80s Rat Tail Hairstyles –
The Tale of
When you think back to 80s hair, the first images that most likely pop
into your brain are of us girls, with our giant, can-of-spray-a-day, moussed-up, permed, blown-out helmet heads, right?
But . . .
The boys of the 80s had some serious hair action going on as well. We’re
all familiar with the decade’s most popular dude-do the
mullet. I’d say
95% of the boys walking the halls of my junior high and high schools
rocked this look.
There was also the less popular “boy-perm.” I had a boyfriend for a very
short time who had his mom perm his hair to give him a more beachy/surfer
dude look. The image of him with little pink rollers in his hair
suddenly made him seem slightly less cool.
The other look for guys, the one that fewer dared to wear because it was a
little bit out there, was the rat tail.
The rat tail was like the “mullet-lite” of boy’s hairdos. It was a thin,
chunk of hair going down the back of his neck, like...well...a rat’s
tail. Hence the lovely name.
In Tampa, Florida we kept it classy by simply calling this style a “tail.”
They varied in length, some were little baby tails and some were
loooong actual sized rat tails. Some boys got stylish and braided
theirs or attempted to put that small chunk of hair into the world’s
tiniest ponytail. Some even had a little curl/wave going on back there.
I think the tail still exists today? Seriously, are guys going in to get
their hair cut and saying “short on the sides, short in the back EXCEPT
FOR THAT ONE SPOT?”
Call me crazy but I’m hoping that this is one 80s do that does not make a
full on return to mainstream fashion.
I have two boys and I think I’d rather sit and give each of them a stinky
perm than see that long, skinny strand going down the backs of their
And, while I don’t remember a single guy in the 80s taking the rat tail
look this far, you have to admire (ok, maybe not quite the right word)
this guy for his commitment to the statement—sorta.