A genre of music begining in the 1970's, which gained mainstream audience in the 1980's, suffered a decline in the 1990's, and now enjoys a more underground success, despite some hair metal bands still breaking into the mainstream.

The first hair metal band is argued by many, although Quiet Riot's "Metal Health" was the first metal album to reach number one on the bilboard charts, and so is often refered to as the begining of the genre, despite Quiet Riot being active throughout the 1970's.

The genre often involved high pitched vocals. The genre's direction would often differ from band to band or even song to song, some displaying pop characteristics, and other displaying blues characteristics, such as Warrant's "Train Train". Lyrical content would focus on an up-beat look at life, involving parties, drugs (Motley Crue's "Dr. Feelgood"), sex (Warrant's "Cherry Pie"), relationships (Blue Crystal's "Someone"), as well as other themes in keeping with a comical or "party hard" look on life ("Slick Black Catillac", "We're Not Gonna Take It", "You're The Only Hell Your Momma Ever Raised").

Power Ballads also became large in Hair Metal, and by the end of the 90's became incredibly processed and watered-down. Examples include "Living On A Prayer" and "Home Sweet Home".

Hair Metal has been meaningful. Warrant's "Uncle Tom's Cabin" deals with two innocents witnessing two police officers commiting murder, and Marilyn Manson's "Mechanical Animals" album deals heavily with the negative effects of drugs.

The visual component of Hair Metal is huge. Many hair metal bands had elaborate stage antics, with pyrotechnics and wire-work. Hair Metals also generally wear make-up, fashion their hair, and wear outfits suggesting femininity. One hair metal performer, Blackie Lawless, took this to the extremes by cutting pieces of raw meat up on stage via the buzzsaw attached to his cod-piece.

Hair Metal's decline is usually credited to the rise of Alternate Rock, although it can also be assigned to the genre being considered sexist, the break-up of key bands, many bands changing direction, and also many individuals involved entering rehab, as well as the "dark side" of the genre, which was displayed in "The Decline Of Western Civilisation II: The Metal Years", which showed many Hair Metalers intoxicated. Rather than looking "cool", it simply looked pathetic.

The genre now has an underground following, and has taken on a much edgier attitude, look, and sound. Many hair metal bands continue to tour and release albums, usually heavier and dealing with more extreme situations.
Warrant

Skid Row

Poision

Quiet Riot

Motley Crue

Bon Jovi (Early)

Alice Cooper

Ozzy Osbourne

The Darkness

The Veins Of Jenna (An example of modern underground hair metal, also known as Sleeze Metal)

Alice

Cindarella

69Eyes

Twisted Sister

Whitesnake

Aerosmith
by TheUglySoldier June 11, 2007
37 more definitions
Top Definition
A form of 80's teenybopper music made primarily by effeminate men wearing makeup and dressed like women, with stereotypical 80's big hair. After an initial wave of it fizzled out in 1987, it resurfaced just a couple of years later with a short-lived new breed of even lamer bands. Success in hair metal was primarily achieved through placing primary importance on the ability to pose for the camera, and comprising your band with simpletons with little or no musical ability, much less creativity. Once the formula was in place, it was just a matter of finding gullible losers to buy into the swindle. MTV, which started out as a music television channel, obliged, making this subgenre of wimp rock popular at the time. Perhaps the most enjoyable aspect of hair metal was it's juvenile lyrics. Never intentionally bad, the lyrical wasteland was a direct result of the limited intellectual capacities of the band members.
Hair metal was made popular by bands like Poison, Warrant, Winger, Slaughter, White Lion, Trixter, Skid Row, Motley Crue, Kix, and the Bulletboys.
by Axl Gump November 03, 2006
A genre of metal/rock/pop which was popular in the 80's. Composed of skeezy, animal-print-clad men with big hair and armadillos stuffed in their pants. The lyrics contain various combinations of "rock", "babe", "tonite", "love" and bringin' various things to you all night long. Somehow still manages to attract a lot of hate despite that it hasn't been relevant or popular since 1990. More fun and addictive than your average metal snob will care to admit. Contrary to popular belief, some hair bands do, indeed, suck less than others.
"Dude, I went to this awesome hair metal concert last night! Dokken and Quiet Riot were playing!"

"Those bands still exist? Damn."
by StupidBunny December 02, 2013
All you hair-metal haters can suck ass, because people actually had talent in hair metal bands!

For instance, Motley Crue KICKED ASS. Motley Crue sounded the EXACT SAME on stage as they did on their cds-THATS MOTHERFUCKIN TALENT

They sang about all emotions, mostley happiness, while grunge didn`t have half as creative tunes as they did.

Good thing Vh1 is bringing the 80`s back, if not, I`d go insane
Guns N Roses, Motley Crue, Poison, Warrant, should I go on?
by Adrienne the Axl Fan January 17, 2005
Gay,horrible music.
-
The only redeeming thing about it was the guitar solo because that's when the terrible singing stopped for a little while.
-
Started in LA by men with mullets who were only in it for the groupies,alcohol,meth and cocaine.
-
The men were all cross-dressers and resembled and took on the characteristics of their groupies to the point where other bands who were looking for groupies to fuck often mistook a band of hair metallers for a sixpack of groupie whores.
Beavis: whoa these chicks are hot
Butthead: are these chicks or dudes?
Beavis: whoa,I don't know
Butthead: well they better be chicks dammit because they're giving me a woody
::::
Example doesn't use the word hair metal. Use the word in a sentence.
by FUCK METAL October 09, 2005
Music made by and for the hypocritical , full-of-shit , "happy-go-lucky" selfish assholes that modern society breeds. Isn't it funny how the majority of everyone of Hair-"Metal"'s supporters here could not go about defining it without making some sort of crude comment regarding grunge ? This "music" is what often gives "metal" a bad name making people associate it with "badassery" , being total assholes, caring only for themselves and their family/friends (which in my opinion is no different than caring for oneself),those who are violent for boastful intents, and sheer idiocy. This music truly is all about the beer/action/bitches regardless of whether that is the stereotype applied to it. It gives bad names to Thrash metal , and generally listeners of this genre brand other subcategories of metal such as Death "psychotic" , "twisted and sadistic" or something of that nature , when they cannot see that their own lifestyles based solely on greed and personal acquisition/gain are a twisted form of apathetic...bitchiness. Those who "live" by the hair metal code can go fuck their ego-inflated avarice-ridden bloated asses on a plate of scorching coals.
Hair Metal guy:Hey punk, what you tryin to pull with my woman ?
Person who bumped into girl on accident: Sorry, It was an accident =/.
Hair Metal guy: You layin your hand on my woman ! I'm gonna kick your ass !!!
Person : Dude it was an accident...sorry.
Hair Metal guy : (starts beating on person for no apparent reason)
Karma : * Hair metal jerkoff is engulfed in flames and slowly and painfully burns to death while razor-sharp rapiers slowly tear through his weak flesh as a gigantic hand crushes his thick skull*
Person: haha , fucker.
Karma : ^_^. Kthxbai.
by ThrasherZero December 30, 2004
To me,and many others,an acceptional form of music that many,many people listen to and the ignorant yuppies and preps oftoday call "noise".Fashioned in the early 1980's in the L.A. music scene,with most people finding this type of Genre to be "wretched,vile and awful",as every type of music Genre has.Not just sell-outs listen to it.I've seen goth people listen to it(don't start saying they're posers,because whatever "clique" you're apart of doesn't mean you HAVE to listen to the type of music assoated with that particular clique,listen to whatever you want).Such bands that might fit in maybe: Motley Crue,Whitesnake,Poison,Hanoi Rocks,Faster Pussycat,David Lee Roth,Def Leppard,Loudness,Quiet Riot,Ratt,LA Guns,KISS,Lita Ford,Femme Fatal,White Lion,Daddy Yankee,W.A.S.P. and may others.And if you're going to trash a form of music,PLEASE listen to more than ONE song.Try to listen to more than that.Thank you for your time and have a nice day :D
Metal Mania(a show on VH1 Classic) deals with classic rock,hair metal and heavy metal from possibly the 60's-80's and a little bit into the 90's.As well into today with the bands from back then with new materal or in concerts recently.
by 1993MetalHead August 31, 2009
a music genre that ruined the name of good old classic rock leading to other genres such as metal,pop rockalso stealing and ruining the name of good old classic rock. go watch the movie almost famous.
-dude i saw these two guys with long hair in tight pants yelling.
- those are hair metal fans lets go kick their asses
by jim morrison rules October 09, 2006

Free Daily Email

Type your email address below to get our free Urban Word of the Day every morning!

Emails are sent from daily@urbandictionary.com. We'll never spam you.

×