framing her face, this updo is to die for. This messy bun is the definition of effortlessly seductive. 


Not only does this updo add movement to your style, it also helps soften your facial features and lend your face a slimming effect. No matter what outfit you wear this sultry hairstyle with — to a flirty date-night or a light-hearted brunch with friends — it bursts with sex appeal and feminine energy.