Fringes and flat tops – men’s hairstyles of the 80s

Just for the record – I never had a mullet in the 80s and neither did 90% of my friends.

I don’t believe I circulated in a particularly mullet-free environment. Most mates had heavy fringes or 50s style flat tops at one stage of the decade but the idea we were all sporting mullets is one I’d like to kill right now. No. Mullet. Ever.

Unless you count that Phil Oakey attempt in the photo below on the far right. But I don’t. That was not a mullet. It was circa 1983 should you wish to date it.

The photo above goes pretty much in date order starting with 1980 then 1981 then 1982 and finally 1983. The 1981 look I’d call sort of New Wave with the fluffy punk-style jumper bought on Carnaby Street. The 1982 fringe – third from the left – was going a bit soul boy. And finally Phil Oakey on the far right with a NATO army jacket.

Some time around 1984 I embraced the flat top. Twas all the rage at the time as we entered the era of The Smiths. And the sartorial look went very 1940s with us raiding vintage and second hand shops for long coats and pleated suit trousers that old geezers had thrown away. We basically dressed like our Granddads for a while.

My flat top – see below – was cut by the legendary (I like to think) Syd Strong in Camden. Note the wooden escalator on the London Underground there – all of them ripped out after the 1987 Kings Cross fire.

Then the mid-80s seemed to herald what I call ‘baroque’ hairstyles for men – the blonde dyed monstrosities popularised by certain pop stars and DJs whose blushes I’ll spare.

I succumbed to hydrogen peroxide at the start of my student union sabbatical year in 1984. From memory, it involved having a bathing cap with holes stuck on my head and then tufts of hair pulled through to be given the treatment. My landlord called me Limahl.

As in – “where’s the bloody rent Limahl?”

Kajagoogoo lead singer – not

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