Hairstyles Across the Decades

Trends occur in many different ways.

Students pose for a picture with their big, frizzy hair in 1989. They had the side-swoop style, too.

1989 Javelin Yearbook

Students pose for a picture with their big, frizzy hair in 1989. They had the side-swoop style, too.

Kenzie Hoffman, Staff Writer

Hairstyles are constantly changing. A new fad forms, but eventually another takes its place, even in Atlantic. The Atlantic High School yearbook–the Javelin–portrays the evolution of hairstyles. Earth science teacher Kathy Hobson said, “Big hair was in style when I started teaching in 1984.”

According to pictures from the yearbook, women swooped their hair and bangs back in the early 1980s.

1984 Javelin Yearbook
Earth Science teacher Kathy Hobson poses for her first faculty picture in 1984.

Hobson said women’s hair was very big and frizzy in the late 1980s. “The bigger, the better,” she said. During that era, the majority of men’s hair was shorter and neatly styled. “Although, some students had mullets that they feathered back over their ears,” Hobson said. According to the American hair care brand, Madison Reed, “The 70s signaled a change of openness about beauty, prompting ownership of coloring your hair that paved the way for the bolder hair colors and highlight styles of the 80s and 90s.”

Sophomore Addie DeArment said she remembers looking at her mom’s senior pictures and asking her mom what was wrong with her hair. “It was so big and frizzy, I thought she must’ve gotten struck by lightning,” DeArment said. She said she didn’t like the styles of the 80s because “their hair was almost as big as their head.”

1993 Javelin Yearbook
Girls ratted their hair as high as they could in 1993.

In the late 90s, hair started to calm down and become more natural-looking. However, hair coloring grew in popularity during this time. According to Refinery29, chunky highlights were the trend in the 1990s. They also emphasized bulky hair coloring. Boys in the late 90s started to part their hair down the middle. With the millennium change, boys stopped styling their hair as much and kept it shorter. Some still parted their hair down the middle. Girls, on the other hand, started wearing their hair parted down the middle. They also styled it straight with bangs. They had short, choppy layers, and started dying their hair vibrant colors. Even some boys colored their hair. From 2003 to 2008, hairstyles stayed fairly similar. In 2008, women’s hair became more natural-looking. 

As shown in the yearbook, in 2011, girls began to wear their hair in messy buns and ponytails with Nike headbands. Boys grew their hair out. Bangs began to fade out of style, while hair feathers and strips of vibrant colors grew in popularity. “It was really popular to put a feather in your hair, or one strip of vibrant color, ” DeArment said. Sophomore Kobe Moss had a feather in his hair. “It was the trend to have one, so I begged my mom for days until she said I could,” Moss said.

2014 Javelin Yearbook
Straight natural-looking hair became the style in 2014.

In 2014, hair began to look similar as it does now. Girls had long layers or none at all. They died their hair ombre, cool tones shades of blonde, and platinum. This is shown in the Javelin. “Nowadays, many girls have platinum blonde, silver, and even gray hair,” DeArment said. “Cool tone and straight hair is definitely a popular trend.” On the guys’ side of things, Moss said most boys keep their hair longer now, “especially if they have curlier hair.” Moss went on to say, “The way hairstyles have changed is a part of history we should acknowledge.”