Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Bad hair decade

Last weekend, my friend Lori drove up from Windsor to visit. We've known each other since grade nine and our friendship has encompassed many drunken escapades, lots of barbecued food, several camping trips, the invention of the Ball Scorcher (1.5 oz. of vodka, E.D. Smith's vegetable cocktail, 7 shakes of Tabasco sauce, combine and serve in a brandy snifter), countless multi-hour telephone conversations, and a whole lot of being there for each other.

It was great to see her again. She brought along her two wolfhounds and a picture of the two of us taken circa 1982. It is very scary. It is very 80s.

Seeing as I'm decades a bunch of years lots a tad older than most of you reading this, I can only hope that you were young enough to be spared the worst of the 80s fashion-victim carnage: the curly perm. Second only to shoulder pads, iridescent green eyeshadow, and maybe headbands, the curly perm was an abomination that had its roots far back in history but only reached its full flower of awfulness in the late 70s and 80s.

How far back in history, you ask? Well, when Lori handed me the picture, and we were both convulsed with laughter, the first words she could get out were, "Geez, Al, you look like Louis the Fourteenth". I replied with the lame comment that at least I didn't have Satan's eyebrows, but she definitely won that round. In my defence (and echoing Grampa Simpson), it was the style at the time. And lots of famous people had that same hairdo:

Like the aforementioned King Louis XIV:

Olivia Newton John:

Sir Isaac Newton John:

Robert Plant:

Diana Ross:

All the members of Poison:

the Twenty-Minute Workout chicks:

And me (me and Sir Isaac -- separated at birth, don't you think?):

There you have it. Total 80s vileness. And I'm challenging anyone else who's old enough to have bad 80s hair pictures to post them. I dare you. I double dog dare you.


  1. Anonymous2:18 PM

    I'm sorry but I laughed. But at the time that was the height of fashion! I think it was your comparison photos that made it so funny.

    I was in high school in the late 80's, and I did have a curly perm and those awful hairsprayed bangs. In the early 80's I was a kid, and my mom kept my hair cut short like a boy.

  2. Anonymous2:49 PM

    *snicker* Ah, the poodle perm. I think I've managed to destroy all the photographic evidence, but if I can track down one of the old photos, I'll post it for you.

    It was a very, very bad hair decade, wasn't it?

  3. I have one, I'll have to find it. I was in 7th grade, so 91-92 I think. I'll dig it out and share it. I've also got the really big bangs look in a few photos too! (And I'm probably one of the youngest who reads your blog, so there! :) )

  4. Even worse, perhaps, would be my hair, which was a naturally curly version of the bad perm. I worked so hard to keep myself looking un-poodlelike. The results of that effort were just as horrific.

  5. lol--the 20 minute workout girls!! I forgot all about them!!!

  6. Oh yeah, I had hair like that. I can't exactly post photos as of yet, because first I have to find the boxes that date back half a century. Then I need to find just the right photo. And then I'll need to scan it, because of course digital wasn't invented yet.

  7. Anonymous10:12 AM

    Add me to the group. I had the poodle perm only once, but it was enough to scar me. Since I already have fairly curly hair to begin with, I ended up with the afro from hell. I remember spending hours blowing it straight (okay not straight but at least not afro) and crying to my mother how she ruined my life, LOL. Must have been about 9th or 10th grade (1986-87). --Sara

  8. I put the poodle in my hair ON PURPOSE in high school. And, I added the hair-sprayed flower bangs too...Help me now!

  9. Anonymous8:37 PM

    I did not have that hair but close!

    Ah, the 1980's.

  10. Anonymous3:18 PM

    I don't do dares!!
    No way am I posting my punk rock multi coloured haircut from the mid 80's.
    But thanks for the laugh :)

  11. wow. please don't tell me you were gettin' any in high school!
    check back, i'll humiliate myself sometime this weekend....
    (hint: i was a big fan of the exploited and the cure, and very very angry)

  12. Oh no, the spiral perm.....

    I have memories of parachute pants and spraying my bangs straight up on my head. With Aqua-Net, no less.

    We were so, SO hot.

  13. My hair still looks like the work-out chicks', but I have a good haircutting woman who keeps it relatively tame with her scissors and fabulous product recommendations.