Ugly Perms Of ’84

Vogue, April ’84

That’s how I feel about perms, too, Andie. Like Andie McDowell, I had curly hair in the 80s, so no perm was warranted. Frizz was in, and sleek was out. Even Paulina experimented with the volume of the perm. Clearly, she still felt sexy in her side-eye specs.

Perms were liberating, devil may care, and wild.

When mousse came on the scene, permed styles became wetter, evoking poolside images of Christie Brinkley in “Vacation” or Phoebe Cates in “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.”

But some perms still looked touchably soft. Why bother with earrings at this point?

And let’s not forget moisturizing curls to keep them plump and full–and “sof” and free. Even the “t” in soft was too hard for these curls.

That arched eyebrow means she ain’t playing.

Some Vogue ads showed before and afters, pre- and post-perm.

It looks like they were going for a combination of Jennifer Beals “Flashdance” hair and Ola Ray from the “Thriller” video. What do you think? Is that smile cringey?

And God forbid you get a bad perm. You could never show your face in public. The solution to a damaging perm? Twigs and branches.

Sep ’84 Vogue

16 thoughts on “Ugly Perms Of ’84”

      1. Oh, I do have that! I did say I’m sorry. My husband’s hair is going away as well. And so did my father’s and my grandfather’s before him.


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