Ah, the things we do to hair because it seems cool at the time. We've curled it, twisted it, braided it, dyed it, streaked it, shaved it, and even, yes, crimped it. Nothing like burning zig-zags into your soft and silky hair…
Crimping started out as just another over-the-top decadence of the disco era, but the strange hair manipulation was better embraced by the punk-rock scene, and was repeated with the outrageous New Romantics of the early 80's.
This foxy look was best achieved with the help of a crimping iron, which was like a curling iron except it had two zig-zagged shaped plates that ironed the hair into the 'crimped' shape. Those who didn’t have the latest in hair-care technology could achieve the same look naturally by braiding the hair tightly when it was still damp, and letting it dry before unbraiding. The hair would shape itself in a reasonable assimilation of the ‘crimped’ style.
In the 80’s, it became fashionable to streak the hair with colored mousse and then crimp only these sections for a zebra effect. While the look was übercool, it didn't last long. Late 80's big hair bent crimping out of shape, but the look will always be remembered on Aimee Mann of 'Til Tuesday and the occasional Thompson Twin.
This crazy style made a brief comeback for the fashionistas in the late 90’s when the 70’s/80’s retro-look was the rage, and as long as girls are willing to sacrifice their hair to the gods of temporary coolness, you never know when it’ll come back.