Friday, November 21, 2008

We Owned The 80's: The Jheri Curl.

We Owned The 80's usually focuses on good music, TV, and other aspects of culture that are fondly remembered over the years. This ain't one of those entries.

Anyone with country relatives surely has had their nostrils singed and their pillowcases permanently stained by that most bastardly of tacky hairstyles. That's right party people, I'm talkin' bout' the infamous Jheri Curl.

The Jheri curl (often incorrectly spelled Jerry curl and/or Jeri curl) is a hairstyle that was common and popular in the African American and Latino communities in the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s. Invented by and named for Jheri Redding, the Jheri curl gave the wearer a glossy, loosely curled look.

Before ya'll ask, yeah, I did some pretty wack hair-related sh*t in the 80's myself. I had a Kwame hightop fade, and a 6-inch Ralph Tresvant shag, and a Bobby Brown Gumby with "frost" in it. But no, I nevar rocked a Jheri curl, although I had plenty of family members who shall remain unnamed that did. The memories of the foul stench of Right On™ curl activator perturb me to this day.

Unlike any other hairdo, the Jheri curl just screamed "I Am A Bama, And I Am Proud!" Yeah, I suppose in some remote corners of the US, a curl kit was attractive to some, but even as a snobbish preteen, I knew to never trust a big butt and a smiiiiile girl who needed activator.

[Editor's Note: For my readers of a lighter persuasion who are completely clueless right now, just imagine the Jheri Curl as an "urban" version of the mullet. That drips and stinks. Nuff' said.]

I mean, c'mon, what other black hairstyle spawned such scorn and random clownage?

Who can forget the tacky Randy Watson from Coming To America?

How about "Soooooul Glow"?

Or Robin Harris' "follow the drip" from House Party?

Who could forget the classic spoof from In Living Color?

That's one's even funnier when you look at Jamie Foxx' yearbook photo. Bwaaahhaahah!!!

I don't really know who these guys are, but this was hella funny too.

While the hairstyle became less trendy in the 90's, contrary to popular belief, the Jheri Curl still lives strong today. Just visit your local swap meet, 3rd grade graduation, or family reunion and you'll know what I mean.

Oddly enough, with all sorts of 80's stuff (flat tops, skinny jeans, hipster rap) coming back in style, I wonder how long it'll be before some NBA player busts out with a wet -n- wild?

A.C. Green is smiling inside.

Question: Don't lie!!! Did you rock a Jheri Curl? Do you have a family member that still rocks one? Do you think the curl will ever come back in style? Any particularly memorable Jheri Curl story you wanna share with AverageNation™?

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