vintage hair hacks

5 Vintage Hair Hacks – And Their Modern Updates

by akesha / last updated February 16, 2021

We’re spoilt for choice with high-performance hair and beauty products these days, but that wasn’t always the case. In days gone by, people still wanted to follow trends and change their look, but they had to be slightly cannier with their product choices – and vintage hair hacks often used household ingredients to achieve their desired results.

The beauty team at have researched some of the beauty fads of days gone by, rounding up five retro hair techniques. Here are the site’s top vintage hair hacks – and their modern updates.

5 Vintage Hair Hacks

1. Spray perfume onto your hairbrush

Coco Chanel famously said that women should wear perfume wherever they would like to be kissed. Having a feminine scent was extremely important in those days of primitive hair and beauty regimes, so women would spritz their hairbrushes with perfume to carry their scent with every swish of their locks.

Update it: Today there are plenty of hair perfumes on the market, that nourish the hair as well as providing fragrance.

2. Use olive oil on the hair

A favourite trick of actress Rita Hayworth! To keep hair looking lustrous, she would shampoo her hair then apply olive oil to the ends and wrap it up in towel for 15 minutes, After, she would rinse with hot water, cleanser and lemon juice to get rid of any residue.

Update it: A healing hair oil will have the same benefits – use on wet hair, wrapping in a warm towel to enhance the benefits.

3. Try homemade rollers

Curly hair has been in fashion on and off for centuries, hot rollers and styling tongs are a relatively new innovation, not to mention expensive and at times uncomfortable to use. Vintage beauties worked around this by rolling damp hair around pieces of fabric, tying off and leaving overnight.

Update it: You can still use the same trick to achieve texture – try spritzing hair with sea salt spray once in the ‘rollers’ for a more tousled, bedhead look.

4. Wash with beer shampoo

Rinsing hair with beer is an old wives’ tale that some still swear by today. After the liquid evaporates from the hair, a residue of hops and barley is left giving hair more body and weight.

Update it: If you don’t fancy smelling like a brewery, try using a deep-conditioning treatment on your hair once a week to keep it healthy and bouncy.

5. Sprinkle talcum powder on greasy roots

Greasy roots have never been a good look, but a lack of quality shampoo and frequent usage of thick, oily styling products meant that hair wasn’t always easy to get squeaky clean. Talcum powder was one way of soaking up excess oil – sprinkled on the roots then rubbed in until it disappeared.

Update it: This tip only works well for blonde-haired babes. Nowadays we have dry shampoo for locks in need of a boost.

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