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
  • Britny Fox
  • Cinderella
  • Motley Crue
  • Def Leppard
  • Poison
  • Quiet Riot
  • Van Halen
  • Dokken
  • Twisted Sister
  • Skid Row
  • Great White
  • KISS
  • Whitesnake
  • Scorpions
  • Ratt
  • 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: Pia Sooney

Just a little obsessed with all things 80s, Pia still has her Swatch, her cassette tape collection, and her Converse Chucks. When not making friendship pins or listening to Depeche Mode, she runs a 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.

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    • 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.

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      • 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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      • IN the 80’s 1 band had a music video done on a 48′ flat trailer but I can’t remember who it was or the song title, but I would really like to watch it again … if someone can help me, I would really appreciate it.

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        • Don’t Dog Me, Raging Slab

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        • It was bon jovi cant remember the song

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        • The Georgia Satellites, “Keep your hands to yourself”

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        • It was Dokken…”It’s not Love”

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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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          • Tawny wasn’t the GF for the lead singer of Ratt though she dated the guitarist.

      • White Snake I believe is who your thinking of, her name was Twany Kittane (spelling?)

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  2. Biggest hair band…STYX!!

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

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

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      • I would say Styx was soft rock. Glam Rock was nothing compared to the stuff of the 70’s Zeppelin, The early seventies Stones, even U-2 at the time was more macho than this crap. Just an opinion!

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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… :/

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

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

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    • Areosmith was around in 1975 they had long hair back then

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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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    • Yeah Judas Priest was with Zeppelin when I saw them as the opening act in 1977. They were not hair at all. Heavy Metal.

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  11. I am invited to a party which has the theme: hair metal. I don’t know anything about this so your post helped me a lot. Thanks.

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  12. Really??? Tesla is not mentioned? Way more talented than most of these bands. Boo to all of you

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    • Tesla was mentioned, Way back on Nov 30, 2014 by Robbie.

      Tesla? Were they really a Hair Band? Maybe when they were City Kidd. And we’re about their music.
      “Tesla” ruined them.

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  13. Iron Maiden is not a hair band.

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  14. a few bands left out white lion,winger,night ranger and lets not forget girl bands vixen

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  15. King Kobra? At least their 1985 album “Ready to strike”…

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  16. Hey what about warrant they had a lot of great songs heaven was number 1 on the billboard 1989 and down boys 1988 big talk 1988 sometimes she cries 1988 cherry pie 1990 number 1 on billboard jani lane wrote cherry pie on a pizza box in 10 mins he whote heaven and alots more jani lane whote more song then his whole band did

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  17. Vixen had some outstanding hair
    and the japenese band loudness had a good amount of hair.
    iron maiden may not be a hair band but they are the greatest band of all time

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  18. I agree with what hair bands were about, Allie:-) and bands like iron maiden were not part of this click of musicians, or Ozzy. But there are still quite a few more to mention to where, if I can remember them, the more the better so even this younger generation can respect great music for what it was rather than some dorks playing with a keyboard that have a good hook and try to pretend that’s music, music to me is a band all playing instruments or vocalliing whom are completely in sync, like for instance, white lion almost was left out, and they are one of my favorites, also faster pussycat, kix, frehleys comet, Mac Auley Shenker group/m.s.g. Slaughter, Vinnie Vincent Invasion, Stryper, Leatherwolf, not sure if ratt was mentioned, Saigon kick, Hanoi rocks, Tesla is for sure, Queensryche is a possibility, but by style of music no. Savatage same thing. Killer dwarfs another fav. Trixter, Y&T, Extreme, Mr.Big, David Lee Roth, (solo) Damn Yankees, Autograph, possibly yngwie malmsteem, but his guitar skills were off the charts. Lita Ford, Doro Pesch, vixen was mentioned, e.z.o. (oriental band) Living Color, (cult of personality.) Should be considered but style of music no. That’s all I got up my sleeve at the moment but I’ll come back with more just can’t remember all unless my memorize is refreshed lol. But definitely there is some that weren’t mentioned so, there they are. Thank you for acknowledging them, I love the 80,s so much great decade forever.

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  19. Omg… to both the commenting people and the Author: Please, distinguish the hair metal from glam metal, ok? And both of them from sleaze. And all the other stuff that had their prime time in the 70s to begin with… ACDC and alike are classic heavy rock with glam ‘rock’ begginnings… it’s the 70’s anyway… Hair metal is from the ’85 onwards – it’s those guys who previouly were glam, usually before signed with their companies they looked like the Hanoi Rocks/Motley/A few other *glam* classics, but at some point MTV got fed up with such drag queens, so – in order to just sell anything – they changed into “Less makeup, less hair straightener, less of some sexist cock rock and more teen pop…”. That’s how HAIR metal came to being, people. And that’s stuff like Bon Jovi, Brinty Fox, and I guess we could also include stuff like Enuff’s Nuff, Poison and Cinderella and so on. Wasp? Pls… it’s more of some shock rock, if anything. LA guns? Certainly sleaze-even-to ‘glam-goth’. Anyway… distinguishing it is not that hard if you – as you say – listened to them. if it looks cheesier, sweeter, poppier, merche’r than glam (which – unlike hair – is an intended self-parody) and all around the MTV around the time I was born (early 90s:), then it’s certainly hair. As simple. oh, btw… it’s just my subjective opinion – I’m obviously aware that some of the bands transformed over the years just to stay on the market, some were hybridous since the beginning and – anyway – the borders are not strict :))

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  20. There are a LOT of bands missing. Babylon AD, Bang Tango, Black ‘N Blue, Bonham, Bulletboys, just a FEW in the B’s that are missing. Someone that is a true fan should have made this list.

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