List of 80s Hair Bands

If you’re looking for a list of 80s hair bands, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s a list of the 80s hair bands that rocked the decade like no one else could. Grab your black concert t-shirt, your too-tight jeans (also black), throw in a bandana for good measure and get ready to rock.

  • Bon Jovi
  • Cinderella
  • Motley Crue
  • Def Leppard
  • Poison
  • Quiet Riot
  • Van Halen
  • Iron Maiden
  • Dokken
  • Twisted Sister
  • Guns n’ Roses
  • Skid Row
  • Great White
  • KISS
  • Whitesnake
  • Scorpions
  • Ratt
  • Ozzy Osbourne
  • Warrant
  • W.A.S.P.

Poison: Helping Put the "Hair" in Hair Band!
Poison: Helping Put the “Hair” in Hair Band!

While all of the great heavy metal/hair bands listed above helped to define this genre of music, we have selected the following top 80s hair bands for special recognition.

Motley Crue

To top our list of 80s hair bands is none other than Motley Crue. They had us “Smoking in the Boys Room” in ’85 and in 1987 they introduced us to the “Wild Side” some of us never knew existed. Motley Crue truly sang the rebellious anthems of the 80s. >> Motley Crue t-shirts

Def Leppard

Second place on our list of 80s hair bands goes to Def Leppard. Formed in 1977, Def Leppard’s first rehearsal took place in a spoon factory near Bramall Lane, Sheffield, England. While they always had talent, they gained mass popularity in 1983 with Pyromania and solidified their place in rock and roll history with 1987’s Hysteria. Perhaps what stands out most about this band is their extraordinary ability to overcome conflict and tragedy. EXPAND “I’m hot, sticky sweet – From my head to my feet yeah!” Nuf said. >> Def Leppard t-shirts

Guns n’ Roses

“Where the grass is green and the girls are pretty.” This band was HUGE at my high school. As a 1990 graduate, they were a pervasive presence throughout high school. “The band’s 1987 major label debut, Appetite for Destruction, earned them worldwide popularity. Their 1991 effort, the simultaneous release of Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II, and subsequent world tour solidified their status. Having sold an estimated 90 million albums worldwide, they are considered one of America’s most successful hard rock bands today. Today, front man Axl Rose is the only original member in the band’s current lineup.”1
>> Guns N Roses t-shirts

1 – Information provided by Wikipedia.


Of all 80s rock/hair bands, Poison was not only huge then (hair and all) but has managed to stay together and continue touring and producing new music. Poison hit the national scene in 1986 with the multi-platinum, top-ten success of their debut album (independently produced), Look What the Cat Dragged In. Their second album, 1988’s Open Up and Say . . . Ahh! was huge with hit songs that included “Nothin’ But A Good Time,” “Fallen Angel,” “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” (their first #1 single) and “Your Mamma Don’t Dance.” The band began touring as the opening act for David Lee Roth. However, it was soon obvious that Poison could fill arenas by themselves and went our on their own. The second album went on to sell over 8 million copies. Go to Poison’s Web site, complete with current tour dates and a great history of the band. >> Poison t-shirts

These super-groups rocked the “Youth Gone Wild” down in the “Paradise City” where “Every Rose has Its Thorn.” We’ll never forget them. Needless to say, fans of 80s hair bands were a bit devastated when the grunge scene came to town and the 80s hair band scene seemed to fade into the rock n’ roll night. Luckily for those fans, many of the groups on this list of 80s hair bands are still touring today. So rock on child of the 80s; the soul of your decade will never die (even if the hairstyles did).

Check out Ryan’s review of Poison, Def Leppard & Cheap Trick – Concert Tour, Summer 2009.


Author: Alli Denning

As the Owner / Editor of Like Totally 80s, Alli is just a little obsessed with all things 80s (well, not ALL things, but most). Alli still has her Swatch, her cassette tape collection, and her Converse Chucks. When not making friendship pins or listening to Depeche Mode, she can be found at denning e-solutions, LLC, her web design business.

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  1. What about ACDC! they’re amazing! Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, Back In Black, Thunderstruck, etc. Queen is one you also should add. We Will Rock You, We Are The Champions, Another One Bites The Dust, Bohemian Rhapsody, etc.

    Ps I’m probably going to comment more so be ready.

    Post a Reply
    • Hey Chris! Thanks for weighing in; we’ve had this debate on the site before – do you think AC/DC is really a hair band? Or, are they a rock band? What makes a hair band? I’d love to hear what everyone thinks.

      Post a Reply
      • I’m thinking AC/DC is a hard rock band. They had their stuff together well before this awesome decade. Not saying they didn’t have some hits during the 80s, but to me, they’re more of a rock band. Same thing with Queen. Had their stuff together well before the 80s. The bands on this list really blew up during the 80s.

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    • One of the best Hair Bands of the 80’s was Stryper and the still rock after all these years. Michael Sweet and his brother Robert as well as Oz Fox and Tim Gaines still kick ace……

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    • I am a 70 year old gentleman who still enjoys rock. I play my drums daily however I am no longer a part of a group.

      QUESTION: Back in the 80’s one of the “big hair” groups had a video featuring the girlfriend of the lead singer. Would you know the name of the group or the song.


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      • White snake Here i go again

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        • Well actually, there were 2, the other one was Ratt, and i think the song was arrow thru my heart, but in both videos the girl was Tawny Kitaen.

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  2. Biggest hair band…STYX!!

    Post a Reply
    • Julie , Styx has been around since the early 70’s, they are hardly a hair band.

      Post a Reply
      • Yeah. Styx is more like an REO Speedwagon style. One that you didn’t mind yer parents hearing.

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  3. I can’t believe you left out the guys that put the ‘hair’ in Hair Band, TWISTED SISTER! O_o

    As far as “rebellious anthems of the 80s”, Dee and the boys were years ahead of the rest…

    We’re Not Gonna Take It

    I Am

    I Wanna Rock

    A glaring oversight… :/

    Post a Reply
    • Totally agree! We will get “We’re Not Gonna Take It” added, fer sure. Thanks!

      Post a Reply
  4. What about Europe? It’s also great hair band. Aerosmith, Mr.Big ?

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  5. Iron maiden wasn’t a hair band they were traditional metal

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  6. Steelheart. Bang tango. Dangeros toys. Dokken. Great white.

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  7. I think L.A. Guns was a great hair band….. what a shame what happened to Jane

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  8. Van Halen should’ve been #1 on the list. Guns N Roses second. KISS is more of a 70s band. I think RATT should be third, followed by Twisted Sister. Ozzy should not be on this list at all. For starters, is Ozzy considered a band? Poison and Whitesnake should be at the bottom of the list. The rest somewhere in the middle. And I am sorry, Dokken and Warrant should not be on the top-10.

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  9. Don’t forget Britny Fox, Great White, and Europe! This list is awesome!

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  10. I agree that Iron Maiden and Ozzy Osbourne had long hair…but I don’t consider them “hair bands”. I would list those two as “metal bands”, along with Judas Priest and Metallica who correctly aren’t listed. So I guess the imaginary line is that metal bands are more about making the heaviest music possible – which appeals to a more male fanbase…and hair bands are more about the heaviest image possible – which appeals to a more female fanbase.

    I think Guns n’ Roses go way beyond hair band status…yes they had long hair but there were so many other elements involved. They had true universal appeal. Motley Crue and Def Leppard were somewhat like this also. I suppose my picture in the dictionary under true “hair band” would be Poison – just like the picture that leads this post!

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