Popular Hair Products From The 1980s

Popular Hair Products From The 1980sBeing a teen with curly hair in the 1980s was not cool, at least, I did not think so. If you asked my mother and her friends about my curls, they would have told you how much money people would pay for those curls. Instead of accepting their praises, I did everything in my power to make my hair comply with the popular hair styles influenced by popular musical sensations in the 1980s; Pat Benatar, Banarama, Madonna, Boy George, and even Michael Jackson. In order to manipulate my strong genetic pool for thick curls, hair products were my weapons of mass hair deconstruction.

Even though it has been almost 20 years since I used these hair products, I can still remember their strong aromas and sticky residue on my hands. Three of my favorite hair products for defying curls included the stick-like quality of Aqua Net, the smoothing and firming affects of a can of Finesse mousse, and the scrunching and spiking power of hair gel, Dippity-Do. Oh, the memories. Why were these particular brands so popular in 1980? Are they still around today?

The Answer Is Not Blowing In The Wind-Acqua Net. Ahh, the memories of this pink bottle will forever remind me of my youth. Hair spray is even stronger than hair gel or hair wax. I remember the “crunchy” sensation in my hair. This hairspray was the wonder of wonders and gave me the look that wouldn’t quit-it only came out in the shower. Some of my friends used hairspray with colors of pink, orange or green in their hair in those days. Aqua Net still is available at stores, but the formula has changed. I guess there are things that we just can’t hold on to forever.

Mousse Is Not Just For Dessert-When my short Pat Benatar “want to be” look grew out, I transformed my hair style into the huge hair look that was in vogue during the 1980s. I remember cans of mousse in every scent and color. My favorite brand was Finesse Mousse. The smell was so sweet and lite. I had tried out other brands of mousse with glitter and sparkle, but the glitter always ended up on my cheeks. That was the end of that and I am still a loyal fan of Finesse Mousse today.

Let’s Gel-The wet look, that’s all it took. This worked wonders for bangs that would be behaving badly, and with naturally curly hair that was a constant battle. I remember having a huge tub of Dippity-Do at my side. I was never without it, and if I needed a quick glob of it, I could count on my friends because they all had a bottle in tow. Dippity-Do was also great for scrunching hair, I still have the habit of scrunching, but my girls don’t think it is cool. Dippity-Do is still around and thriving. The bottle design may have changed, the hair gel is still, well, sticking around.

Are there any hair products from the 1980s that bring back good memories? Please share them.

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31 Comments Post a comment

  1. On May 18, 2010 at 1:40 pm
    Rachel said,

    I hear ya. I so lived that. I hated my curly hair.

  2. On May 18, 2010 at 1:43 pm
    Elianah-Sharon said,

    I liked the original Agree shampoo. But I also had a pageboy I could never get to curl. I never found anything that worked. Then I got a perm and scrunching was my friend!

  3. On May 18, 2010 at 1:43 pm
    @ivannawin said,

    I remember the banana clip in the late 80’s made it super easy to do your hair because then all you had to do was make the “wave” in your bangs 😀 wow

  4. On May 18, 2010 at 1:43 pm
    Rizzo said,

    I remember this all too well… I had a friend in elementary and middle school who would walk to my house to help me manage my obnoxiously curly hair in the morning before school. Thank goodness for straightening irons.

  5. On May 18, 2010 at 1:44 pm
    Jaime P said,


  6. On May 18, 2010 at 1:44 pm
    Deborah Curran said,

    Having very fine straight hair I envy your curls. I did everything I could to put waves INTO my hair. lol. I’ve loved the 80’s with the big hair. It took a lot of rollers and teasing to increase the volume but it was worth the effort.

  7. On May 18, 2010 at 1:44 pm
    Hannah said,

    Wow! I’ve heard so many stories of girls with curly hair trying to make their hair straight, to look like all the “fashionable” girls around them. As for me, when I was younger my Mom and sister treated my hair as if it were straight but always had trouble with it: it tangled easily… basically it was a frizzy mess most of the time! I remember imagining that it was curly so when my sister “discovered” (through a book) a different way to take care of my hair I was delighted as it actually curled naturally!!! Since then I’ve straightened my hair a few times but always went back to curly because I love it so much :)

  8. On May 18, 2010 at 1:44 pm
    S.M. said,

    I also used Dippity-do, tons of mousse – panteene, herbal essences, whatever worked to flatten the poof and defrizz!
    I’m so glad to cover my hair now and not have to worry about it!

  9. On May 18, 2010 at 1:45 pm
    Jaime P said,


  10. On May 18, 2010 at 1:46 pm
    Erika said,

    My hair was worn much like it is now – my bangs are different. My bangs naturally did the 80s style of going over to one side and sticking up so that was kind of nice.

    I’ve always liked my wavy hair. I did wish sometimes it was more evenly curly, but overall I liked it.

  11. On May 18, 2010 at 1:47 pm
    Erika said,

    Tweeted this – thanks.

  12. On May 18, 2010 at 1:47 pm
    Stephanie Ragland said,

    I was the one using the mousse!

    Great piece!

  13. On May 18, 2010 at 1:49 pm
    Miriam T said,

    I didn’t wear much hair product but I was all about the scrunchy! I had a huge collection with different colors and fabrics!

  14. On May 18, 2010 at 1:49 pm
    Stephanie Ragland said,



  15. On May 18, 2010 at 1:50 pm
    Candice Orpesa said,

    I am a little young for this post born 89 …butt you all are too funny GREAT hair product ideas……

  16. On May 18, 2010 at 1:50 pm
    Dianne said,

    Thank goodness we have mousse now. I remember Dippity-Do and also stuff called Wave Set which would have been way before the 80s. It still gives me the shivers thinking about it falling off the comb or brush and running down my back. It was sticky and gross. Ewwww!!!!

  17. On May 18, 2010 at 1:50 pm
    theresa said,

    i was the one with the super straight hair paying for curls and using lots of mousse and aquanet!

  18. On May 18, 2010 at 1:50 pm
    Ria said,

    I was the one who used too much hair spray and got my hair sticky as hell…and then my hands…and then my eyes…ouch!

  19. On May 18, 2010 at 1:51 pm
    Jenna Wood said,

    It can be difficult to style curls, and then, when you straighten it for something different, people are constantly saying how gorgeous your hair looks straight- gee, thanks.
    six_one_nine_girlie86 (at) yahoo (dot) com

  20. On May 18, 2010 at 1:51 pm
    Candice Orpesa said,

    i twwwwweeeeeted!

  21. On May 18, 2010 at 1:54 pm
    Bobbi said,

    Ahh, I was one of those who paid tons to put some curl into my stick straight hair. I was into the hair bands, so perms and Aqua-Net were my friends. Also, Aussie mousse with that crazy fruity smell if you got wet. I remember getting a couple of girl friends and a few band members ready before a concert. We went through 4 cans of Aqua Net! Crazy, fun memories.

  22. On May 18, 2010 at 1:55 pm
    Chayala said,

    I used to iron my hair back in the day; used hairspray for teased concoctions. the only mousse back then was chocolate ;D

  23. On May 18, 2010 at 1:56 pm
    Trip'n Mommy said,

    I also looooved Finesse Mouse. I think I brought 5 of those blue cans to camp!

  24. On May 18, 2010 at 2:05 pm
    jennifer grover said,

    just think to all the damage to the ozone the 80s and hairspray did.

  25. On May 18, 2010 at 2:08 pm
    Crystal Arcand (3Stairs) said,

    I was a mousse child. It must have done something to me, because I can’t stand “product” now. I hate to have anything in my hair!

  26. On May 18, 2010 at 2:10 pm
    Crystal Arcand (3Stairs) said,

    I tweeted! http://twitter.com/3stairs/status/14242034159

  27. On May 18, 2010 at 2:14 pm
    Heidi Wellnitz said,

    I’m Here, I think

  28. On May 18, 2010 at 2:17 pm
    Debi said,

    is this where i comment?

  29. On May 21, 2010 at 8:50 am
    Mary Mclain said,

    I remember these products. I was one of those people who would have wished for your naturally curly hair. IIsn’t it funny how if we have straight hair we wish for curly hair.. But, if we have curly hair we wish for straight. Now that I am older I like my hair just like it is (al least most of the time!).

  30. On January 16, 2011 at 7:17 am
    hair dryers said,

    Ohh the good old days

  31. On March 4, 2011 at 12:21 pm
    Danielle said,

    I loved Aussie Sprunch Spray! I used this mousse in a white can with orange and red but can’t remember the na me of it. I loved Aqua Net and my mom bought me white rain shampoo. I always wanted Pantene but she would never pay for that one!!!

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