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Thanks to ‘Stranger Things,’ These ’80s Hairstyles Are Making a Comeback

I have not known a single day of peace since season four of Stranger Things was released. My world has all but been consumed by the Netflix original series. Even my dreams sometimes involve cameos from my favorite characters. And while I’m not entirely complaining, my TikTok FYP only serves me Stranger Things-related content. Whether it’s an Eddie edit, fan theory for season five, or interview clips of the cast, I now eat, sleep, and breathe Stranger Things. With my intense hyper fixation on the show, I’ve started to notice that 1980s Hawkins has made its way into the 2020s, specifically with the revival of some iconic (and also slightly cringey) ’80s hairstyles. Metalhead length, pristine bowl cuts, frizzy perms—discover the Stranger Things hairstyles that are coming back into style for 2022!

The Bowl Cut

Will’s bowl cut was definitely… something, but it undoubtedly gave rise to a resurgence of the style. Of course, this time around, the updated ’80s hairstyle is way chicer. While still maintaining the rounded elements of the classic bowl cut, there’s a bit more edge to it. It feels more daring, rather than a haircut your mom gave you in the kitchen the day before school starts.

Metalhead Hair

To be fair, metalhead hair hasn’t really ever gone out of style, but I wanted an excuse to talk about Eddie’s tousled waves and daring length. I’m 90% sure we’re about to see a number of men rocker longer styles like this after how well his character was received—and actual metalheads of the ’80s may try to grow out their hair once more. (For the record, I fully support that.) Natasha Lyonne’s cut is the perfect example of major volume and shaggy pieces for a look that’s chic enough for the red carpet and metal enough for a mosh pit.

Russian Doll LA Tastemaker LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 08: Natasha Lyonne attends the Russian Doll LA Tastemaker Event on April 08, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Netflix) 80s hairstyles
(Image Source: Getty / Emma McIntyre)

Frizzy Perms

Perms were not just big in volume, but big in style during the ’80s. There’s been an uptick of interest in them nowadays, especially with what’s seen on social media. People want big curls or beach waves, so they turn to a perm to get them there. I know that was due to nearly every character on Stranger Things. Mrs. Wheeler isn’t the only one rocking some sky-high ’80s hair in the series, Nancy gets a perm of her own in season four that really made me wish I was born with curly hair. Some (meaning me) would argue that even Dustin’s hair is a bit permed, meaning the style is versatile and can work for anyone.

The Mullet

There have been a number of iterations of the mullet over the past few years, which could be linked to Steve “The Hair” Harrington. And yes, Steve’s hair is technically a version of the mullet. It isn’t the most mullet-y of the mullets, but it is a mullet. Recently, Miley Cyrus popularized the modern version of this ’80s hairstyle, which is a true full-circle moment given how iconic her dad’s mullet was. Maybe Miley watched the Netflix original during quarantine and decided to pull a Steve, too. Stars, they’re just like us.

Tom Ford AW20 Show - Arrivals HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 07: Rob Lowe and John Owen attend the Tom Ford AW20 Show at Milk Studios on February 07, 2020 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Mike Coppola/FilmMagic) 80s hairstyles
(Image Source: Getty / Mike Coppola)

Bouncy Fringe

Bangs played a big role in the hairstyles of season four. Mike had bangs, Eleven had bangs, Nancy had bangs—they all had bangs. And they all looked uh-mazing with the added fringe to their ’80s hairstyles. Fringe was huge in the era, with many styles calling for bounce and volume. Seeing all those characters rock their fringe like no other, I haven’t stopped questioning if I should get bangs of my own.

US actress Zendaya Coleman, aka Zendaya poses during a photocall ahead of the avant-premiere of the science-fiction movie "Dune" at the Grand Rex cinema hall in Paris on September 6, 2021. (Photo by Christophe ARCHAMBAULT / AFP) (Photo by CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT/AFP via Getty Images)
(Image Source: Getty / Christophe Archambault)

Undone Texture

Though the ’80s called for sculpted strands, the texture was often undone. I noticed a lot of that in Stranger Things. Sure, it could’ve been because they were fighting various villains from the Upside Down, but I like to believe it was also a style choice. And, ultimately, a style choice I can get behind. As someone who always has frizzy hair no matter how well I look after my locks, I appreciate a style trend like this one.

Big Volume

You knew it was coming! If ’80s hairstyles can be defined by one thing, it’s volume. I saw a bit of that in the series, mainly through Mrs. Wheeler’s voluminous perm, though also a lot through extras and supporting characters. And I definitely have noticed current trends leaning toward exaggerated volume, with blowouts and bouncy curls being a highly sought-after everyday style for many. Sleek-straight strands are out, big volume is in.

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