Bring Back the ‘80s with the Crimped Hair Look

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When it comes to beauty trends, it’s all about nothing is always out of style. New trends could get old quickly, but old trends could also become new again. In the case of the latter, we’re recently seeing a resurgence in the popularity of ‘80s beauty trends — with crimped hair being one of the most sought-after looks today.

The crimped hair of the’80s was all about tight crimps and big poofy hair. It was forgotten a bit before it made a comeback during the ‘90s, thanks to ‘90s celebrities like Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears. Today, stars like Katy Perry, Gigi Hadid and Shay Mitchell are bringing back the look with their crimped hairstyles.

Crimped hair is a hairstyle that can suit anyone if you know how to properly do it. So, if you’re bored with the basic sleek ponytail, here’s everything you need to know about this fabulous hairstyle.

What is Crimped Hair?

Crimped hair is hair that has been styled into tight, zig-zag shapes, which give your crowning glory a wavy and crinkly look. This look can be achieved by styling straightened or relatively straight hair with some hair crimpers or crimping iron to achieve that zig-zagged look.

Unlike loose curls and other wavy hairstyles, the wavy crimped hair has a uniform pattern. You can also add a personal twist by putting it up into a ponytail.

How Can You Crimp Hair and Make It Look Good?

crimped hair
How can you perfect the art of crimped hair? (Photo from Pinterest)

If you want to give this ‘80s style a try, follow these steps:

Straighten Your Hair

You don’t need super straight hair to achieve the look, but it’s important to start with relatively straight hair to create clearer waves. If you have curly or wavy hair, run your locks through a straightener first to remove coils.

Don’t forget to apply heat protectants when straightening your hair. If you already have straight hair, you’ll need the protectant if you’re using a crimping iron.

Brush Your Hair

Achieve a perfectly smooth surface by detangling hair knots with a brush. Brushing your hair before crimping ensures you enjoy smooth hair and crimped hair that isn’t knotted. Also, brushing your hair after the application of a heat protectant ensures an even distribution of the product.

Section Your Hair

Just like when you straighten or curl your hair, the best way to achieve the crimped hairstyle is to split your hair into sections. This guarantees a more precise crimp and avoids missing any pieces. Part your hair into the bottom and top sections, then divide all those sections into right and left sides. Use scrunchies or clips to keep your locks.

Prep Your Crimping Tools

Crimpers of the ‘80s had small sections that created tiny zig-zag waves. Today’s crimping irons have three large sections to give you a looser crimped hairstyle. Regardless of which iron you use, plug your crimper and set it to the lowest setting so you can easily style your locks. If you have thin hair, set the iron to the lowest setting. If you have thicker hair, set the iron to the highest setting.

Can You Crimp Hair Without a Crimper?

Yes. If you prefer to go heatless or don’t have a crimping iron, braid your hair in two sections. Next, clamp down on your braid with a straightening iron. Run the iron from top to bottom and hold your hair in place for a couple of seconds. Afterward, let your hair cool and remove the braids. Prolong your braids by spraying some hair spray over them.

Does Crimping Damage Your Hair?

Like any hairstyle that uses heat, crimping can do some damage to your locks. The frequent use of heat styling tools can alter the condition of your hair, causing your locks to dry out or the color to fade. The heat can also cause a chemical reaction that affects the protein in your hair. If you keep exposing your hair to styling tools, you’ll end up with dull and dry hair.

If you still want to try the crimped hairstyle, always apply a heat protectant. It keeps styling tools from totally damaging your hair.

How Long Does Crimp Hair Last?

Once you’ve crimped your hair and set it in place with some hair mousse, it should behave through your meeting at work, lunch date or romantic dinner. However, if you keep playing with your hair or if you’re resting on your bed, the crimp will start loosening up.

Crimped hair isn’t a hairstyle that you can keep for a week or more. Think of it as a quick beauty fix for a date, an event or any other engagement. If you want to prolong this style, you’ll need to keep touching it up with your iron, which can cause damage to your hair.

How To Add Crimped Hair To Your Everyday Routine

While crimping your hair for a long time isn’t advisable, you can incorporate it still into your daily lookbook. Here’s how to add this style to your everyday routine:

Bump Up Your Braids

If you have flat hair and plaiting makes everything worse, liven up your hair with a crimped hairstyle. All you must do is patiently work layer by layer until you’ve crimped all of your hair. Brush it out for a more beautiful look.

Finally, braid your hair as you do, and you’ll end up with substantial and thick braids.

The “Woke Up Like This” Hair

Does your hair look disheveled? Crimping is the solution to your hair woes. Use a diffuser to get some natural waves out of your messy hair before randomly crimping panels. This gives your hair the lazy yet very stylish “I Woke Up Like This” look.

Spice it all up by sporadically crimping different parts of your hair. It’s not about staying neat; it’s all about experimenting.

The Illusion of a Boost

If back brushing isn’t working for you, sneaky crimping can help. Split your hair into different layers before working from one section to another. Crimp a section of your hair at the roots and brush through it lightly. Leave the remaining layers (particularly the top) crimp-free for a smooth and more voluminous look.


Crimped hair finally made its way back to the beauty scene. Transform your hair by going back to the ‘80s and giving this look a try!

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