Deadheads: The hairstyles from hell

The 80s is often referred to as the decade that fashion forgot: shoulder pads, power dressing, mullets, and volume. Volume, volume, volume.

Thus, a celebration of some of the most disastrous hair-don’ts to grace the slasher screen over time…

“The UFO Landing”, sported by Tiger in The Burning (1981).

Bless her, a few frames after this still, she tokes on a cigarette, the little rebel. Despite this sub-dreadfdul hairstyle, Tiger doesn’t feel the shears that the film’s killer depletes the ranks of her fellow summer campers and survives to consider new looks.

“The Shoestring Bowl Cut”, modelled by Duncan in Slumber Party Massacre III (1990)

Looking like a cross between every second kindergarten child and H from Steps, it’s no surprise that Duncan’s character is written as a sort of immature man-child whose gags ultimately rile the killer into granting all wishes and whacking him out of the frame. But let’s be honest, most of us had this hairstyle at some point in our formative years.

“The Sideways Shove,” as seen here on Nancy in Unhinged (1982)

A reminder of early 80s styling as seen in the likes of Fame, Nancy obviously only has one good ear and must shove the tremendous weight of her hair over to the other side so she can hear the demented misandric prattling of Edith Penrose.

“The Haven’t-Slept-in-Weeks”, by Nancy from A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

From one Nancy to another, THE Nancy herself, Ms Thompson, whose lack of sleep for days on end manifests itself in massive, dried out hair that even Freddy Krueger’s razor-glove couldn’t penetrate. Unknowingly, Nancy has grown her own defence against the killer’s weapon.

“Bubble Up”, with Jess in Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II (1987)

Based on evidence from slasher movies, 1987 appears to have suffered the worst in terms of horrible fashion choices. As well as horrible script, editing, and production quality choices. Suicidal high schooler Jess must spend an inordinate amount of time with a hairdryer every morning to pump in that volume. At least in her death, her parents would’ve saved some money on the leccy bill.

sc-hair-from-hell-2“Mullets, side-plaits, and everyones aunt”, from Sleepaway Camp II (1988)

A sort-of Greatest Hits of bad hair, Sleepaway Camp II features an eye-melting array of bad-barnets, all of which transsexual puritan Angela revels in stabbing, slashing, garroting, and throwing acid in the face of. Relatively normal hair is what saves cute final girl Molly in the end. Even though she might’ve actually died, it wasn’t any fault of her do.

“The Wilson Phillips girl-bowl”, modelled by Angela in Children of the Corn II (1992)

Ooh, a 90s hair-crime! Under-represented character Angela (genre regular Rosalind Allen) has a thankless role as love-interest and woman-in-danger for the nominal hero, but I was waiting for her to break into a chorus of Hold On. Someday somebody’s gonna turn around and ruin your hair.

“Soul Glo”, by Demon in Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning (1985)

When funny kid Reggie (Shavar Ross from Diff’rent Strokes) asks if he can go see his brother halfway through Friday 5, nothing will prepare a fresh viewer for the style crimes that open the back doors of a van. It’s like a Michael Jackson home-perm kit that went tragically wrong, meshed with jewellry, leather and spandex. And Demon’s Janet-lite girlfriend is also a sight!

“The Bangles Reject”, from Maria in Slumber Party Massacre III (1990)

As if Duncan and his bowl-cut wasn’t enough, here’s Maria with her high-piled all-girl rock band look: long, silky hair that somehow almost reaches as high above her head as it falls below her chin. It’s probably the least offensive of the do’s on show here, but, Christ is it dated! Still, Maria was one of my favourite characters.

* * *

Nevertheless, none of these hair styles or films they come from can hold a candle to the biggest crimes-against-hair horror film of them all – from 1987, no less! – The Lost Boys:



  • Huh, for some reason I like Unhinged Nancy’s ‘do.

    At least in that pic.

  • It’s a cool-do. Shame it wasn’t able to protect her!

  • Ha! Love the Wilson phillips one from Children of the corn 2.

  • I wondered if The Lost Boys won’t fit the slasher category… but horror-comedy category. For me, it is one of the best horror-comedy films of the 1980s. That hairstyles were either good or bad, whatsoever.

    That the not-so-iconic hairstyle of Nancy in “A Nightmare on Elm Street” was the best for mine because of my best 1980s horror film. I love this hairstyle.

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