It Was Acceptable in The 80s – Part X

Sunday, 13 June 2010

As part of the series on the 1980s, here are five items related to hair styles plus a bonus on facial hair. Whilst the 70s saw some new cuts, the 80s gave rise to actual styles and creations. And fans got to see the hairstyles, it was the norm for riders to ride without helmets, except in Belgium where the law stipulated a “hairnet” helmet was obligatory.

1. The Pony Tail

As sported by the likes of Laurent Fignon, Robert Millar, Søren Lilholt and Phil Anderson. In many ways you had to be a champ to try this haircut, certainly only riders with strong legs managed it, the look worked when the tail fluttered in the wind at 30mph.

2. The Metal Man
Stadium rock left its mark. Gert Jan Theunisse looked like a roadie… not a cyclist, but one of the staff who sets up stadiums for sound and light for a band. He wasn’t alone here. Phil Anderson also went through a period of thick long hair and several Belgians sported a similar look, like Patrick Verscheuren.

3. The Bald Spot
Male baldness seemed to become fashionable in the 1980s within the pro peloton. How come? Well abuse of testosterone stops the human body from making its own and the subsequent loss of the male hormone results in hair loss. Others were simply unlucky, 25 year old riders looked like 45 year olds.

4. The Pro Cut

Nice and tidy, plus practical to wash and dry. This tidy look was the antithesis of a hair style, it was simply a practical cut that allowed the rider to concentrate on winning.

5. Facial Hair
Whilst it has always been rare, the 1980s had some good examples of facial hair. Swiss rider Urs Freuler had a Tom Sellick look. Jean-Francois Bernard nurtured a shifty shadow. We can include German one-day specialist Rolf Golz too.

6. Highlights and Perms
Once reserved for women, men started getting their hair coloured and treated in the 1980s and the pro peloton was no exception. Notable examples for highlights were Malcolm Elliot, Roberto Visentini and perhaps the best perm in the peloton belonged to Eric Vanderaerden, who has kept this style ever since.


This is part of a recurring series of things that marked cycling in the 1980s. The other entries are:
It Was Acceptable in the 80’s – Part I
It Was Acceptable in the 80’s – Part II
It Was Acceptable in the 80’s – Part III
It Was Acceptable in the 80’s – Part IV
It Was Acceptable in the 80’s – Part V
It Was Acceptable in the 80’s – Part VI
It Was Acceptable in the 80’s – Part VII
It Was Acceptable in the 80’s – Part VIII
It Was Acceptable in the 80’s – Part IX
It Was Acceptable in the 80’s – Part X

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