View Full Version : New Jersey Mall Hair. New Jersey Mall Hair. New Jersey Mall Hair.

January 23rd, 2013, 03:33 PM


New Jersey Mall Hair.
Was this a universal term across the world for anybody who's hair looked like this during the 1980s?
Could anybody just walk into any salon and request "New Jersey Mall Hair" and the stylist would automatically know the desired look the customer was trying to achieve?

January 23rd, 2013, 03:49 PM
I (and everyone else who could) had hair like that too. I never heard the term New Jersey Mall Hair.

January 23rd, 2013, 04:00 PM
I never heard the term, but my mum had hair like that for a while in the eighties. Then the chemicals burned her hair and she chopped it all off. She just called it "perm".

January 23rd, 2013, 04:51 PM
Yikes, I believe that was pretty eighties standard, but when I saw "New Jersey Mall Hair," I confess that is what I thought of. Best not to get too smug about our styles though, who knows what people will be laughing at in twenty years!

January 23rd, 2013, 05:04 PM
Thank god I've missed the 80's.

January 23rd, 2013, 05:16 PM
I grew up in New Jersey during the '80s and we definitely never called it "New Jersey Mall Hair" back then. I don't think we even had a name for the look, because in a way it didn't feel like a specific look… In retrospect those big styles might all look the same, but at the time we perceived them as different. I didn't hear of "New Jersey Mall Hair" until a few years into the '90s, from people from other states in the Northeast who were making fun of us. (Never mind that it was out of fashion in NJ by then.) "Mullet" is another term that I never heard of until much later, even though half the boys at my high school had them.

The hairstylists didn't automatically know what kind of look people wanted. If you wanted layers or a spiral perm, you had to ask for it, and as always it was a good idea to bring a photo for reference.

January 23rd, 2013, 05:23 PM
I guess the 80s had a bigger impact on me that I thought.

My reaction to that first photo...."That is AWESOME!!"

P.S. Never heard it called New Jersey Mall Hair. I thought the title of the thread might be in reference to the Jersey Shore show that I have never seen.:whistle:

January 23rd, 2013, 05:31 PM
I had a big perm in 1987, but it was never quite that big, at least not after the first week. Never heard of New Jersey Mall hair, though.

January 23rd, 2013, 06:53 PM
I've heard the term "mall bangs". I had them and did them rather well.

January 23rd, 2013, 07:11 PM
I have heard the term "mall hair", but I didn't think it was isolated to NJ.

January 23rd, 2013, 08:35 PM
I've never heard the term before, interesting!

January 23rd, 2013, 08:39 PM
I never heard that term either. Back when I was in middle school and at the tale end of that look being in we just called it big hair. IDK

January 23rd, 2013, 09:48 PM
So lovin' that 80's do! I remember the bigger the hair the better! Aqua net hairspray half a can a day holy cow!!!!

January 23rd, 2013, 09:54 PM
Not IRL but I remember Melanie Griffith in Working Girl before her transformation.

January 23rd, 2013, 10:16 PM
My hair, when shorter at least, natural tends towards bigness. All I needed for big, big hair, was to add a bit of mouse or hair spray, and dry my hair upside down while scrunching it. I kinda miss the big hair days!

January 23rd, 2013, 11:03 PM
i always wanted that hair in the 80's, but my super straight, fine baby hair would not comply. all i got for my troubles was some really damaged hair that had to be cut off!

January 24th, 2013, 05:33 AM
My hair was permed within an inch of it's life in the 80's, but I never could get it to do that! Believe me, I tried!

January 24th, 2013, 05:55 AM
At the time we didn't it call it New Jersey Mall Hair, but when I saw this title I knew exactly what kind of hair it was referring to. I didn't grow up in New Jersey, but I grew up on the east coast, and where I lived the height of this was around 1988 or so, when I was in High School. I think it lasted a little longer in New Jersey/ Long Island. By the early 1990s I had my hair grown out and straight, and when I went to visit my friend in college in Long Island in 1992, this kind of hair was still very popular. We did use a lot of hairspray to get this look!

January 24th, 2013, 09:47 AM
I heard it called new jersey BIG HAIR. I was born in 1987 :)

January 24th, 2013, 12:38 PM
I remember this look as simply "Mall Hair." Quite popular in the 80's! I was in middle school in the late 80's and tried my best to replicate this look...then the grunge movement came along and I spent all of high school growing the perm out and attempting to replicate the Kurt Cobain and Nirvana style choices. Only as a female with long unstyled hair.

January 24th, 2013, 12:58 PM
I was born in 1970 so the 80's were my teenage years. I've never heard the term New Jersey Mall Hair but back then I had some big hair with swooshy lift. We just called it "big hair". I would perm, curling iron, and backcomb to get the volume required as my 1b hair would naturally resist such heights. :)

January 24th, 2013, 01:30 PM
Lots of us had this in the 80's in the UK, even. It was more popular in certain areas than others. I seem to remember that you were meant to scrunch lots of gel into it to 'define' the curls.

Even Geena Davis had something similar in Beetlejuice: http://www.google.co.uk/imgres?hl=en&client=firefox-a&hs=VSp&sa=X&tbo=d&rls=org.mozilla:en-GB:official&biw=1440&bih=727&tbm=isch&tbnid=-5d0tvNH-lmHPM:&imgrefurl=http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film2/DVDReviews42/beetlejuice_blu-ray.htm&docid=odMN4F8O-E4KcM&imgurl=http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film2/DVDReviews42/beetlejuice%252520blu-ray/large/large%252520%252520betleljuice%252520%252520blu-ray3.jpg&w=1920&h=1080&ei=s5kBUfTjLsaM0AXTkYHQDA&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=179&vpy=183&dur=290&hovh=167&hovw=298&tx=155&ty=61&sig=107766130291073920973&page=1&tbnh=138&tbnw=262&start=0&ndsp=29&ved=1t:429,r:1,s:0,i:99

January 24th, 2013, 02:58 PM
Yes there was 'big hair', and then there were 'big hair bands':


What were we thinking????

January 24th, 2013, 06:18 PM
Yes there was 'big hair', and then there were 'big hair bands':


What were we thinking????

I look like that.
In 2013. :)

The only difference between me and them is my hair is straight.

January 24th, 2013, 06:33 PM
I look like that.
In 2013. :)

The only difference between me and them is my hair is straight.

Ha! yes, those old looks do get recycled & come back! I love when the 70s looks make their way back into the culture, especially wide leg pants and long hippy hair :)

(the 80s hair was soooo bad though, but I couldn't pull it off now if I tried, not as much hair on my head these days :/

chen bao jun
January 24th, 2013, 06:45 PM
Never heard it called that, but I had it. Not on purpose. And for my wedding no less. I went to the hairdresser two weeks before the day and came out like that. I cried and cried and cried for three days in a row. I had bra strap length hair at the time and had just succeeded in growing back to bra strap after having a whole foot of my hair break off due to the 70's afro (don't ask, lots of spritzing and teasing involved) and I went in and didn't even ask for a style, just a little trim and the woman did THAT to me. My hair is naturally big and very thick and she didn't perm or hairspray me--she just cut off most of the hair on the top of my head while leaving it longer (but not as long as it had been, maybe shoulder length) in the back. Oh, I hated it. But it was very stylish and everyone complimented me on it a lot so I was more or less reconciled by wedding day. It did make my veil fit better than it had. I had a Juliet cap.
A month after the wedding, I went to the hairdresser and got a pixie, which was even worse. People with round faces should NOT get pixies.
I know there are great hairdressers out there, but I never seem to find one. I always get people who either want to experiment on (without my permission) or complain about my (thick) hair. The best hairdresser I ever had was a lovely Korean lady who insisted that I had to keep chemically straightening it. I looked at her head, which was chemically permed almost as curly as mine naturally is and thought, there is something wrong with this picture...
I have mixed feelings about the eighties. On the one hand, people wore colors, which was nice. I hate seeing everyone dressed in black. On the other hand, big hair, big shoulder pads--the clothes tended to drown me, I'm a petite and everything was so oversized--I look in my closet now at those clothes (I have an inability to throw things out) and they really look as if they had been made for an elephant, not for me--and I was the same size then as I am.