Metal in 1988. "Entertainment This Week". Leeza Gibbons. Glam metal (also known as hair metal and often used synonymously with pop metal) is a subgenre of hard rock and heavy metal that arose in the late 1970s and early 1980s in the United States, particularly on the Los Angeles Sunset Strip music scene. It was popular throughout the 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s, combining the flamboyant look of glam rock and playing a power-chord-based heavy metal musical style. The genre rapidly lost mainstream interest from 1991 to 1993 with the rise of grunge and the release of albums such as Nirvana's Nevermind, but it has enjoyed revivals since the beginning of the new millennium.