Thursday, April 09, 2015

H is for Hair Spray

This month I'm participating in the A to Z Challenge. My theme is the 80s. Today's letter is:



By "hair spray," I'm not referring to this Broadway play-turned-bad movie starring John Travolta in drag.


I'm talking about a hair product we used before we knew there were other products you could use that would make your hair look better. Like gel. Or mousse. Or a brush. 

I'm talking about hair spray.


In the 80s, hair spray was the one product you used to get your hair to look big.

Me in 1987

You'd first spend serious time with a curling iron, then hose your hair down with this:


Toward the end of the 80s, we began hearing a lot about what all that aerosol was doing to the ozone layer. As one legislator pointed out, we all gave up Aqua Net because our science teachers told us it was killing the planet. I don't remember that being the reason. I believe we all were inspired to trade our big bangs in for straight hair by shows like this:


Although we did have to pull out our hair spray again when this hairstyle took over in the mid-90s:


Make fun of the hairstyles in the 50s, 60s, and 80s all you want, but at least women did something with their hair besides brush it. When was the last thing anything but "long and straight" was in for fashionable girls? I think we're in for a hairstyle revolution. Bring back the Aqua Net!


92 comments:

  1. Wasn't just the girls. The 80's spawned hair metal bands. Wasn't until grunge took over in the early 90's that it went away.

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    1. Hair bands are coming... I didn't put them under H because I needed a Q. (Quiet Riot, which wasn't really a hair band, but I got a little creative there...)

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  2. I still use a little hair spray now and then. Funny post, Stephanie!

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    1. I actually was going through a drawer the other day and threw away a free can my hairstylist gave me. It's been in there almost a year and I've never even used it! I usually just brush it and go.

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  3. Hairspray is still the best thing to make sure your hair doesn't end up in your eyes :) I remember big hair, but in the 80s I mostly had short hair so I never had that look.
    Tasha
    Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

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    1. That is true--no better way to get bangs out of your eyes than to curl them way up. But if you didn't get every strand really well, half of your bangs would fall midway through the day!

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  4. Seeing if this works (posting a photo in case it doesn't show up). This is my natural hair. It's long, which I love, but definitely not straight. I rarely go a day (assuming I leave my house) without at least one complete stranger stopping to tell me how much he or she loves my hair. It happens so often, my fiance has begin answering for me. lol

    So, as you can see, while a lot of women may be going long and straight, maybe they wish they had another option?

    Anyway, the hairspray was necessary if you were doing mall bangs. No way gel or mousse would hold that gravity-defying look in place!

    [img]http://i119.photobucket.com/albums/o125/rml_16/Me%20me_zpsayf9y9po.jpg[/img]

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  5. OK. Well, I guess that didn't work out. Maybe this link will work?

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    1. http://s119.photobucket.com/user/rml_16/media/Me%20me_zpsayf9y9po.jpg.html

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    2. Pretty hair! Yes, I always wish I had hair like that. I used to call it Andie MacDowell hair and no perm can accomplish that. I'm told by the youngsters in my life that "beach waves" are in now...but getting beach waves is a LOT of work, from what I understand? Or you can get a perm to make it look that way. Which puts us right back to the 80s, when we all got perms to make our hair look the way some people had it look naturally.

      Beach Waves

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  6. LOL! I used to turn my head upside down, dry it with the hairdryer and then flick it back, before lathering it in hairspray to try and keep it in place. :)
    Sophie
    Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles
    FB3X
    Wittegen Press

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    1. I still do that...well, except the hairspray part. Drying your hair upside-down makes it fuller and I need that more than ever. I miss the thick hair I had when I was younger!

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  7. You can still buy Aqua Net. I use it to this day. Not every day, but now and then.

    I'm loving this look back at the 80s.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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    1. Yeah...that stuff is like cement!

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  8. Dang, I was hoping they finally developed a good spray-on hair product.

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  9. I used hairspray for a bit - the end of elementary school, part of high school - until I cut my hair really short. Then I didn't really need it anymore. Now, if I use anything, I use some other product like styling wax. Or gel. Or whatever that is in my bathroom cabinet. :)

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    1. I think we have many more products available to us today than we did back then, which gives us better options!

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  10. The thing about that hairspray was you smell like you'd been sprayed with an insecticide. Guess it's still the same. Yuck.

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    1. I do remember it didn't have a very pleasant smell.

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  11. haha I'll take normal ay day over having to smell a few pounds of hairspray everywhere I go

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    1. In my memory, one spray-down lasted all day but now that you mention it, I'm thinking that hair spray didn't hold for long... I do know my hair didn't look like it looked in the picture very often. That was a lot of work!

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  12. That last quote! ROTFL!! So true!! I should post a pic of me with my big bangs:) Aqua net!!!!!!

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    1. Too bad we can't post pictures in the comments here. It would be fun for everyone to post their bad hair pictures!

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  13. I've always thought hair spray was flammable. And mine is too short anyway to use it. A little hair goop now and then, but not the spray type.

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    1. Goop is best for short hair...then you can make it spiky!

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  14. I've used hairspray, spritz, you name it. I know someone who used to sleep in a chair to avoid messing up her hairstyle, lol.

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    1. I remember sleeping in rollers at night with a big hair net over my head. That was very popular in the 80s. Nobody does that anymore...I wonder why.

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  15. Yes! This brought back lots of memories!!! It is so funny because I HATE hairspray now, but know some people that use it religiously who are a different generation then me. I totally remember the "friends" era though...and trying to get the Jennifer Aniston look! Thanks for this post! :) Fun!

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    1. I was one of those who got "The Rachel." It wasn't as easy as she made it look. You had to tease it at the crown and then brush over it. I do like the many different hair looks it inspired. You can still see it if you watch 90s TV shows. Everyone cut their hair short or chin-length and did crazy things with layers.

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  16. Looking at your post, and remembering, it's no wonder my hair is so thin! :0)

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    1. That's probably the reason for mine, too. When I was a teenager, hair stylists were always saying, "Your hair is so THICK!"

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  17. I've inhaled more than my fair share of Aqua Net over the years. It may have ruined the ozone but I can't remember another brand that actually worked as well as that one!!

    I loved the picture of the 80s you. Very adorable.

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    1. Thank you! That was my senior picture. I remember it had to be retaken because a fire destroyed a big group of the first pictures he took of all of us--so that was right before school started back my senior year.

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  18. I loved hairspray, mousse, and styling gel! I thought they were so awesome, and even assumed they'd been around for decades. It's a wonder my hair didn't get damaged by all those products I was putting on it.

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    1. I remember learning about diffusers and putting gel on my hair, then blow-drying it with a diffuser on the dryer. That was the only way to make the natural waves in my hair look like anything but frizz!

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  19. those giant stand-up bangs that trended for a while were downright SCARY! :)

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    1. I think it started with Farrah Fawcett's subtle flip and people just kept getting more and more and more extreme with it.

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  20. Steph,

    I'm sure the hair spray industry was booming in the 80's. You could hold anything in place and make BIG hair with that stuff. You sure looked different. I guess we all did with big hair.

    Fun post.
    Sunni

    http://sunni-survivinglife.blogspot.com/

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    1. And chipmunk cheeks! My face did change as I got older. Or at least I think it did! I'm still cursed with a round face.

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  21. I love that photo of you! I did the whole perm thing back then. I can't stand using hairspray now, but did use it once upon a time! Lisa, co-host AtoZ 2015, @ http://www.lisabuiecollard.com

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    1. I did, too--the perm thing was not easy. It took forever to get all those little rollers in and then you couldn't wash your hair afterward for....what was it? Days?

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  22. If you saw my hair, you'd never think I put any product on it, but I use the maximum hold hair spray on the top front of my hair. It is super thick, straight, and only doed one thing....and that one thing makes me look like Moe Howard without.Hairspray.

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    1. LOL, I had to look up Moe Howard. I'd never seen him referred to by his full name. I just new him as part of Larry, Curly, and Moe!

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  23. Ha!! This was awesome!!! And so so true!!!! I remember standing in the bathroom with a crew of girls respraying our bangs! Thank you for taking me back in time!!! So fun!! Happy day friend!! Nicole xo

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    1. I remember girls jockeying for position at the mirror between classes in junior high. Our high school cheerleading squad collectively had hair that would rival any hair band's!

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  24. apparently aqua net still exists. Unlike some of my favorite things from childhood

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    1. Yes but I imagine their sales have dropped substantially now that we no longer need to cement our hair in place.

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  25. Had to stop back for some 80s fun. You're right....that was a terrible movie. Confession....I still use a little hairspray on windy days.

    Inventions by Women A-Z
    Shells–Tales–Sails

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    1. I use hair spray if I ever curl it. If it's just straight, I sometimes use that oil that takes the frizzies away.

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  26. Oh yes! I used gallons of hairspray to get my BIG hair to stay big. I still use a spray or two if I curll my hair to get it puffy. A creature of habit I suppose. :)

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    1. Yeah, we always go straight to wanting to freeze whatever hairstyle we have.

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  27. I still use hairspray, at least when I curl my hair. I actually have a can of hairspray promoting that movie I found like 2 years ago on my honeymoon!

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    1. The perfect promotional product. My husband still watches part of it when he sees it on TV. I think it's "cool" only for the John Travolta factor maybe?

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  28. Ah, the Rachael! I loved that hairstyle, although I'm not sure I ever really pulled it off. You're right--hair in the '80s was much more memorable. I still use hairspray, but it's the type you can comb through, not the spray-on glue of my youth!

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    1. The comb-through doesn't do much for my hair. So I don't even bother anymore.

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  29. You are so cute in that photo......and nice hair! I had quite the Farrah hairdo back then. But I still love the Rachael and my hair is cut similarly to that now. And I use hairspray everyday, but it's kinder to the planet.

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    1. Thank you! Yeah, watching Friends on Netflix, I thought, "That hairstyle should come back in style. It was a lot of fun!"

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  30. The 80ies was a fun time...I remember teasing my hair to puff them up and using Aqua Net to hold it in place. Oh God... I haven't used hairspray in years because it got my scalp really itchy. I guess my body was reacting negatively to it and I can't say I blame it. Head and Shoulder to the rescue, lol...

    I was babysitting my young granddaughter and she pleaded me to watch Hair Spray the movie with her so I was a lucky grandma ... hahaha.

    Have a great rest of the week.

    Have a HAPPY rest of the week.
    HUGS,
    JB

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    1. I liked Hair Spray the first time I saw it. Then, yes, if young girls are in your household, you'll be watching it again. And again. I've even seen it performed live. It's a cute story but John Travolta's performance just bugs me in it.

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  31. Travolta in drag... as if he just being himself isn't too much :)

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    1. Yeah...he's certainly made some interesting career choices over the years (Battlefield Earth), hasn't he?!

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  32. Oh, but the movie was so fun!

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    1. It was...the first time. It's not a movie that holds up well when you re-watch it, though!

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  33. I remember. And our hair was so sticky you didn't want to touch it. Ah, the good old days. :)

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    1. But I'd touch it to make sure it wouldn't collapse as soon as I left the house. You had to test to make sure you had enough. And often you'd spray it again even if it seemed like you had enough!

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  34. Fortunately for me, my hair was pretty short in the 80s so I didn't use much hair spray. I always hated the smell of hair spray.

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    1. Ha ha! No. Fortunately, I avoided the mullet.

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  35. Oh yes, I used tons of hair spray to keep the bounce in my long hair.

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  36. So of course you got me swooning with Hairspray with Zac Efron. :)

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  37. Hair spray definitely had it's benefits. And why didn't I ever see that movie?

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  38. I am an adherent to the wash and wear hair cult. No spray, no gel, no product. Mind you, hair spray has been used here. My partner uses it to drown spiders in, when more conventional spidercide methods are a) used up or b) not working...

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  39. The era of big hair and a certain attitude. I loved the 80s. People had the whole package -- look, attitude. And of course, it helped that I was not even in my twenties yet. :)

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  40. Flock of Seagulls comes to mind:) My hair hasn't really changed:) I never went into big hair and I don't do straight hair. I wash it, put a little mousse in it and let it air dry. I am lucky with naturally curly hair. I do remember going to Folk Arts openings( there is Greek, German, Irish etc... where I live) and they each had their own Queen and the hair on them was huge! The hair never moved at all with all the hairspray-rock solid!

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  41. Aquanet was where it was at. Hand down from my mom, but it stuck like no other! lol

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  42. Sprayed hair back then looked so fluffy. I sometimes use a net spray borrowed from my mom to set the curls so they wouldn't un-curl, or on a particular wave for a sideswept fringe.

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  43. No! I can't bear to think about it! I used Aqua net by the gallons, and I remember that sticky, flaky, actually pretty disgusting look that day-old hair-sprayed tresses took on. Blech. Let's never go back to that!

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  44. Hahaha. You totally rocked the big hair 80's. I remember lighting the Aqua Net on fire with a lighter, circa St. Elmo's Fire, too. Fun times.

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  45. I was about eleven at the end of the 80's, but never went for the hairspray look. I always wore my hair down and braided it. I like doing my own thing fashion wise, but I guess I am a bit of a bohemian then and now.

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  46. I was born in 1996, so this concept is a little bit foreign to me. I remember that my 7th/8th grade spanish teacher had extremely poofy hair, so maybe she used hairspray...who knows?!

    morgankatz505.blogspot.com

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  47. I hate how crunchy hair gets when it's heavily hairsprayed. But then again, I didn't grow up in the 80s. Hairspray will always remind me of my dance days.

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  48. I remember hair spray melting my nail polish once. Toxic!

    Yvonne

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  49. Oh gosh, I remember leaving the salon from getting my hair done and the smell of hair spray and how the hair held itself in place for a bit :)

    betty

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  50. I never used hair spray. Not even in the '80s. I know, I'm weird.

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  51. I had very big hair in the 80s. It took forever to get it big and it needed lots of maintenance during the day. :) The smell of Aqua Net would bring me right back to the 80s. :)

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  52. I use hair spray more now than ever before. I'm tying to train my bangs to fall over my forehead to cover my wrinkles...

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  53. I had those bangs and owned a big can of pink Aqua Net! Now my hair is straight and boring. I have a secret wish that perms will come back into fashion ;)

    You can find me here:
    ClarabelleRant

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  54. Stephanie, I remember hair spray...I loved Joico Ice Mist... even if the wind blew, your hair stayed in place... I haven't worn hair spray for almost 20 years now... lol ...

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  55. I know so many curly-haired people who straighten their hair all the time today. Back then people were curling and perming. I wasn't much of a hairspray user, although all my friends used it. They brought it to school with them for a midday touch up.

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  56. And if you really wanted to get those bangs to stand up high you bent over at the waist and sprayed them that way and then waited patiently for it to dry so you could put your head up! Valley Girls of the 80s!

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    best hair spray 2016

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