It was fun at the time, but let’s face it, some things should never come back…


You see a guy with long luscious locks and you think “Wow, he must be in a band.” Nothing says bad boy like long, curly hair. You are intrigued, you want to see more.


You see a guy with long hair, tied up in a bun. Man bun leaves you with one word: douche. I mean, you want to be a new, enlightened person and think let everyone have their own style, but guy with long hair in a bun equals one thing: he cries a lot and probably has an irrationally strong attachment to his mother.

Ew. Just no.


You go and see Flashdance for the first time and you run home and make an appointment to get your first spiral perm. Your hair just gets bigger and bigger after that. You spend your college tuition money on 10,000 gallons of Aquanet.

It’s not enough to just have the big perm though, you need that special bump out front so you curl half your bangs forward, and then the other half backwards and tease them. Spray, spray, spray. Sexy.


You spend tons of money on keeping your hair straight and chic. You haven’t used hairspray in 30 years, but every time you wash your hair you suspect you still might be working on getting some of the spray from the 80s out.

Back in the day a Farrah Fawcett hairstyle seemed old-fashioned, but you’re sort of thinking you could rock that feathered style now.


You and your friends all head to the beach with 10 bottles of Sun-in hair lightener. When you get home you realize it’s more orange than the blonde you were hoping for so you go ahead and find the bottle of Clorox bleach in the laundry room and paint some streaks into your hair.


You spend $200 at the salon so you can get light, natural, organic highlights without ever having to expose yourself to the damaging rays of the sun.


Most of the guys who started out with mullets have evolved into the Flock of Seagulls haircut with the wings off the side. Except for that guy with a rat tail off the back of his mullet. Now THAT is a real party in the back! You always thought they were kind of cool and figured that guy’s parents must be totally rad for letting him have hair like that. You think he would be fun to hang out with on the weekend.


You go to your high school reunion and realize every guy with the Flock of Seagulls haircut is now completely bald. You ponder if there is an actual correlation between that band and future baldness.

You see a guy with a mostly shaved head sporting a rat tail and grab your daughter’s arm. “Look! You exclaim, a rat tail! I haven’t seen one since I was in high school!”

Your daughter explains those are coming back. WHAT???!?? No, guys, really, just no.

You ask her “What’s next, shoulder pads for women?” She responds yes, and when you look at her face you realize she’s not kidding. You recoil in horror and decide maybe these next few style years might be a good time to be quarantined at home after all.

Read Gen X Summer: Then vs. Now here.

Gen X: Then and now is a new weekly column at If you would like to receive it every Monday in your inbox, sign up below.

    Don't miss out!
    Invalid email address
    Give it a try. You can unsubscribe at any time.

    About Veronica Rose

    Veronica is a lifelong writer and proud member of Gen X. When she is not parenting her large brood she is writing about nostalgia for the weird world she grew up in.

    View all posts by Veronica Rose