10 Vintage Hair Supplies

Book research: my hair supplies from the 50s, 60s, and 70s

  1. Johnson’s Baby Shampoo–no more tears–my first memories in the bathtub
  2. Breck Shampoo and the Breck Girls–a magazine wasn’t complete without a Breck girl on the back
  3. Toni home perms–my mother gave me 1st degree burns on my neck and back when I was 8
  4. Headbands–the plastic ones used to dig into my skull behind my ears and the stretch ones used to slip toward the back of my head as the day wore on
  5. Dippito Doo–we used it for bangs and for pincurls and for rollers.  First we had those brush rollers with bristles that bit into my scalp while I tried to sleep, then they were hard plastic and it felt like sleeping on a grenade.  The best were the sponge rollers, but if I left them in too long they didn’t work.
  6. Home dryers–this was a life saver because it meant I didn’t have to go to bed with rollers in my head 
  7. Snoods–in high school I wore a little crocheted pocket slipped over a long ponytail.  The snood formed the hair into a bun.  I can’t find this type of snood online because they only show big snoods.
  8. Electric rollers–these were even better than a home hair dryer because they gave me the freedom to walk around the house
  9. Orange juice cans–To straighten my long hair in high school, I put it all on top of my head in a rubber band and then rolled the ponytail on orange juice cans or giant rollers.  They were the small cans of 1970, not the big cans of today.
  10. Sun In–spray and go on my long hair in college.  It gave my hair that sun-kissed look and was easy as anything.  If only it were that easy for me today ;).


Dry shampoo–this was a trick my mother taught me when I didn’t have time to wash my greasy 7th grade hair–you put a little strip of terry cloth on your comb, sprinkle some dry shampoo powder on it and comb.  The dirt and grease collect on the fabric.


Filed under Creative Nonfiction, Memoir, Research and prep for writing

19 responses to “10 Vintage Hair Supplies

  1. I remember most of these – you can’t–you look way too young

  2. I was about to ask where is the ‘Dippity-do’, but you got it…what about aqua net?

  3. Yes, those were the bad old days! Years of sleep spoiled by curlers digging into one’s head. Hairbands: I still wear them. Breck shampoo and bright green Prell with the pearl dropping through. I was spared the Toni perm, but my sister got a frizzy pyramid of hair. Memories….Girls today suffer in their own 21st- century way.

    • lucewriter

      Why do you think you were spared the Toni? It was so awful. I shudder when I think of it. Girls always suffer for beauty, but no doubt it was worse when we were young.

    • lucewriter

      Ruth, your article is fabulous. I hope people reading these comments will head over to your blog and check it out.

  4. Hahahha! Oh those were the days…or not! I so loved being strapped to a chair and burned with those awful home perms while my brother and male cousins were all running around outside doing fun things like building forts…and peeking in to laugh at my misery every 10 minutes! Agh! 🙂

  5. Oh boy I remember or have used almost all of those.. Can’t count how many bad-poodle perms I got from those Toni home perms..
    i always wanted Breck girl hair 🙂

    • lucewriter

      Me too! I used to spend more time looking at the Breck girl hair than reading articles! They were so perfect haha.

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